HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR COMPETITION ON PAGE 1. HOW I DO IT

Profile picture of the author Adam Roy by Adam Roy Posted: 05/05/2010
For me, the main reason why I wasn't succeeding with my online websites, was the poor judgement of my competition.

Please rate this thread if you found this helpful.

All it is, is understanding whether or not you have and are willing to do what it takes to outrank that page.

  1. Can I optimize my web site ON PAGE better than they did?
  2. Can I build enough backlinks to compete with theirs without spending an arm and a leg?
  3. How much content do they really have about this subject?
  4. How much authority **pagerank** do these websites have over mine?
  5. What about authority in this particular subject? There have been times when I've outranked wiki's, ehow and such with pretty simple websites. They may have a high PR, but is their authority in this particular subject?

There's of coarse much more that goes into this, but understanding what it takes to make that spot takes time. Trial and error.

Read on.

Try to pinpoint why your competitors are ranking above you. And also try and pinpoint why you ranked higher than the sites below you.

Competition research truly is something that requires experience no matter how well it's explained. Something that works for me, may not work for someone else. It depends on your skill set, your experience.

If you can't effectively evaluate your competition, front page google rankings will be from sheer luck.
We can compete with sites who "got lucky"

If you can evaluate your competition according to your website building skills effectively, you're on a path to a 6 figures a year income.

Why? Because once you understand competition research, the sky is the limit and this becomes an infinitely scalable process.

So many people these days are putting so much emphasis on the number of competing pages on google.

Type your keyword into google in quotes "your keyword", if you have less than 50000, or 10000 competitors it's a good sign right? WRONG!

The number of competing pages is simply a tiny little nudge saying, "hey, there's not as many competing pages as some other popular terms".

The truth is, that even if there's only 7,000 competing websites, page one may still be EXTREMELY competitive. However a term with 100,000 competing pages can be pie to rank for.

It's not about the NUMBER of competitors, it's about the STRENGTH of the competitors.

Type your keyword WITHOUT quotes to search for your competition, because it's without quotes that you want to rank, you don't want people typing the keyword phrase in "" to find your website.


So taking the competing number of pages out of the equation, here's how I decide whether or not to fight for a great spot on page 1 SERPS.

Again these are some of the things that I look for, what seems to work for me. In the end it's all about what you're up against, what your skillset is, and how much work you're willing to put in.

This is my criteria for a semi small niche site. 5 or 6 pages, 5-10 posts size website.

  • Competitors on page 1 have page ranks between 0-4, a good mix is best.
  • Competitors on page 1 have less than 100 backlinks to the particular page which is ranking in the SERPS, not total number of backlinks to the site.
  • Competitors on page 1 have the keyword phrase missing in at least 3 of these 4 places, title tag - description tag - keyword tag - alt tag
  • Competitors on page 1 have domain ages of less than 4 years--I try not to put too much emphasis on this one.
  • Some competitors on page 1 are articles and/or web 2.0 sites
  • No competitor on page 1 has an exact domain match for your keyword.
  • ***The competitors' descriptions in the search results aren't relevant or look unintentional"**** This in particular along with some of the above, and excluding super authorities such as wikipedia and similar is a great indicator TO ME in most cases that there's slim competition for this term. To be quite honest, sometimes I dig around through keywords until I find one with a bunch of crappy descriptions in the search results.
Another quick tip is that if most of the websites on page one are not top level domains, it's a good indicator that they may have a low number of backlinks. Not always, but a lot of times this is true.

These are the things I look for in my competition research, and it has proven to work well for me. Good on page SEO, and a handful of backlinks, you can most likely rank for terms meeting the above criteria.

The number of competitors is way overrated. It's not about how many of them there are, the only thing that matters is what's on page one.

You may very well find keywords that can be ranked for EASY with 100,000 results, and you may find keywords with 5,000 competitors extremely difficult and time consuming to rank for. It goes both ways so try not to put too much emphasis on this little number.

Hope this helps some of you struggling with competition research.


Happy rankings,

Friend.
#battle #competition #decide #evaluate #page #win

  • Profile picture of the author prtt75
    prtt75
    Thank you for the great information but i still would want to see how long it would take me to bring my site on Page 1 for my target keywords before spending time optimizing it, thus, i try to look for the number of competing pages first by typing the kw with quotes or using intitle search.
  • Profile picture of the author techwarrior
    techwarrior
    Originally Posted by friend View Post

    So many people these days are putting so much emphasis on the number of competing pages on google.

    Type your keyword into google in quotes "your keyword", if you have less than 50000, or 10000 competitors it's a good sign right? WRONG!

