Keyword Research , Could I Be Wrong ?

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Now a lot of article marketers will tell you to find the search terms with the lowest competition. They instruct you to conduct your searches in double quotes " search term".

This will show you the number of pages for the exact search term .


A lot will tell you to keep this actual competition below 20,000.


They are wrong .


What if you only have 20 competitors , but they are all experienced marketers with a lot of back links and other proven glue ?


What if the keyword is dominated by static sites or 2.0 sites .? Will your articles rank if you no other articles are ?


Would we be better off to tackle a term that is showing 500,000 competition but are using articles to rank several of the top spots ?


Just sayin.
#keyword #research #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
    Troy,

    You are absolutely right - and what you just said is something that I've been preaching for a little over a year now.

    Number of sites inside or outside of quotes means absolutely nothing. Sure, it might give you a good guideline to go by, but in the "big picture" it means nothing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    I shot 3 different videos this morning on the topic of keyword research, each about 20 minutes long and I tossed them all.

    The rest of the day went all down hill from there.

    There are so many ways to go about it, and I have so many methods and angles depending on what I'm trying to accomplish.

    My product I'm trying to put together is not all about keyword research and I began to realize the video to cover this one topic alone would be like 24 hours long. lol

    No, you are not wrong. Well, not about this anyway.
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
      Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post


      No, you are not wrong. Well, not about this anyway.
      I know I am wrong ... But You Aint Right ... Kid Rock

      Birthday Wishes to my evil twin
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post


        Birthday Wishes to my evil twin
        I just had some of my left over red velvet cake. Washing it down now with some vodka and cranberry pommegranite club soda.

        Tomorrow I will have to bite the bullet and find a way I am comfortable with discussing keyword research in a mild way that will be helpful somehow and hope to do it in 10 minutes or less.

        I honestly use like 10 different approaches and usually it has to do with which way the wind is blowing and what color my drink is that day.

        No rhyme or reason.

        Sounds terrible.

        Sometimes the job can be done in minutes and sometimes I'll spend hours digging.

        My search today had inconclusive results for the majority of terms it tossed out.

        Meanwhile back at the ranch, everybody and his brother is bidding on things that have no track record - and should!

        I think "G" was holding out on me.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          There's a more compelling reason that many teachers of keyword research hand out these rules...

          Their students demand them.

          If you try to explain that there are several different ways to tell if something is "too competitive", they get that deer in the headlights look and you are driving the oncoming van.

          But if you say something like "put the keyword in quotes and do a search - if the number of results is below X, go for it and if it's higher, skip it" they're happy.

          If they have an ounce of brains and ambition, they'll keep at it until it starts to sink in that there may be exceptions to the rules.
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        • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
          Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post

          Tomorrow I will have to bite the bullet and find a way I am comfortable with discussing keyword research in a mild way that will be helpful somehow and hope to do it in 10 minutes or less.
          Here's how I did it - by talking about performing ferrets.
          http://TheInternetBloke.com/Keywords.pdf
          (No signup, obstacle course, or pint of blood needed)

          Perhaps it may give you some ideas.

          cheers,
          Eric G.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

    They are wrong ... Just sayin.
    I love it when highly respected marketers come out and say things in public that I've been whispering in dark corners for months.

    Here's the analogy that I like to use.

    It doesn't matter how deep the water is, because you're only using the top of it anyway.

    If you're out swimming, does it get harder to swim when the water is deep? Of course not. Water is water. Swimming is swimming. Nothing changes.

    And every parent has heard it repeated over and over again: it is entirely possible to drown in less than a foot of water. Parents always take this as "don't leave your children alone in the bathtub!" which is precisely the point, but it applies here, too: you can fall over and die in the SERPs even if there are only five other competitors.

    And, of course, when there are sharks in the water it's a much worse idea to go swimming there.
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    • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      It doesn't matter how deep the water is, because you're only using the top of it anyway.

      If you're out swimming, does it get harder to swim when the water is deep? Of course not. Water is water. Swimming is swimming. Nothing changes.
      Ain't you never swam in the ocean or a big river, son? Swim out about 100 yards in the ocean and just tread water for about 20 minutes. Then enjoy your long walk back to wherever you left your blanket and your babe. Cause the ocean doesn't just wash in and wash out in straight line.

