Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral by LetsGoViral Posted: 11/24/2010
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.
#competition #insist #people #quotes #searching

  • Profile picture of the author NeilC
    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
    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
    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
    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 NeilC
    NeilC
    They do it that way because it's a basic and quick way of checking which sites might be, or actually are, optimizing for a particular term, but your right about how the sites appear in the top places when searched in broad match which is how most people search.

    That's why you can use that method as a rough guide if you need to work quickly but if you really want to find out then take the top sites from the broad match results conduct a proper and thorough analysis of those.
  • Profile picture of the author xenergy
    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 DireStraits
    DireStraits
    Originally Posted by LetsGoViral View Post

    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.
    James,

    If you do your keyword-research using "broad-match", the "competing pages" figure you get back will include all those pages which include some or all of the individual words that make up your search-query, but not necessarily in the order you use them, or in the same "context".

    That means there'll be many more pages included in that figure, of course - but a greater number of them will be all but irrelevant, from the standpoint of being your potential competition, since they're not really relevant or intentionally optimised for that specific keyword phrase.

    But the pages returned when you do a "phrase-match" search for any given keyword phrase are all (usually) immediately more relevant, from Google's perspective, and so you get a more accurate (but still completely useless, really) idea of how many pages are active potential competitors of yours, in trying to rank for a given keyword phrase.

    Of course, not all of them will be conducting an SEO campaign (by way of backlinking, etc), because people who write content will inadvertently and unconsciously use keyword phrases quite often in their writing; that doesn't mean they're specifically targeting those keyword phrases with an intention to rank for them, though.

    In the end, the "competing pages" figure doesn't really matter one iota, anyway. Most peoples' SEO aim is to achieve a page-one Google ranking ... and that means only the 10 results on that first page are your real competition, and the strength and authority of that competition is all that really matters.
  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    LetsGoViral
    Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

    James,

    If you do your keyword-research using "broad-match", the "competing pages" figure you get back will include all those pages which include some or all of the individual words that make up your search-query, but not necessarily in the order you use them, or in the same "context".

    That means there'll be many more pages included in that figure, of course - but a greater number of them will be all but irrelevant, from the standpoint of being your potential competition, since they're not really relevant or intentionally optimised for that specific keyword phrase.

    But the pages returned when you do a "phrase-match" search for any given keyword phrase are all immediately more relevant, from Google's perspective, and so you get a more accurate (but still completely useless, really) idea of how many pages are active potential competitors of yours, in trying to rank for a given keyword phrase.

    Of course, not all of them will be conducting an SEO campaign (by way of baclinking, etc), because people who write content will inadvertently and unconsciously use keyword phrases quite often in their writing; that doesn't mean they're specifically targeting those keyword phrases with an intention to rank for them, though.

    In the end, the "competing pages" figure doesn't really matter one iota, anyway. Most peoples' SEO aim is to achieve a page-one Google ranking ... and that means only the 10 results on that first page are your real competition, and the strength and authority of that competition is all that really matters.
    But I am not talking about Google Keywords. Let's forget about that for now! I know that you should search for exact results, but currently the main issue is - when you check the web-sites on first page of Google, do you type the specific keyphrase with quotations or without? Logic dictates that you should search without quotations since you will see which sites exactly you will be competing with.

    Sorry, this topic must have confused many warriors!
  • Profile picture of the author vstar00
    vstar00
    Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

    James,

    If you do your keyword-research using "broad-match", the "competing pages" figure you get back will include all those pages which include some or all of the individual words that make up your search-query, but not necessarily in the order you use them, or in the same "context".

    That means there'll be many more pages included in that figure, of course - but a greater number of them will be all but irrelevant, from the standpoint of being your potential competition, since they're not really relevant or intentionally optimised for that specific keyword phrase.

    But the pages returned when you do a "phrase-match" search for any given keyword phrase are all immediately more relevant, from Google's perspective, and so you get a more accurate (but still completely useless, really) idea of how many pages are active potential competitors of yours, in trying to rank for a given keyword phrase.

    Of course, not all of them will be conducting an SEO campaign (by way of baclinking, etc), because people who write content will inadvertently and unconsciously use keyword phrases quite often in their writing; that doesn't mean they're specifically targeting those keyword phrases with an intention to rank for them, though.
    yeah this is what I meant but explained better

    Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

    In the end, the "competing pages" figure doesn't really matter one iota, anyway. Most peoples' SEO aim is to achieve a page-one Google ranking ... and that means only the 10 results on that first page are your real competition, and the strength and authority of that competition is all that really matters.

    This is not entirely true. Because while yes, your key goal is to get to the front page for your high level keyword, if there are less competing sites optimized for your high level keyword (basketball cards) you have a better chance to rank for the long tail keywords (michael jordan basket ball cards, la lakers basketball cards)...
  • Profile picture of the author vstar00
    vstar00
    Originally Posted by LetsGoViral View Post

    But I am not talking about Google Keywords. Let's forget about that for now! I know that you should search for exact results, but currently the main issue is - when you check the web-sites on first page of Google, do you type the specific keyphrase with quotations or without? Logic dictates that you should search without quotations since you will see which sites exactly you will be competing with.

    Sorry, this topic must have confused many warriors!
    you should do both while researching. As per my above post, it is important to know the total number of pages in your niche but for your main keyword when you are researching your main front page and how easy it will be to rank you should not use quotations.

    Watch the '4 golden rules' market samurai.

    You will see the elements you look at include both:

    - Total competing pages (keyword with "")
    - First page competition (keyword without "")
  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    LetsGoViral
    Alright, I made an image explaining what I mean. Hopefully this clears things up.

    I see it as you should always search without quotes. Yes, the results are similar, but not identical and since people are searching without quotes, the first option allows you to see the real competition.
  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    DireStraits
    Originally Posted by LetsGoViral View Post

    But I am not talking about Google Keywords. Let's forget about that for now! I know that you should search for exact results, but currently the main issue is - when you check the web-sites on first page of Google, do you type the specific keyphrase with quotations or without? Logic dictates that you should search without quotations since you will see which sites exactly you will be competing with.

    Sorry, this topic must have confused many warriors!
    Ah yes. Sorry if I misunderstood.

    Well: I personally do place my search-queries in quotation marks (and use the rest of the search-engines "advanced search" paramaters) quite often when I'm using Google as an end-user ... but I agree and appreciate that my habits/techniques aren't exactly representative of the average search-engine user.

    But no, there's little point in looking up your "number of competitors" using "phrase-match", since that is not the method of searching most people entering those same keywords are going to be using, and therefore not the same results they'd be faced with, and therefore not the same competition.

    I think the benefit of using phrase-match / quotes in keyword research isn't so much in finding out the number of competitors, though. Most often it's used to more accurately determine potential search-volume. At least, that's all I really I use it for, and I don't even really ever take into account the "number of competitors" at all, like I say.
  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Williams
    Kevin Williams
    Originally Posted by LetsGoViral View Post

    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.
    I'm sorry, what? Everyone I know uses quotes when searching for specific things on Google... I rarely - if ever - don't include quotes in a search I make on Google.
  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    LetsGoViral
    Originally Posted by Kevin Williams View Post

    I'm sorry, what? Everyone I know uses quotes when searching for specific things on Google... I rarely - if ever - don't include quotes in a search I make on Google.
    That is really weird, since nobody I know uses quotes. I use them...very rarely.
  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    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
    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
    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
    John Romaine
  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    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
    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.

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