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I curious to see what sort of stats you all look for when doing keyword research. What range do you like to keep your search results between in the Global Monthly Searches and what is the maximum amount of competition will you go up against?

A lot of people use different numbers, so I was just wondering what yours are.
#keyword #research
  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I have found Keyword Discovery is useful, but quite expensive. There are many users. Most of the free tools are not that great. Word tracker is also a favorite of mine. The key is to find common phrases that have less than 100,000 in competition.

    Of these focus on those that have over 1000 searches per month. I need approx 100 searches to make the keyword worthwhile, but instead of creating a separate page for each keyword I can dump several similar ones into one page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    Originally Posted by mikescos View Post

    what is the maximum amount of competition will you go up against?
    To me, the number of competing sites isn't actually relevant.

    I'm competing with only the top 5 of them. If I can't reasonably foresee getting a site in the top half of the first page, I won't compete.

    So all that matters to me is the quality of the SEO of those top few sites. Those are my only real competitors.

    I'd rather compete with 50,000,000 others of whom the top 5 sites include "nothing special" and "article directory articles" and so on, than compete with 5,000 sites of which the whole of the first page (as can happen) comprises age-old, high-PR authority sites each with hundreds of thousands of backlinks from other high-quality, well-ranked sites, because I've no chance against that.

    In short, I'm competing with about 5 sites, either way, and it makes absolutely no difference to me whether there are 4,995 more sites after them, or 49,999,995 more.

    Just my perspective.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryu
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      To me, the number of competing sites isn't actually relevant.

      I'm competing with only the top 5 of them. If I can't reasonably foresee getting a site in the top half of the first page, I won't compete.

      So all that matters to me is the quality of the SEO of those top few sites. Those are my only real competitors.

      I'd rather compete with 50,000,000 others of whom the top 5 sites include "nothing special" and "article directory articles" and so on, than compete with 5,000 sites of which the whole of the first page (as can happen) comprises age-old, high-PR authority sites each with hundreds of thousands of backlinks from other high-quality, well-ranked sites, because I've no chance against that.

      In short, I'm competing with about 5 sites, either way, and it makes absolutely no difference to me whether there are 4,995 more sites after them, or 49,999,995 more.

      Just my perspective.
      Yo Lexa thanks for the post, because I never really looked at it that way. I'm having a hard time trying to get my site in the top 5. I'm stuck at #9. I have a wiki.answers and ehow,holding down the top 2 position, so getting anyone of those spots will be super tough.

      I also like to check out the number 10 site on the first page. This will tell me how easy it will be able to land the first page, and then once I'm there I focus on the top 3.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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        Originally Posted by Ryu View Post

        I have a wiki.answers and ehow,holding down the top 2 position, so getting anyone of those spots will be super tough.
        For me, that's just about the "deciding line". I'll normally do it if I think I can get to number 3; not if I can only get to number 4. I know the average "proportion of traffic" difference between those two positions is only small (and, of course, variable according to what's above them), but that's just my personal preference, given that the type of niches I find myself looking at seem somehow to have broadly similar quantities of "available traffic".

        Originally Posted by Ryu View Post

        I also like to check out the number 10 site on the first page. This will tell me how easy it will be able to land the first page, and then once I'm there I focus on the top 3.
        Yes, I do it very similarly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post


      In short, I'm competing with about 5 sites, either way, and it makes absolutely no difference to me whether there are 4,995 more sites after them, or 49,999,995 more.

      Just my perspective.
      On the money. This whole strategy of looking at the word count in a search was just something some guru came up with to sell products. The number that comes back in a search is no different than the number of times you find the word fish in Moby Dick. Its a count of the amount of times a word appears NOT who is actually trying to rank for the word.
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      • Profile picture of the author simpleonline1234
        I am going to agree with the two on the top 5 sites.

        To break it down to you how my mentor taught me was use the Google Adword Tool and search by "Exact" and from highest to lowest on Global Search colum.

        From there I can see if there is even enough search volume for me to want to get my hands dirty.