      And you'll get to be one of them big river cat's food for the day when you try swimming across the Mississippi River.

      One word for you: undertow. Now THERE'S the perfect analogy for this here discussion... UNDERTOW!
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post


        One word for you: undertow. Now THERE'S the perfect analogy for this here discussion... UNDERTOW!


        I walked in about 3 feet of water with a strong undertow - that can kill you. Knocked me over and sucked me in.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

        Ain't you never swam in the ocean or a big river, son?
        Boy, don't you sass me. If you too stupid to know how far you can swim, 'tain't my problem.

        And if y'all think you can just swim out into them page 1 SERPs and tread water, y'all can start to thinkin' 'bout the tortoise and the hare while you do it.

        Analogy holds: swim all the way acrost deep water, y'all fine; swim out in deep water and stop, y'all in trouble.

        'Specially with them sharks, 'cos if you ain't movin', they gon' show up soon or later.
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        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author Derek_Thomas
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      It doesn't matter how deep the water is, because you're only using the top of it anyway.


      And, of course, when there are sharks in the water it's a much worse idea to go swimming there.

      This is officially my favorite quote of the day.

      I've used something familiar...Would you rather swim with 50,000 sharks with no teeth, or 10 sharks with teeth?

      I like your quote better

      Off swimming now,
      Derek
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    • Profile picture of the author petelta
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      It doesn't matter how deep the water is, because you're only using the top of it anyway.
      Hah, great analogy. Perfect for the situation too.

      Travis
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      • Profile picture of the author imintern
        I totally agree with Troy. Last year my friend (I helped her) was delighted to find a keyword with competition which was then around 23000 and searches a little more than 300/day. And the site hit the 1st page of Google in 8 weeks but eventually failed to go past the #3 position. The top 2 positions are occupied by 2 niche marketing affiliates who are just not ready to give them away. They do everything to keep their positions intact and their domains are older than my friends. No matter what we do those to seem to have answers to that. My friend has to be contented with the third spot with occasional sales if she is not outranked by a couple of YouTube videos from time to time.

        So, is it impossible to rank #1 or #2 for that keyword? Probably not (if we consider it technically). But is it going to be easy? . . . Nahh
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        • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
          Originally Posted by imintern View Post

          I totally agree with Troy. Last year my friend (I helped her) was delighted to find a keyword with competition which was then around 23000 and searches a little more than 300/day. And the site hit the 1st page of Google in 8 weeks but eventually failed to go past the #3 position. The top 2 positions are occupied by 2 niche marketing affiliates who are just not ready to give them away. They do everything to keep their positions intact and their domains are older than my friends. No matter what we do those to seem to have answers to that. My friend has to be contented with the third spot with occasional sales if she is not outranked by a couple of YouTube videos from time to time.

          So, is it impossible to rank #1 or #2 for that keyword? Probably not (if we consider it technically). But is it going to be easy? . . . Nahh
          That is why I have pretty much went to search terms my research shows I can compete for with no less than 1000 estimated searches a day .

          Think about getting a paid link from Yahoo. Google loves it . Might be what puts you over the top.

          Just remember , going with Matt's numbers is giving around 6 visitors a day .

          Thats why I go for 1000 min. Although for my sites . Number one spot for 1000 estimated a day usually pans out to around 330 a day .
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          • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
            Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

            Just remember , going with Matt's numbers is giving around 6 visitors a day .
            Those numbers change each month and they also change by niche or search.

            Say someone is searching for "how to stop a water leak fast" then the number of searches that are interrupted and didn't continue is a lot higher.

            Or, "how to find more information on dog grooming without sales sites" means that the number of people that usually go to the second page has just jumped up.

            It's always a good idea to get into the head of the searcher. Ask yourself "what are they thinking right now"?

            This goes back to knowing your market.

            If someone types in "Britney Spears" they are probably looking for pics or general inforamtion like a "fan site".

            But if they type in "Britney Spears Baby One More Time" then they want the music. Probably a free download or listen.

            "Brittany Spears Curious" is the fragrance she created. Now you can sell something.
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            • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
              My latest long tail venture started out at 1000 searches a day and has went to 1750 in the last two months


              Originally Posted by Matt M View Post

              Those numbers change each month and they also change by niche or search.

