Thus people are searching frantically for nuggets of gold keyword terms with 50,000 or less competing pages right and left. Many will overlook completely keyword phrases that may have 15,000 unique searches p/day because that term also has 500,000 competing pages or more feeling the competition is too strong and they move on to the next.
As traffic is the ultimate goal, many people are mistakenly skipping phrases that they should be capitalizing on simply because of the number of competing pages. This is a mistake.
Remember this Golden Rule of Keyword Research:
You Can Beat 'Em All!"
The number of competing pages is a guide post at best. Just the other day I found a keyword phrase for a well known product that has 24,000,000 competing pages. This term get over 100,000 searches p/day and Market Samurai estimates that if you were #1 for this term you would get 70,000 hits p/day.
The traffic to this keyword is saturated with buyers and the Average Adwords CPC is $3.00. Good numbers for a site in the Top 3 for this keyword if you are working Adsense.
Here's the kicker. Out of the Top 10, three of these sites had a PR of 3 or less. Three others were Amazon/Wikipedia/Ebay style entries which are, by default, easily unseated by a targeted niche site because of the diversity of those sites.
That leaves the field wide open for exploitation for an authority site to come in and take Top 3 honors (#1 is not possible as it is the brand name for the product) in 4 months or less with a fair amount of time/work invested.
I'm already on it.
Anyway...before you write off a keyword phrase because of the number of competing pages, run the Phrase through Market Samurai's SEO Comp function to see how entrenched the Top 10 really are.