        I will take on anything with search volume 5k and above for monthly searches. Anything under that is just not worth it to me unless I am sure that I can convert on those lower numbbers.

        Now that I have a good amount of folks searching for those keywords I turn my attention to the Adsense payout (if you are going to promote Adsense). Anything above $1 is good for me.

        I next will see how many people are fighting over those keywords in the Google adsense competion level. Anything 95% (3/4) full I'm all for it.

        I head on over to Spyfu.com to see how many exact people are advertising those numbers. Anything over 5 people and I'm good.

        Roll on over to godaddy or who ever is your favorite domain purchase site and see if you can get an EMD (exact match domain) for the keywords. If the .com is take try .net if that's taken last resort try .info. If all of those are taken then you can resort to placing another word at "the end" of the domain like blackrunningshoesreivews rather than blackrunningshoes. So your straight knowing that you can purchase the domain.

        Now that you know you have enough people searching for the keywords, and you know that 5 people will pay you $1 per click in the number #1 spot in Google it's time to access the competition level of the niche.

        Here is where a lot of people get things all murked up. It doesn't matter if there is 10 sites or 1 trillion sites competing for those keywords because you are only really concerned with the top 5 or top 10 of those results. The rest of them are not important because you are not trying to take their spot you are trying to take the #1 spot.

        Access the competition to see if they are using an EMD domain. EMD only helps you slightly in the serps but then again it's really all those little things that put you where you need to be anyway.

        Next check the page that is listed in the number 1 - 10 spot (not the entire site) and see why Google placed them there. Here's a few things to ask yourself.
        1. Where they optimized for the keyword you found them with or did they happen to rank for the keyword by accident. (this matters because the backlink anchor text will not be optimized for the keyword and this works in your favor)
        2. How many quality backlinks does that page have? This can be seen roughly (no search engine is going to give all the amount of backlinks because it's would punch holes in their security revealing their algo) using yahoo site explorer (this site reveals the most of the backlinks out of the other search engines). When your viewing those backlinks what's the pr of those backlinks? Are they relevant to the topic in anyway? Running shoes getting backlinks from one billion pizza companies isn't as strong at 1000 backlinks from shoe sites. Remember that every link will bring it's own strength over to the site so using some software to review those backlinks can help you determine how strong that page is. Also is majority of the links coming from inside the website itself? This can be because it's ranking off it's authority of the entire overall. Amzon, Walmart, etc.
        3. How old is the site? Older sites are now starting to get a boost in the SERPS for some reason. Not sure as to why though.
        Run those again the top 5 in Google and if you think you can do everything they have going for them and some then toss the site up and see what you can do.

        UPDATE: Also remember that Google doesn't rank websites in Google they rank webpages so every page will rank indepently to each other but if you play your cards correctly and spread that link juice through the site then all your pages will rise faster.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Baker
    Let's say you were trying to teach a newbie about keyword research and using Google Adwords Keyword tool? Would you recommend a Global Monthly Search result with more than 1,000 and no more than 30,000 as well as less than 50,000 competing site by doing a broad keyword search?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by mikescos View Post

      Let's say you were trying to teach a newbie about keyword research and using Google Adwords Keyword tool? Would you recommend a Global Monthly Search result with more than 1,000 and no more than 30,000 as well as less than 50,000 competing site by doing a broad keyword search?
      No, I certainly wouldn't be teaching anyone to make decisions according to the number of competing sites when that, in itself, doesn't affect them at all!

      What matters is the quality of the SEO of the top few: that's what determines whether you can displace them in the SERP's, isn't it?
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      • Profile picture of the author mrgee
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        No, I certainly wouldn't be teaching anyone to make decisions according to the number of competing sites when that, in itself, doesn't affect them at all!

        What matters is the quality of the SEO of the top few: that's what determines whether you can displace them in the SERP's, isn't it?
        Newbie here..
        How can one ascertain the SEO of the top few..?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Baker
    That's absolutely right. But I'm thinking back to the first time I was shown about keyword research and that was what I was taught. I have since become familiar with studying the top 10 results to see if I can outrank them, but I am trying to find a way to tell a complete newbie the easiest way to find a keyword that they will be able to hopefully rank #1 with.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      Originally Posted by mikescos View Post

      I'm thinking back to the first time I was shown about keyword research and that was what I was taught.
      Me too. We were all taught a lot of things that turned out to be nonsense, weren't we?

