Competition in Quotations for Ranking in the Top Ten?

28 replies
  • SEO
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What is the rule of thumb for a conquerable niche?

For example, if I want to rank for Rubber Dog TOys and type in:

"Rubber Dog Toys"


How much competition should there be? Under 100k?
#competition #quotations #ranking #ten #top
  • Profile picture of the author MIB Mastermind
    If entering a new niche, I would aim for under 150k when starting out, this is a realistic and very achievable amount. After you have ranked for your chosen keywords you can then move on to more competitive keywords.

    Bryan
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  • Profile picture of the author BarCoder
    I've seen many people say 1 million, many say 500k, some say 250k. I personally would try to start out under 1 million, and if you're able to rank well on those numbers, slowly start stepping up the ladder to higher search results. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Davion Wong
    For "keyword" query, go for anything below 50,000 - 10,000. It is much easier. However, I do not depend on "keyword" alone. Allintitle:Keyword is more accurate to tell you who your competitors are as these folks obviously know what is SEO. For Allintitle:Keyword, go for less than 2000.

    So if you have a "keyword" result below 50,000 and Allintitle:keyword below 2000, you just found yourself a winner.
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    • Profile picture of the author mark@1to101
      I think the quality of competition is more important than the quantity of it. It doesn't matter if you're up against a million other pages for a keyword if they're all untargeted and have few links pointing at them. On the other hand, if you're thinking about going for a keyword that google only returns 5'000 results for, but they're all targeted pages with quality links pointing at them, then you might want to forget about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Igor Kheifets
      Originally Posted by Davion Wong View Post

      For "keyword" query, go for anything below 50,000 - 10,000. It is much easier. However, I do not depend on "keyword" alone. Allintitle:Keyword is more accurate to tell you who your competitors are as these folks obviously know what is SEO. For Allintitle:Keyword, go for less than 2000.

      So if you have a "keyword" result below 50,000 and Allintitle:keyword below 2000, you just found yourself a winner.
      I would say this reply pretty much sums it all up,
      only that "keyword" competition I choose is below 5000, that's about it..

      Igor
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  • Profile picture of the author Pete Egeler
    Why would you ever consider using quotation marks? Very few people enter a search in that manner.

    Pete
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    • Profile picture of the author Davion Wong
      Hi Pete,

      There are people who do search using "keyword". Those who are more savvy in searching Google do use that.

      This search query "keyword" for example for the word "dog training guide" pulls out results that contains the word "dog training guide". These content contains "dog training guide" in them.

      As opposed to the casual surfer who types dog training guide, Google will pull out all kinds of results that contains the words, dog, training, guide which may not be necessarily relevant.

      That is why there is a place for "keyword" which throws out more relevant results.

      From a SERP point of view, Allintitle:Keyword is even tighter in checking the level of competition. Only folks who know SEO knows that there is a need to target the keyword in title. So these are the real folks who are your competitors, not those who casually mention dog training guide in their content and end up in the "dog training guide" search results.

      Another key note is the PR of the first page results. If all of them are PR 4 or 5, the challenge of ranking within top 10 is great and overwhelming. But if you see many Web 2.0 pages like EzineArticles, Squidoo, blah blah blah or low PR pages, you know that with some backlinking, you can kick them out.

      Originally Posted by Pete Egeler View Post

      Why would you ever consider using quotation marks? Very few people enter a search in that manner.

      Pete
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      There is no hard and fast rule. It depends upon the strength of your competition. In some niches, there's lots of competition, but the majority aren't optimized and don't have a lot of backlinks, allowing you to easily beat large numbers. In other niches, it can be tough against smaller numbers.
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    • Profile picture of the author UKTim29
      Originally Posted by Pete Egeler View Post

      Why would you ever consider using quotation marks? Very few people enter a search in that manner.

      Pete
      As well as the above reply to your post it also if you use quotations shows you who's site is actually optimized for that keyword.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
        NO one really searches for terms in quotes.

        But can see if the pages are optimized by the terms by using quotes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    You use quotation marks in your research efforts as a marketer. It pares down the number of competing pages with any of the given words in a search phrase to just those pages that have the phrase in the exact word order. No one is suggesting that the average searcher conduct searches that way.

    What you're really trying to do is find the most accurate number of pages that have been SEO'ed for a given search phrase. Depending on the amount of time or outsourcing money you're willing to invest for a high ranking, that will ultimately determine which keywords meet your criteria or should be passed up. There's no hard-and-fast rule.

    I prefer going after long-tail phrases because I can score a high ranking quickly with minimal backlinking and on-page SEO. Others enjoy hunting down top rankings for hard keywords... I wish I had that kind of patience, but I don't. I dance with the one that brung me.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    Ok -- so consensus is that the number of optimized pages doesn't really matter.

    Its more about how "strong" the top pages are.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    See this quote bit is what always confuses me. Most people do not search in quotes. I understand that the results in quotes are your exact competition, but aren't they all your competition??? Really?? I mean if other sites are coming up ahead that aren't in quotes, you still need to outperform those sites to rank higher than them.

    Even if you optimize your site well, there are still many, many sites without the exact keyword phrase that are ranking above you in many cases, so shouldn't we be looking at the full number of results as our competition?
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    • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
      Originally Posted by Sheryl Polomka View Post

      See this quote bit is what always confuses me. Most people do not search in quotes. I understand that the results in quotes are your exact competition, but aren't they all your competition??? Really?? I mean if other sites are coming up ahead that aren't in quotes, you still need to outperform those sites to rank higher than them.

