Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

by 33 comments
When doing keyword research many people put the phrase in quotes when searching in Google.

But why? People who will be searching for the information will not be using quotes and the sites displaying with quotes are usually a little bit different from those showing up when searching without quotes.
#internet marketing #competition #insist #people #quotes #searching
  • Profile picture of the author NeilC
    Phrase and exact give a better indication of traffic/competition for a specific word or phrase, there are much more accurate ways to check competition more thoroughly though.
    • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
      Originally Posted by NeilC View Post

      Phrase and exact give a better indication of traffic/competition for a specific word or phrase, there are much more accurate ways to check competition more thoroughly though.
      You misunderstood the question.

      I was asking about Google not Google keywords.

      When you want to check with what sites you will compete when going for a specific keyphrase, you will type the keyphrase in Google search. Many people do this by typing the phrase in brackets. But it makes no sense to me, since most normal people will search the phrase without brackets.
  • Profile picture of the author vstar00
    when you are assessing the total number of sites for a phrase such as 'basketball cards' using quotations will bring up sites which relate to basketball cards.

    But if you dont use the quotations, sites that use the worlds 'basketball' and 'cards' will show up. This could be a site with a blog post on basketball and a separate one on poker cards, or a news article talking about cards up a basketball coaches sleeve - which are not competing sites to your niche 'basketball cards'

    this is why you use quotations.
    • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
      Originally Posted by vstar00 View Post

      when you are assessing the total number of sites for a phrase such as 'basketball cards' using quotations will bring up sites which relate to basketball cards.

      But if you dont use the quotations, sites that use the worlds 'basketball' and 'cards' will show up. This could be a site with a blog post on basketball and a separate one on poker cards, or a news article talking about cards up a basketball coaches sleeve - which are not competing sites to your niche 'basketball cards'

      this is why you use quotations.
      But people who will search for basketballs will not use them and they will see the same unrelated sites appear. You are competing with the sites on the first page, related or not. Yes, the quotations are a better indicator of related sites, but we are searching for competing sites.
  • Profile picture of the author xenergy
    Then don't use quote
    Search Engine is like a "Black Box", no body really knows how it works. It's just others people opinion. I personally don't use quote when doing keyword competition analysis.
  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    I think a lot of the problem has to do with certain Guru's promoting this technique in their older products and unfortunately some of those older products are still available and still selling.

    Way back in my school days I did a geography report on South Vietnam... our school library had outdated encyclopedias and I wasn't even aware at that age who or what South Vietnam was or that it apparently no longer existed as a country.

    Some new to IM people are using those old encyclopedias.
  • Profile picture of the author Frank Ayres
    I always search with quotes as it is the best way to get accurate results when searching
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I use this method to assess actual competition for a particular keyword phrase. Once you begin seeing definitive patterns to what works and what doesnt, and why some keywords rank easier than others - it all makes perfect sense.

    Searching in quotes is more (for me anyway) for analytical purposes, not search.
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Yes, that makes sense. I think I see what you mean now. In reality you are competing with 51 million websites, but there are around 99 thousand websites who are focused on the specific keyphrase, so those sites are the toughest part of the competition.

      I get it now
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    There are 91,100 sites that according to Google anyway, are competing for THAT PARTICULAR KEYPHRASE. It has nothing to do with search or what sites appear on the first page.

    Given this information, you would then begin digging deeper towards using allintitle, allinurl search term parameters to further analyse this keyphrase to further determine as to whether or not you wish to pursue it.

    Market Samurai also uses the difference between these two figures to determine a percentage which also helps guide you in terms of keyword analysis. I believe its called SEOTCR.

    BTW - If you write complete ebooks, I have work here that needs doing PM me.
  • Profile picture of the author Jillycakes
    The smartest way is to search by both if you're looking for your competition. Look at the results WITHOUT quotes, and take notice of authority sites like Amazon within the results. A lot of times, these results are so high in the rankings purely because of the main website's popularity and could be dethroned by an optimized niche site.

    Then go back and search WITH quotes, and see how much the results differ. The results you find IN quotes are often your "true" competition, since these are the other websites actively targeting the same keywords. In some cases, you'll still see sites like Amazon and others pop up here - this is often an indication that other people aren't trying to build on the keyword, unless it's something very broad like "electronics."