      Originally Posted by mikescos View Post

      I am trying to find a way to tell a complete newbie the easiest way to find a keyword that they will be able to hopefully rank #1 with.
      I'd tell them, above all, to assess the quality of SEO of the top 5 listings, regardless of their number. Who cares whether their only 5 real competitors are followed by 1,000 others or 10,000,000 others? That can't affect their success.
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  • Profile picture of the author smartatthestart
    One thing that might help you understand the top sites is to check out cherry picker by Ryan Deiss. This is a free download which is awesome and helps you see what the competition looks like for the top 10, 20, and 30 sites. That way you can explain to a newbie that if they want to be at the top of the heap for a specific keyword, here is your competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author rapidscc
    Alexa is right, it's not about how many results are returned but by how strong the first page competition is.

    If the average pagerank of sites in the first page is 4 and up it will usually take you a lot of effort to get there...

    Also, it's quite hard to find keywords with around 100,000 results these days. Unless you are looking at keywords that are basically worthless.

    Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Baker
    I just realized I forgot to mention this keyword research is for finding a domain name.
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    • Profile picture of the author r3000
      is there backlink threshold on the first 5 or 10 google results that signals whether or not it's worth going after a particular keyword/niche?
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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        Originally Posted by r3000 View Post

        is there backlink threshold on the first 5 or 10 google results that signals whether or not it's worth going after a particular keyword/niche?
        Unfortunately, it's not quite as straightforward as that, I've learned.

        The problem is that there are some sites "at the top" that actually have pretty small numbers of backlinks to them, just because the backlinks they do have are mostly from real authority sites, and you have to try to take this into account, too. Factors like how well-established they are come into play, too.

        The good news is that there can be others with huge numbers of backlinks to them which can be really easy to beat.

        As a general rule, if I see article directory articles in the top 5 results (which you easily can do, when people have made the mistake of doing backlinking campaigns to their EZA copies instead of to their own site's copies, and so on), I take that as pretty encouraging, and I know I can beat those without worrying too much.

        A high-PR "health site" registered years ago that has 50 - 100 traceable backlinks including stuff like WebMD, well-known medical schools, Pub.Med., Wiki and so on is going to be really hard to beat, whereas an EZA article with 20,000 "crap backlinks" pointing to it can be trivial.

        It's really "quality assessment", not "quantity assessment".
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
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    Honestly, if I'm so passionate about a particular niche that I think I have something "special" to offer to the targeted market, I ignore the competition or force them to be on the defensive side.

    I attack them. I don't wait for them to attack me first. How?

    I start doing more of what they are doing right and then add my own touch of "specialty" or "uniqueness" to it.

    And I will never stop until I win.

    In my experience, over-analysis has made me lose some golden opportunities to have a major breakthrough online.

    These days I act more and analyze less. I react more and research less. Why?

    There are many myths in this whole business.
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    • Profile picture of the author wadezwd
      Originally Posted by King Shiloh View Post

      Honestly, if I'm so passionate about a particular niche that I think I have something "special" to offer to the targeted market, I ignore the competition or force them to be on the defensive side.

      ......

      In my experience, over-analysis has made me lose some golden opportunities to have a major breakthrough online.

      These days I act more and analyze less. I react more and research less. Why?

      There are many myths in this whole business.
      to some extent, i do agree with you indeed, but shall not a keyword research for your niche be the prerequisite? how do you deal with that work? i am eager to figure out :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Colle
    Well I guess as it has already been explain and I do agree to that the quality of the keywords matters as much as the number of searches it gets per month. I think I will go after key words that are more valuable with less competition or with a beatable competition. I would not go after a keyword that has a few giants that have already gotten hold of it. Because that will be wasting my time. But I guess you can always try.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    I have played in niches with over 500,000 competing sites where the phrases I was interested in had very few backlinks, from spammy looking sites, and their PR was 0 to 1.