              Say someone is searching for "how to stop a water leak fast" then the number of searches that are interrupted and didn't continue is a lot higher.

              Or, "how to find more information on dog grooming without sales sites" means that the number of people that usually go to the second page has just jumped up.

              It's always a good idea to get into the head of the searcher. Ask yourself "what are they thinking right now"?

              This goes back to knowing your market.

              If someone types in "Britney Spears" they are probably looking for pics or general inforamtion like a "fan site".

              But if they type in "Britney Spears Baby One More Time" then they want the music. Probably a free download or listen.

              "Brittany Spears Curious" is the fragrance she created. Now you can sell something.
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            • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
              Originally Posted by Matt M View Post

              If someone types in "Britney Spears" they are probably looking for pics or general inforamtion like a "fan site".

              But if they type in "Britney Spears Baby One More Time" then they want the music. Probably a free download or listen.

              "Brittany Spears Curious" is the fragrance she created. Now you can sell something.
              This is why keyword research is overrated.

              Nobody says this out loud in their KW research tutorial.

              If you don't grasp this concept, your KW research isn't worth a fart in a cyclone, no matter how many searches your term gets.
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              "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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              • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
                Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                This is why keyword research is overrated.

                Nobody says this out loud in their KW research tutorial.

                If you don't grasp this concept, your KW research isn't worth a fart in a cyclone, no matter how many searches your term gets.
                I will not disagree with you ( just yet ) but would really appreciate a concrete explanation to back it up .
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    When you read that kind of stuff, not you personally, Troy, you know better, but when we read those kind of numbers we have to keep in mind the numbers are just guidelines and are usually based on one person's experience. That's a good point for newbies to understand - guidelines are subjective and not absolute when it comes to marketing cutoff points. They may work well for one person, but not for another with a different skill set.

    Another good point you make is that with any technique, you may not be getting the whole picture. The marketer may not even know the whole picture, he or she may have just gotten lucky a few times and wrote up a method to sell. The truth is, a person can succeed and not know why they succeeded. Just reporting the steps taken can be deceiving. The point about the strength of competition illustrates this well. Someone could follow those exact guidelines and do well, or fail, because they don't take in strength of competition, SEO, or other factors. So the lesson is, always look for ways to improve a method and gain an edge.

    I guess another lesson is if you try one marketing method and don't succeed, the marketer who sold you his system isn't necessarily a scam artist. He may have succeeded doing exactly what he teaches, but he succeeded because of factors he's not aware of so he couldn't write about them.
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  • Profile picture of the author KateD
    Hey Guys,


    I believe that keyword research is moving into a multi-step process. Sure, you want to find as many relevant high search/low competition keyword phrases that you can for you niche.

    However, if you are going to use a certain keyword phrase in your domain name or your site/blog content, it's becoming a very wise decision to see what the first page competition is for that keyword phrase (ie. the top ten listing that show up in Google's search engine results).

    Even if the potential keyword phrase has low competition, you are still going to have trouble ranking for it (effectively) if the first page competition is filled with powerful authority sites.

    Checking the first page competition is becoming a neccessity.

    Much Success,

    KateD
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
      Originally Posted by KateD View Post

      Checking the first page competition is becoming a neccessity.
      IMHO It's always been a necessity

      cheers,
      Eric G.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    So what you are getting at Troy, is you can find low hanging fruit on the apple tree in the back yard, and also the ones in the large orchard. Just make there are not too many other people picking the apples.

    But, don't you also agree with John's point, there is a bit of undertow with the volume of sites? While you can reach the front page with proper effort by focusing on beating the sites in the top ten, it may take you longer to get the high ranking position than when you shoot for the lower volume categories.

    The important thing I take from your idea, don't overlook phrases with higher numbers of pages, and search volumes, evaluate the strength of the competition. You could be overlooking major opportunity.
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
      I agree with John ( I mean he is a deity ) but you have to take into consideration, out of 500,000 pages , less that 20,000 have any idea of what is going on .

      And no ... I don't have any solid numbers to back that up . Definite case of my mouth overloading my a$$ lol

      Originally Posted by KansasDragon View Post

      So what you are getting at Troy, is you can find low hanging fruit on the apple tree in the back yard, and also the ones in the large orchard. Just make there are not too many other people picking the apples.

