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Unread 24th November 2010, 04:48 AM   #1
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Default Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 04:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 04:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.
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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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.
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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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!

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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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

Quote:
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)...

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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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 "")

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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.
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Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?-untitled.jpg  

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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:57 AM   #13
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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.
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Unread 24th November 2010, 05:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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.
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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.
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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

I always search with quotes as it is the best way to get accurate results when searching

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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:22 AM   #18
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:27 AM   #19
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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:29 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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

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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:34 AM   #21
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:34 AM   #22
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:36 AM   #23
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.
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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:41 AM   #24
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 06:51 AM   #25
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LetsGoViral 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
Correct, but the degree to which the vast majority of them are posssing of any strength could still be so miniscule as to make any number (no matter how high) quite irrelevant, still. Therefore trying to gauge competition by looking at the "phrase-match" results figure is still kind of pointless.

I mean to say that it might only take a handful of low-quality backlinks (maybe even just one; maybe even just a slightly better optimised page, with no backlinks at all) to immediately overtake the biggest portion of those competitors' pages and land a decent ranking position.

So it's not worth ever dismissing a keyword phrase based on the perception of there being too much competition, which you get by looking at the number of competing pages, because it's a completely plausible possibility that as many as there are, they're all "weaklings".

On the other hand, you might see a keyword phrase for which there are only 500 results for broad-match and 100 results for phrase-match, and stand no chance whatsoever for ever ranking within the first few pages because so many of the results are highly-relevant, high-PR pages, on highly-authoritative sites.
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Unread 24th November 2010, 08:04 AM   #26
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

I use quotes especially when I don't find the results google sends me to be that targeted.
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Unread 24th November 2010, 08:13 AM   #27
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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 haven´t "worked" yet, and then this is a quick way to spot these websites, and examine them before you go to "war" :-)

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Unread 24th November 2010, 08:18 AM   #28
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 09:04 AM   #29
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

Quote:
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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 09:12 AM   #30
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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.

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Unread 24th November 2010, 09:16 AM   #31
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

I was initially leaning towards Letsgoviral's point of view but Ramone finally made it clear for my understanding . Yes,it make sense now....


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Unread 24th November 2010, 09:39 AM   #32
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Default Re: Why people insist of searching for competition using quotes?

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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