      Even if you optimize your site well, there are still many, many sites without the exact keyword phrase that are ranking above you in many cases, so shouldn't we be looking at the full number of results as our competition?
      Those pages showing up in the search results only when doing searches without quotes are going to be easy to pass up in most cases if you get backlinks using the keyword as anchor text. Your on-page SEO alone won't do it in a lot of cases - if the keyword is competitive. You'll need on-page SEO and good backlinks with the right anchor text.

      Now, those sites that show up when you do a search with quotes and without quotes are your real competition. It'll probably be 7-8 of the same sites showing up in both searches. What does that tell you? It tells me that Google values sites that do on-page and off-page SEO. So that's what you want to do, too.

      The sites showing up when you do a search without quotes but not when you do it with quotes usually just happened to have the individual words in your search term on their page a lot; and/or they have lots of backlinks that include one or more of the words in that phrase as anchor text. But what they haven't done is optimize for that exact phrase, which is something you WILL be doing. That's why you will pass them up once your backlinks start to build up. Your page and your links will all tell Google to value your page higher than those others.

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    Yeah good point.

    The sites that come up when you search for the term in quotes are the sites that appear to google to be optimized (on purpose or not on purpose) for that term.

    But there could be other sites that are ranking that do not have on-site factors but off site factors like inbound links.

    BUt you think the real players do onsite AND offsite -- so therefore when you search for a term in quotes, THOSE are the boys you gotta beat out.


    But hmm .. damnit .. Maybe I dont get it


    Is there I website that I can put a keyword into that will tell if the niche is worth toying with?
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    • Profile picture of the author mark@1to101
      Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

      Yeah good point.

      Is there I website that I can put a keyword into that will tell if the niche is worth toying with?
      Not any websites that I know of, but many people use either Market Samurai or Micro Niche Finder. Both are paid tools that greatly assist with keyword / niche research.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    Yeah, still confuses me, even if I can beat the guys 'in quotes' and reach number 1 'in quotes' I still might not show up anywhere near page 1 without quotes.

    I have a couple of sites with great keyword phrases - good searches each month and only around 3,000 or 4,000 results in quotes. I'm doing well 'in quotes' but am not doing any good without quotes - which is what most people are searching.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewL
    Take the quotes off first because no one searches for exact terms, well almost no one.
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    Get your wordpress site set up for free. PM me or visit http://freewordpresssetup.com for details.

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    • You search in quotes to see how many pages are optimized for a certain keyword. So you see how many are there and how much making a very relevant page for that keyword will increase your chances.
      If you have a page for a certain keyword and you keep making backlinks it starts to rank on less relevant, but still related, keywords also. If a large part of the first page listings is made of sites that are only there because of their amount of backlinks, you can get there by making a very relevant content and not too much backlinks. That´s why you often see low PR pages outranking high PR pages.

      I you search in quotes you only see the pages with the keyword in them. In their title or in their content. The more pages that have this keyword in their title the lesser your chance outrankink them.
      An example: If you search for "Atkins Diet" you see search page after search page with webpages that are optimized for Atkins Diet and have Atkins Diet as their title. So if there are 10000 or 100000 competitors it will be very difficult to get on the first page.
      Another example where you may have a chance: The keyword is "weight loss diet". Let´s assume only the first page on no.1 has weight loss diet (as a whole) as her title. The next ones have something like: Easy Weight Loss-Diet for everyone, or: Weight Loss: What´s the best Diet?. Google will show all these sites in phrase match. So if you make a page with "weight loss diet (as a whole) as the page title, it may be easy to outrank most of the other pages (much less backlinks needed), because you are more relevant.
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  • Profile picture of the author michael_nguyen
    make sure you download seoquake to help you validate a keyword
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  • Profile picture of the author josefnew
    It is safe to go under 100k but be sure there is a decent level of searches for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    Thanks Wordpro and John. I missed this thread for a couple of days so only just saw your replies. Yes that helps a lot and makes sense.

    Now, I am off to study my top ten competition and to build good anchor keyword backlinks
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    I highly recommend Angela Edwards' and Paul Johnson's backlink packets. They're very low priced, but pack a lot of link power! You really will maximize your backlinking time best by utilizing those two resources. Just search here in the WSO section for backlinks and their names and you'll get to their offers. I use them both and can't say enough good things about 'em.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Hyaku_Man
      If you are talking about choosing a niche, then I don't think the quotes do anything for you. If you're choosing a longtail keyword, then checking how many results there are when searched in quotes is part of the equation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jenie0109
    for just a starter , ill just go around up to 500k of competitions..million is just too hard to handle
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  • Profile picture of the author QuadRider
    i perform searches all of the time using " " I don't know if it is mostly a webmaster thing or not though.
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  • Just because a search phrase appears on another site doesn't mean they are your competitor.

    And if you want to get better you play with people who are already better. Set your sites low and you'll reach them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
    There is no rule of thumb, you can rank for any keyword whatsoever if you know what you're doing.

    Google: business consulting

    Of course that requires some very advanced SEO.

    Over 5,000,000 competing sites under quotes and my very own name is right there.

    It took me less than 2 months.
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