      But, don't you also agree with John's point, there is a bit of undertow with the volume of sites? While you can reach the front page with proper effort by focusing on beating the sites in the top ten, it may take you longer to get the high ranking position than when you shoot for the lower volume categories.

      The important thing I take from your idea, don't overlook phrases with higher numbers of pages, and search volumes, evaluate the strength of the competition. You could be overlooking major opportunity.
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  • Profile picture of the author fredjr1978
    wow 20,000....I personally think event that i to high. I usually stay below 5,000....3,000 if I really want to rank fast. Now, to answer your question....the comp. is just ONE step of the keyword formula. You also want to check for number of links and also even the amount of ads that there are being advertised on this keyword...this will let you know if people are even advertising in this keyword, if not...then there is probably a reason.

    You can of course do a lot of this research with just a few clicks if you can afford to purchase the software...example is Market Samari.

    My point is, you will need to do your research on more than just the level of competition before just moving forward with that keyword. As I have always heard and repeated myself, a successful campaign is setup with good keyword research!

    Happy hunting..
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
      Originally Posted by fredjr1978 View Post

      wow 20,000....I personally think event that i to high. I usually stay below 5,000....3,000
      Is that a month?

      Why go through so much trouble to put up a site that is only going to get a few hits a day?
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      • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
        Originally Posted by Matt M View Post

        Why go through so much trouble to put up a site that is only going to get a few hits a day?
        Because you also need to consider the return on what you are selling.
        If you're making say, $100 on a sale, it's worthwhile spending time on a site that gets a few visits a day.

        If you're getting 10 cents per sale, it's probably not.

        cheers, Eric G.
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        • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
          Originally Posted by Eric Graudins View Post

          Because you also need to consider the return on what you are selling.
          If you're making say, $100 on a sale, it's worthwhile spending time on a site that gets a few visits a day.
          Eric I hear you but you and I know that most of the people here at the forum are selling products between $17 and $47.

          Then they are told to go for 3000 searches a month so it comes out to 100 a day.

          But most people here are NOT told about user search data.

          Not everyone who types in a search term (keyword) and hits the "Search" button go on to click on any of the site links that come up.

          There is a percentage of people that realize that they made a mistake, or the phone rings, or any number of other reasons to stop them from continuing with that search.

          So the "Monthly Search Volume" will show you a number but there is around 4% - 8% that never continue their search. So you need to subtract those from the monthly totals.

          Just to be safe, I deduct 10%.

          Then out of the 90% that actually click on a link at the search results page almost another 12% turn to the second page of the results.

          Of the 78% that click on the front page, 70% of the clicks go to the top three listings and the rest trickle down the remaining 7 spots out of the 10 on the front page.

          That is around 8% that 7 people are competing for. If your site description was like a "killer headline" and got half of those people, you are still only talking about 4%. It is safer to think of 2%.

          Now you can see that it is ridiculous to expect to get 100 hits a day from a term that gets around 3000 searches a month.

          Try to think of your site getting 2% of the search numbers when you do your keyword research and you will not be disappointed and surprised when your visitors start showing up.

          These numbers are rough estimates based on information found on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) sites throughout the web. Overall search numbers are constantly changing and if you want to learn more about this you can do a search for Search Data, User Search Data, and similar searches.

          But remember that no matter how much the data changes from month to month, you will never get 100% of the searches.

          So 2% of 3000 is 60 a month. Not all 60 are going to buy because the industry average for sales page conversions is around 2%. But most of the crappy Clickbank products barely convert at 1%.

          So around a sale a month would be good for some of these people.

          This is why everyone is coming in here and crying that they are not making any sales.

          Everyone has this fantasy that all 3000 people are going straight to their site and all 3000 are supposed to buy so we keep hearing the newbie cry "dude, where's my money"?
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      • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
        Originally Posted by Matt M View Post

        Is that a month?

        Why go through so much trouble to put up a site that is only going to get a few hits a day?
        I will build sub-pages for keywords that only get 10 searches a day . I also understand that ten estimated searches could be 25 actual or 1 .

        Edit ... I think he is talking competition level
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
      Originally Posted by fredjr1978 View Post

      wow 20,000....I personally think event that i to high. I usually stay below 5,000....3,000 if I really want to rank fast.

      Happy hunting..
      I have ranked number one for over 1 million in less than a week. With a pr0 site .