    The number of competing pages is simply a tiny little nudge saying, "hey, there's not as many competing pages as some other popular terms".

    The truth is, that even if there's only 7,000 competing websites, page one may still be EXTREMELY competitive. However a term with 100,000 competing pages can be pie to rank for.

    It's not about the NUMBER of competitors, it's about the STRENGTH of the competitors.

    Type your keyword WITHOUT quotes to search for your competition, because it's without quotes that you want to rank, you don't want people typing the keyword phrase in "" to find your website.


    So taking the competing number of pages out of the equation, here's how I decide whether or not to fight for a great spot on page 1 SERPS.

    • Competitors on page 1 have page ranks between 0-4, a good mix is best.
    • Competitors on page 1 have less than 100 backlinks to the particular page which is ranking in the SERPS, not total number of backlinks to the site.
    • Competitors on page 1 have the keyword phrase missing in at least 3 of these 4 places, title tag - description tag - keyword tag - alt tag
    • Competitors on page 1 have domain ages of less than 4 years
    • Some competitors on page 1 are articles and/or web 2.0 sites
    • No competitor on page 1 has an exact domain match for your keyword.


    These are the things I look for in my competition research, and it has proven to work well for me. Good on page SEO, and backlinks, you can most likely rank for terms meeting the above criteria.

    The number of competitors has been doing nothing but screwing me up, it's not about how many of them there are, but WHO they are.

    Hope this helps some of you struggling with competition research.

    Again, this method of evaluating competition is not set in stone, but it certainly works for me.

    Happy rankings,

    Friend.
    Very comprehensive guide, indeed!

    In summary, your guide tells us to "work smarter, not harder!"

    Thanks for this info...
  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Adam Roy
    No problem. Everytime something new works for me...I post it to the warrior forum...The super special stuff I put in the war room.
  • Profile picture of the author Ghalt
    Ghalt
    Shh!

    Stop giving away my secrets!

    You're right on the money. I've had much better success since I started evaluating page 1 competition on those factors than worrying about the number of pages.
  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Adam Roy
    Originally Posted by Ghalt View Post

    Shh!

    Stop giving away my secrets!

    You're right on the money. I've had much better success since I started evaluating page 1 competition on those factors than worrying about the number of pages.
    Haha sorry man Gotta spread the wealth.
  • Profile picture of the author ecoverbee20
    ecoverbee20
    I agree its all about the top 10. Its taken me 2 /12 months to get to top 3 with 489,000 competition with backlinks.

    When people say dont use keywords under 30,000 I never listen, its all about how much time and effort you put into getting there.

    thanks
    andy
  • Profile picture of the author terryd
    terryd
    I agree as well, the number of competitors doesn't mean much to me anymore, as you said it's the competition on the first page that determines whether or not I will go for it.

    The best thing about it is that if you have Market Samurai you can tell all this at the push of a button!
  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Adam Roy
    Market samurai is certainly great to use. However, adding SEOquake and some backlink plugin to your browser works just as well.
  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    cashcow
    This is such great advice - I use a similar method myself, but I must say I like your criteria a lot .... I actually hadn't broken mine down into those areas (I just kind of looked for more green and yellow than pink in MS!).

    The thing is that by discarding keywords based on allintitle or "results in quotes" you could really miss out on a Gem of a keyword.

    Lee
  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Adam Roy
    It's almost unbelievable how much emphasis people put on that number. The number of competing pages.

    It's all about the competition of the page 1 ranked websites, nothing more nothing less really.

    It's almost like the number of competing pages is what determines whether or not some people EVEN CHECK OUT the competition on page one.

    So many beginners will look to these big internet marketers and see this "how many competitors" number, and start missing out on the huge ocean of keywords that you actually can rank for, regardless of that little number.

    I almost think this is a tactic of the big shots to keep the newbies from outranking where their websites really are

    But I don't know, that's just me.
  • Profile picture of the author thobbs31
    thobbs31
    It has basically been said in several posts in this thread. Whether there are 100 or 1 million results, you are only competing with 10. Those 10 are the only ones that matter. Focus your efforts there, and you'll be surprised how quickly you move up.

    That said, it gets tougher the closer you get to that top 10. That doesn't mean throw in the towel, that means refocus your efforts and keep moving. The work you have done has shown results. Keep doing it. Keep digging. Keep moving.

    -Tom
  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    AlphaWarrior
    Originally Posted by friend View Post

    • Competitors on page 1 have page ranks between 0-4, a good mix is best.
    • Competitors on page 1 have less than 100 backlinks to the particular page which is ranking in the SERPS, not total number of backlinks to the site.
    • Competitors on page 1 have the keyword phrase missing in at least 3 of these 4 places, title tag - description tag - keyword tag - alt tag
    • Competitors on page 1 have domain ages of less than 4 years
    • Some competitors on page 1 are articles and/or web 2.0 sites
    • No competitor on page 1 has an exact domain match for your keyword.