    I'll have to agree with Alexa and the other troops. Numbers are irrelevant. I find keywords I'm interested in using Market Samurai, run them through the competition module, get an idea about the quality of their backlinks, and then make a decision whether to pursue the niche or not.

    Look at it this way, a niche with 3 to 5 article directories on the first page with low numbers of backlinks on a phrase you are interested in with decent traffic should have you licking your lips, rubbing your hands, and starting to type.
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    • Profile picture of the author Young Samurai
      Finding this thread very helpful.

      I've been struggling with the same issue

      and in fact started this thread

      Keyword Selection Paradigm

      Never mind the competition - I understand why the number of competitors is irrelevant -

      what about the search volume for the keyword/domain name itself?

      Which is what I think mikescos was asking.
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      Kyle
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    • Profile picture of the author wadezwd
      Originally Posted by Barry Unruh View Post

      ...
      Look at it this way, a niche with 3 to 5 article directories on the first page with low numbers of backlinks on a phrase you are interested in with decent traffic should have you licking your lips, rubbing your hands, and starting to type.
      what taking and encouraging words...
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  • Profile picture of the author Murt@gh
    Very interesting information from both Alexa and Barry so thanks for that!

    Also good point King!

    Much appreciated. It's great to hear the thoughts from all kinds of different people, because by doing this we all allow ourselves to be involved in much broader tests in the spectrum of internet marketing which increase our chances of being more successful!

    If you believe someone posts a bad tip or a bad keyword method, that's great because that being said, you have to then bare it in mind that those are some of the methods used by your competition and then at the same time, you will have the methods you agree with and it allows you to create your whole perception of what internet marketing is.

    This is one of the things that has brought me to internet marketing, you don't have to have some secret recipe, it's more about perception, thoughts and intuitions the way I see it. I'll be able to tell you what I really think after some time though

    Regards,
    Ross.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bingo123
    I first look at how many daily exact searches the keywords get. If they are above 100 then I will consider going for them. Then I use a keyword tool to see how many back links the first 10 sites on google have that are ranking for the keywords. I then check out the quality of these back links (Are they from high PR pages or low ones). If I think I can outrank these sites I will go for it by finding out what back links they have and then trying to get links from them too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Cole
      May i thank you ALL for this thread..

      I have been doing my keyword research this way of late and i do totally get what you guys are saying. Forget the Number of competing of pages.. It's all down to page one and the competition there.

      Assess the first page only for competition, who wants to be on page 2?

      I even have a good SEO grasp and understand the On-page and Off-Page factors as well as correctly structuring a website..

      This is the part i do get.. LOL the bit i now struggle with is the actual selection of my niche. I just can't seem to settle on something. I think i'm over thinking it..
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  • Profile picture of the author wadezwd
    while reading thru this thread, i am thinking that if we skip the keyword search (in respect of the search volume), just typing our target keyword or phrase into google search engine, then check the top X pages, to see how they do the seo such as titles, discription, domain name [emd or not], quality of bachlinks and contents, the only thing i need to do is just to do 1 more step in any aspects than they do, then should i outrank this site?
    the reason why i want skip the keyword research stage, is that i am currently choked by it... making no improvement or progress
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  • Profile picture of the author Weblinker
    A good keyword is one that your target market is searching for regularly. An even better keyword is one that’s not only searched for regularly, there’s also very little competition in the search engines. That means you have a good chance of ranking well for that keyword.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaronhiscock
    i am using word tracker for keyword research. it shows search volume of keywords country wise. so better keyword research can give you better outputs.
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  • Profile picture of the author beverage22
    keywords with low competition and high search volume are really good, you can try these type of keywords
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  • Profile picture of the author chrissycrain12
    Keyword research is analysis of keyword it is actual search term that peoples enter into search engine. It is very important for a on page optimization. You can use Google Adword for a keyword research.
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  • Profile picture of the author Purushothaman
    Thanks for the useful thread...
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