      Admittedly , I have failed to rank on sites that showed less than 5,000 actual.

      That is why I never guarantee my clients first page rankings . Sometimes those words you know you can rank for bite you in the butt.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Regardless of how you do your keyword research, if you want to be in business and you want to make a profit, then quit shooting yourself in the foot trying to get the least amount of traffic that you can get away with.

    You want to go where the river of money is (for those analogies above) and jump in.

    Learn how to swim. If you can't swim, get out of the water.
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
      Originally Posted by Matt M View Post

      Regardless of how you do your keyword research, if you want to be in business and you want to make a profit, then quit shooting yourself in the foot trying to get the least amount of traffic that you can get away with.

      You want to go where the river of money is (for those analogies above) and jump in.

      Learn how to swim. If you can't swim, get out of the water.
      Matt ... you are getting all my thanks quota with these nuggets. Thanks for the useful replies .
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Here is how you compete.

    Go into a profitable market (plenty of searches) and you create a niche.

    I will use offline examples since most Internet newbies have at least some experience with these businesses.

    Market - clothes, Niche men's clothes, Sub Niche big and tall men's clothes.

    Now create a USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

    price - (lower than competition, discounts for seniors, students)
    service - (special fittings, hours, tailor on call)
    package - (variety of hard to find colors, bonus vest)

    Mix and match - lower price + hard to find colors

    You have just entered into a competitive market and created a niche with your USP and trimmed the competition away.

    Now you "target" your market audience - students, seniors, and anyone that wants variety.

    Matt's Big and Tall "Student and Senior Discounts Everyday" "We also have styles and colors you can't find anywhere else".

    Now you have just entered a very competitive market and you own a corner of it.

    Does this mean that you will only get students and seniors? No. You will get other big and tall customers but you have virtually no advertising competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Caliban, that doesn't make keyword research overrated. It makes it essential! Nobody says it's enough just to find keywords that get X searches and X competition. They have to be keywords that are likely to produce the right kind of visitors, too. As Matt nicely illustrated by making us all think about Britney and her amazing body. Well, before she went insane anyway.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      Well, before she went insane anyway.
      When she went insane she looked very similar to someone in this very thread.

      Not going to mention any names, John (Zeus66)

      Yeah I know you all thought I was talking about Caliban.

      That's not insane. That's maniacal.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      Nobody says it's enough just to find keywords that get X searches and X competition. They have to be keywords that are likely to produce the right kind of visitors, too.
      How do you identify those?

      Make that into a WSO, and you'll quite likely end up rich.

      But you can't, can you? The important part is too complicated, too hard to teach. Nobody says it's enough. They just don't teach anything else. They don't write about anything else. And then people like you come along and say "it's easy, get the tools, take the course, it's just simple as hell."

      No. It's not. The part that isn't easy, that the tools can't do, that the course doesn't teach - that's the same thing they could never teach in sales training back in the 1980s. They could teach you how to sit in front of people and show them the product, sure. But they couldn't teach you how to read your prospect and address his objections before he ever said anything about them. The only way to learn that was experience.

      Don't get me wrong, this isn't because people don't want to teach it. They literally can't. They don't really understand it; they're too busy doing it to analyse what exactly it is they're doing. Just like any player turned coach: just because you know how to play the game doesn't mean you know how to tell other people how to play it.

      So you have to pick one side of the coin. Either keyword research is what people teach, in which case it's overrated, or it's what people do - in which case it's not being taught effectively.

      I don't think the part that isn't taught effectively is actually research. If it was, it would be scientific, and we could write it down.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

        I will not disagree with you ( just yet ) but would really appreciate a concrete explanation to back it up .
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        This is why keyword research is overrated.

        Nobody says this out loud in their KW research tutorial.
        I'm going to say it today in my video tutorial I'm making - and I'm going to say where I got it from.

        I'm having such a blonde day. Who said it again? Oh yeah, it was John. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    For the record I'm with Jeremy and Caliban on this one. Overrated.

    As Caliban pointed to my Britney example would you rather have the "Britney Spears" traffic or the "Britney Spears Curious" traffic.

    Using another analogy I made a while back, would you like to have 100 people a day walking into your ice cream shop asking you where McDonald's is or would you rather have 10 people a day asking you what flavors of ice cream you sell.