    Thanks for the GREAT info.

    I do have a question. Is there a number that you use as a guide to determine if the competition is easy or tough? In other words, if 3 of the first 10 are articles or web 2.0 sites, do you look at it as being easy or tough? If 5 of the first 10 have the keyword phrase in the title tag, description tag, and keyword tag, do you look at as being easy or tough?
  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Adam Roy
    Everything I've mentioned should be taken into account.

    I personally believe that outranking articles and web 2.0 is easy. Why? Because it's easy to check and simply outdo the on page seo, and all you have to do is have more backlinks.

    Believe it or not, sometimes if an article is on page 1 for your term, you can write an article super optimized the best you can for the same term. Then simply get more backlinks than the existing article.

    With some time you should see results.
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    timpears
    Originally Posted by prtt75 View Post

    Thank you for the great information but i still would want to see how long it would take me to bring my site on Page 1 for my target keywords before spending time optimizing it, thus, i try to look for the number of competing pages first by typing the kw with quotes or using intitle search.
    It doesn't matter if there are a thousand, or ten million sites that come up for that key word. The only ones that you have to beat out are the ones on page one. They already did a better job than all of the others, so if you can do a better job then them, you win. It is as simple as that.
  • Profile picture of the author NiyazK
    NiyazK
    Excellent Post.. Also you should see that the top 10 result doesnt have any Top Level domain. If it does have then it shouldnt have high backlinks and pagerank and be well established. You may see TLD's In the top 10 but some have very few or no backlinks at all...
  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Adam Roy
    Originally Posted by NiyazK View Post

    Excellent Post.. Also you should see that the top 10 result doesnt have any Top Level domain. If it does have then it shouldnt have high backlinks and pagerank and be well established. You may see TLD's In the top 10 but some have very few or no backlinks at all...
    This is true, I have updated the thread to clarify. I must have left that out. Thanks.
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by friend View Post

    It's almost unbelievable how much emphasis people put on that number. The number of competing pages.

    It's all about the competition of the page 1 ranked websites, nothing more nothing less really.

    It's almost like the number of competing pages is what determines whether or not some people EVEN CHECK OUT the competition on page one.
    The sad news is that I have been stating that for the better part of a year and every week there are two or three posts back with that criteria for competing pages. Fantastic post.

    Never wrote it myself but I too look at the presence of an article directory page showing up in the first page as a big sign of hope. The only exception is when the article has managed to get a number of its own backlinks.
  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Adam Roy
    Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

    Never wrote it myself but I too look at the presence of an article directory page showing up in the first page as a big sign of hope. The only exception is when the article has managed to get a number of its own backlinks.
    All you need in this case Mike, is MORE backlinks to YOUR article...if you write one.
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    JohnMcCabe
    Nice breakdown, well laid out.

    I do think there's the danger of introducing another absolute to replace the old "number og pages in quotes", though.

    There are people in the world who do actually look on page 2 and even page 3 when they don't find what they want on page 1. It depends on the term, though.

    If you're trying to rank for "buy cheap brain surgery", page one is where you want to be, for sure.

    If you're targeting something a step or two back in the buying process, and there's enough search volume, the top of page 2 could be almost as good as the bottom of page 1.

    I know that if I was selling a guide to, say, affiliate marketing, I would not carp about being somewhere on page 2 or 3 for "make money online"...
  • Profile picture of the author bfas
    bfas
    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    Nice breakdown, well laid out.

    I do think there's the danger of introducing another absolute to replace the old "number og pages in quotes", though.

    There are people in the world who do actually look on page 2 and even page 3 when they don't find what they want on page 1. It depends on the term, though.

    If you're trying to rank for "buy cheap brain surgery", page one is where you want to be, for sure.

    If you're targeting something a step or two back in the buying process, and there's enough search volume, the top of page 2 could be almost as good as the bottom of page 1.

    I know that if I was selling a guide to, say, affiliate marketing, I would not carp about being somewhere on page 2 or 3 for "make money online"...
    I disagree.

    98% of the clickthroughs happen on the first page. Of that, appx. 50% click on the first listing, another 25% on the 2nd or 3rd, and the balance divided among the remaining 7, in descending order.

    Very few click through to Page 2 - it isn't the same as the bottom of Page 1.

    If you are going after a market based on keyword phrases, you want to be on Page 1, and once there you want to reach the top half of the page.

    The rest is crumbs.

    bfas

Related discussions