    While it's true that most searchers will search without quotes, looking at the information both with and without quotes will give you a look at your competition in terms of sites TRYING to rank for that keyword. Then plug those sites into Yahoo! Site Explorer and look at their backlinks to see if you can beat them.
  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    But that example and using quotes in general is irrelevant since all that matters is the competition you're facing on the first page... without quotes.

    With the example given above... the results are nearly identical. The only difference is two of the sites have different rankings. Other than that the results are the same.

    I don't see the point of doing a search with quotes just to get an idea of how many sites might be optimized or trying to rank for a keyword when everything after #10 is a non-factor.

    Maybe I'm missing something here.
    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by christopher jon View Post

      Maybe I'm missing something here.
      I think you might be.

      If I research a particular search phrase and there are 51,000,000 results without quotes, and only 25,000 in quotes, and the search traffic is adequate, that assists my overall decision making process based on a given keyphrase of interest.

      This of course makes up only a small part of whats involved. Obviously you need to address and analyse first page competition, and other factors, but the quotes, no quotes, definitely helps. Especially if you dont have software like Market Samurai to help guide you.
  • Profile picture of the author Tilbudsportalen
    Quate: Logic dictates that you should search without quotations since you will see which sites exactly you will be competing with.

    Yes and no, because among the results with quates may appear some competitors which SEO havenĀ“t "worked" yet, and then this is a quick way to spot these websites, and examine them before you go to "war" :-)
  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    I search in quotes generally, and I also take a peek at exact match phrase when doing keyword research. Why? Because I like to cover all angles when doing it.
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      With the example given above... the results are nearly identical. The only difference is two of the sites have different rankings. Other than that the results are the same.
      The result may well include many of the same sites in the first pages - but they aren't identical searches.

      "lose fat fast" (with quotes) tells me there are 99,500 pages using that exact phrase

      Searching the same three words without quotes tells me there are 52,500,000 pages where those three words are included somewhere (not necessarily as one phrase) on the page.

      If I'm researching competition - I check both. But my real competition are those sites where my exact keyword phrase is being used.

      kay
  • Profile picture of the author RustyF
    Great question. I have asked myself the same thing many times.

    Reading through the answers I think I now know the answer.

    The SEO experts advise a number of around 70,000 competing sites to go after. They developed that 70,000 plus/minus 10,000 based on using the quotes.

    So it is only relative to that 70,000 number. For actual searches, you're right, it doesn't matter. It is only for evaluating competition based on that 70K number.

    Now why the experts don't use a bigger number without the quotes? Still don't know that one. Would like to know.
  • Profile picture of the author Qamar
    I was initially leaning towards Letsgoviral's point of view but Ramone finally made it clear for my understanding . Yes,it make sense now....


    Qamar
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    This is how I perform keyword research within Google to determine strength of competition - this all ties back in with the original questions of why search using quotes. Please note that what Im showing here is only a SMALL part of the overall process. I usually use Market Samurai for this - but will demonstrate using Google for everyone.

    Given my previous experiences, I know that I can usually rank relatively easy for a search term, in quotes that has LESS than 30,000 competing sites. If it has LESS than 1,500 using allintitle, its definitely a keyword that makes my shortlist.

    Therefore...my parameters must be

    Standard search - not overly important to begin with, but gives some level of indication of what to expect
    In quotes - less than 30,000
    Allintitle - less than 1,500

    So, in saying that....

    Google Search, along with what Im thinking

    lose fat fast
    About 52,200,000 results
    "Hmm, this isnt looking good, theres a lot of sites in the search results, lets have a closer look"

    "lose fat fast"
    About 99,400 results
    "Okay, this is still looking a little tough, lets look a bit closer..."

    allintitle:lose fat fast
    About 24,400 results
    "Meh, forget it, Ill try a different search term.."

    At this point, Id ditch it and try something else. That is of course, I REALLY wanted to hit this search term. Then obviously I would map out a long term plan of attack.

    If you perform the SAME search techniques to lose belly fat in 3 days you will see this search terms meets my basic guidelines and would be a keyphrase I would pursue (granted of course, the search volume justifies it)

    lose belly fat in 3 days
    About 373,000 results

    "lose belly fat in 3 days"
    About 1,610 results

    allintitle:lose belly fat in 3 days
    About 144 results

    Make sense?

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