    Just looking at numbers can get you into trouble.
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
      People often say that that traffic is EVERYTHING!

      So I ask them to imagine setting up a booth selling insurance in the flow of people heading for their seats at the superbowl.
      Plenty of traffic. And I ask them how many policies they think they'd sell.

      Usually the penny drops pretty quickly.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    High or decent amount of daily searches and lower amount of competition are just basic parameters for beginners.

    As far as I'm concerned, seeing authority sites like web 2.0, social bookmarking and article directories always show me that the keyword is profitable - there is money in it.

    And since every problem has a solution, you just devise a means to overcome the authority sites, if they are a problem, or look else where.

    EDIT: The authority sites are really a problem but you can solve it.
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  • Profile picture of the author KatyaSenina
    Hey Troy you're right. Low competiton terms aren't the best ones. With article marketing it doesn't really matter how much competition there is, as long as ezinearticles is on the first page! If the article has bad SEO, the better it is for you. You can easily outrank them. Though I would still try to avoid keyword terms with over 1.000.000 competitors. I think it's hard to rank for them with ezine.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
      Most of my years in business have been in the offline world and I have only ever entered competetive business, why? because that's where people are spending their money.

      In the offline world it's no different except everybody thinks the only way in is by competing with price, which although true in some (rare) cases it's not the way to compete, you will never be able to replicate what the competition do until you are as big as the competition. Most of them fail and most of them never look for another edge because they only listen to what everybody else tells them.

      There will always be a minority that prove you wrong but generally speaking ... no matter what you do, until your one of the big guns you're only way in is to find an edge. If everyone else is doing it then it's not an edge.

      Lee
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    The other side of the coin would be Adsense and similar sites that sell advertising. Again, you would think that you are doing better to go for the low hanging fruit but why?

    The usual answer is the competition is too hard to get on the front page for "Britney Spears" so it is better to find a longtail like "Britney Spears can sing beautiful songs while dancing". This method would give you a greater chance at getting on the front page and as a result, more traffic.

    But going back to the search user data and the 12% that go to the second page results. Wouldn't 12% of the Pacific Ocean be far better than 100% of the Mississippi River?

    So this is another time when the numbers can get you into trouble. Sometimes it is easier and more advantages to be on the second page for a broad term than the low payoff for the front page for the longtail.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paleochora
    This is so refreshing to read a well-argued, polite and good natured thread about such a debatable topic.

    It has been airing and debating some things I had started suspecting for myself about the various methods of keyword research vs. plain old common sense (and why they do not always synchronise).

    For instance I do not really get the point of searching with " " to find the 'actual' competition as I see this as irrelevant. There are still the original number of search results that appeared without the " " to compete with anyway (if there were not, they wouldn't have shown on the search in the frst place) and who the hell serches with inverted commas? So it really doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    Just my 2c.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Paleochora View Post

      This is so refreshing to read a well-argued, polite and good natured thread about such a debatable topic.

      It has been airing and debating some things I had started suspecting for myself about the various methods of keyword research vs. plain old common sense (and why they do not always synchronise).

      For instance I do not really get the point of searching with " " to find the 'actual' competition as I see this as irrelevant. There are still the original number of search results that appeared without the " " to compete with anyway (if there were not, they wouldn't have shown on the search in the frst place) and who the hell serches with inverted commas? So it really doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

      Just my 2c.
      I'm with you. Finding civil, logical discussions on topics that often don't get them reminds me why I like this place so much.

      I'm one of those weird people who do search for things in quotes at times. I also use the + and - operators to narrow down my results.

      If it's something I really want to know, I'll tweak my search strings until I think I've got them as close as possible. Then I'm not afraid to go ten pages deep if I have to.

      That said, I will go three pages deep quite often and rarely more. So I tend to ignore competition beyond the first three pages. That gives me a max of 30 competitors in organic search. Add in up to 30 more paid ads, so I'm never competing for clicks with more than 60 pages. The number at the top of the screen is pretty meaningless.

      Notice, I said I was competing for clicks - not position. If I can land on page three for a term that ends up bringing me 50 visits a month, and #1 for another term that also brings me 50 visits a month, which one will I go for?

      Sorry, that was a trick question. The correct answer is both. I'll probably put more work into the page three listing, if it converts, because the upside potential from moving up the rankings is greater.

      Since I haven't been able to figure out how to get the electric company to accept a screen shot of a #1 ranking, or buy groceries with server hits, my whole objective is finding keywords I can convert to dollars - regardless of where Google thinks I should rank...
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      • Profile picture of the author petelta
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        my whole objective is finding keywords I can convert to dollars - regardless of where Google thinks I should rank...
        Perfectly said. This is how I've started to look at keywords the past couple months and boy have the conversions increased.

        I also write posts/articles on the other keywords in the niche because I like building big authority sites, but I focus my ranking efforts on the money keywords.

        The majority of my traffic comes from keywords on second page right now. They are really competitive keywords but they get 50k+ searches a month. In most cases, I've even found it easier for me to get to second page of a really competitive keyword then number 1 of an easy keyword.

        Travis
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    It can work well both ways. I think the key is finding the best fit for your own proclivities. I know myself well enough to know that I would need to be fitted for a straight jacket if I had to build up a large site and spend weeks and maybe months backlinking to rank for heavy duty keywords. The payoff may well be worth it for many others, but I'm not in business simply to make money. That's my main objective, of course, but if it's just about money then what a shi**y life to lead. I want to have fun and enjoy these years, too. I left corporate America to get away from all that other nonsense, not to swap it for the same feelings in my own home every day.

    I understand Matt's and Caliban's points. Instead of disagreeing, I'd say I agree but would not limit it to an exclusive agreement (if that makes sense). It's a roundabout way of saying there's more than one way to skin a cat. Sorry, I'm a dog person so that saying always gives me a chuckle. I'm evil that way.

    I just know that at as long as my business model relies to a significant extent on free traffic from Google, it's my duty to discover the words that people use to find stuff in my niche and put them in my pages so they rank high enough to snag some of that traffic. And I know that in almost every instance, I'll convert a lot more visitors into buyers if they come to my site from a search for "where to buy blue widgets" than I will from a search for "widgets." And finally, I know that in almost every case the amount of work I will need to put in to rank my site high for a phrase like "where to buy blue widgets" will be much less than the work needed to rank for "widgets."

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      Instead of disagreeing, I'd say I agree but would not limit it to an exclusive agreement (if that makes sense).
      John, I would like to say that even though I feel it's overrated that does not mean that I think it is useless.

      I believe it is valuable but I would like to see more time spent teaching people how to understand their market.

      Traffic for the sake of traffic is just running around in circles. But if one knew more about their potential customer then the keyword research becomes much more valuable.

      It could tell you which segment of your market is doing what and when. Like looking at the trends within your target audience.

      "How many of them buy in August as opposed to July". "If they are not buying in August, then what are they doing"...

      Once you know who your market is, then the numbers showing what they do becomes a flowchart showing when to work on the relationship and when to sell to them. Where to find them hanging out and what they read online.

      So, the research is not useless, but it is overrated in the context of everything a new marketer is being taught.
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  • Profile picture of the author Iamsarasmile
    This thread is very interesting....I read Eric Graudins keyword ebook and he stated "Google is in the business of trying to provide people with exactly the content they are seeking when a search term is typed into their browser." Yet in some cases when you type a keyword in you never get the information you're looking for.

    For instance - I was looking for fishing spots in St. Augustine, Fl and used that term (fishing spots in St. Augustine) and all I got was fishing charters boats, hotels and lake fishing. That's not what I'm looking for. There were pages and pages of tourist spots and none of it about fishing spots that wasn't commercial hotels or charter boats.

    For the keyword "surf fishing in St. Augustine" there were

    359,000 in quotes
    0 without quotes

    On just "fishing spots in St. Augustine" there were

    2 with quotes
    489,000 without quotes AND

    590 people search for it every month, according to Google search tool. (Keyword "surf fishing in Florida")

    To me, it says there is no surf fishing spots in St. Augustine yet I know there is. So, no one has ever written about it? What keyword do I use to find fishing spots in St. Augustine? Or what if I wanted to create a site about it? What keyword would I use? How would I go about finding the "right" keyword?

    Although there are plenty of keyword tutorials and many different ways of finding keywords, which one would you use to find the right one for a site you wanted to create? Just trying to learn keyword research but some times is so confusing....

    Sara
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    • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Iamsarasmile View Post

      This thread is very interesting....I read Eric Graudins keyword ebook and he stated "Google is in the business of trying to provide people with exactly the content they are seeking when a search term is typed into their browser." Yet in some cases when you type a keyword in you never get the information you're looking for.

      For instance - I was looking for fishing spots in St. Augustine, Fl and used that term (fishing spots in St. Augustine) and all I got was fishing charters boats, hotels and lake fishing. That's not what I'm looking for. There were pages and pages of tourist spots and none of it about fishing spots that wasn't commercial hotels or charter boats.

      For the keyword "surf fishing in St. Augustine" there were

      359,000 in quotes
      0 without quotes

      On just "fishing spots in St. Augustine" there were

      2 with quotes
      489,000 without quotes AND

      590 people search for it every month, according to Google search tool. (Keyword "surf fishing in Florida")

      To me, it says there is no surf fishing spots in St. Augustine yet I know there is. So, no one has ever written about it? What keyword do I use to find fishing spots in St. Augustine? Or what if I wanted to create a site about it? What keyword would I use? How would I go about finding the "right" keyword?

      Although there are plenty of keyword tutorials and many different ways of finding keywords, which one would you use to find the right one for a site you wanted to create? Just trying to learn keyword research but some times is so confusing....

      Sara
      Two things...

      1. Goggle is telling you that such information is not available on the Internet yet. So, you may provide such information if you feel like.

      2. Google is telling you that nobody is interested in searching for or providing such information.

      So, there's no exact searches, and there's no exact competition yet.
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    • Profile picture of the author petelta
      Originally Posted by Iamsarasmile View Post

      To me, it says there is no surf fishing spots in St. Augustine yet I know there is. So, no one has ever written about it? What keyword do I use to find fishing spots in St. Augustine? Or what if I wanted to create a site about it? What keyword would I use? How would I go about finding the "right" keyword?
      Well with only 500-600 searches per month, you aren't going to have many marketers going after that keyword phrase. The hotels and charter boats target those keywords because St. Augustine is a big vacation spot. So most people searching for fishing in that area are going to need a boat and maybe a hotel. Corporations like this go after every keyword out there.

      The only luck to find that keyword in other areas would be fishing enthusiasts that happen to of written an article for fishing in St. Augustine. And that article or post has to be better optimized for the keyword...which when people write for a hobby, There is very little luck to get something keyword optimized.

      Google can only give as much relevancy with an algorythm

      Travis
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  • Profile picture of the author Iamsarasmile
    Might be a good niche IF I find a good fishing spot. However, what type of keyword research would I do to find a keyword to start getting traffic? The keyword that gets 590 searches a month? Or another word altogether?

    Sara
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    • Profile picture of the author petelta
      Originally Posted by Iamsarasmile View Post

      Might be a good niche IF I find a good fishing spot. However, what type of keyword research would I do to find a keyword to start getting traffic? The keyword that gets 590 searches a month? Or another word altogether?

      Sara
      You could either get 1000 keywords that get searched 590 times a month to top spots of google, or you could get 10 keywords that get searched 59000 times a month there. Or best of all a combination of both.
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    Wow , look what you get for sleeping lol.

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread .

    There is some real nuggets here .

    To the poster that commented on our civil debate ... thank you .

    When I first came here, I knew I had the perfect system. The only one that would work.

    Didn't take me long to realize ... there is a lot more to IM than meets the eye .

    Just becausee something is perfect for me doesn't mean they will even work for one more person.

    Once one can cure their tunnel vision, certain marketers on the WF can and will give away nuggets , completely 180 degrees from your current mindset , that if applied , will see your profit margin elevating to heights once thought unattainable .

    That is why I never count anyone's opinion out on here .
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  • Profile picture of the author oggobis
    Nice read. I enjoyed it ",

    Just curious. What will happen when A has term of "Britney Spears can sing beautiful song while dancing", sit on first page, and B has the SAME term also. What outcome it would be?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by oggobis View Post

      Nice read. I enjoyed it ",

      Just curious. What will happen when A has term of "Britney Spears can sing beautiful song while dancing", sit on first page, and B has the SAME term also. What outcome it would be?
      It depends on a whole host of other factors. On-page seo, on-site seo, backlinks and several factors relating to links, content quantity, content quality, etc.
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      Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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