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Is a competitive word simply a word that is used a lot? How many pages should then use that word before it is considered to be a competitive keyword?
And what about all those word that are certainly used a lot, but perhaps are not very often used in an attempt to get a good position on them in the SERPs? Are they competitive?
And what about words from other languages than English? I doubt that _any_ word in a "small" language like my own (Danish) is to be found on so many webpages that webmasters with English websites would consider it to be "competitive".
as an example we have a client which want two particular key-terms both have over 2 million SERP's
one key-term I class as common maybe three or four players we rank 2,3 and 6(straight in last update)
the other key-term ( competitive) as slightly less results in the SERP's but 10+ players and we rank 16. (up from 500+ from last update)
I see it the main difference between competitive and non-competitive are the players.
Which words are worth $5 a click that would lead to substantial gains? beats me.
But there is keywords with millions of results returned which doesn't give you a lot of searches, i have one for example, around 4 million results returned, and i am top 4, i get about 25 visitors per day from that keyword.
I am just a na´ve amateur so my job in this context is to ask na´ve questions: Is a keyword's competitivenes _only_ a matter of how many searches?
Like DaveN, I think a large part of competitiveness is the skill against those with which you are competing.
I would say it's something like
Competitors + Number of pages returned + Number of people searching.
image that you get wind on this board that the next big thing on the net is "golden crispy widgets" better than any other widget out there
so you do your research and there only 3,000 results for that key-term then CJ start offering $1 per click through, next update you notice that there's now 4000, and the top 20 - 30 are all seo affiliate sites then toolman dumps a few thousand pages into the mix and you now have a slightly competitive keyword phrase ;)
becuase of the industrial sector.
their's no such thing as a one term search word, for kw's in my area, far too technical. Of the words that make up the terms they range from 200k to 10mill, but start combining them, and all of a sudden i am looking at 5k to 100k, which is relatively non-compeitive, though its becuase the players (some of the biggest multinationals on the planet) that are the massive terms, don't care as its a tiny aspect of their business.
<add> one of the kw's is 73.4 mill - did'nt know - though i am only interesting in portions of it</add>
I think that keywords can be more competitive by industry and sector as well.
Some industries are more prone to optimisation (ie more frequently targetted by SEOs).
Put it this way - 2 phrases "chocolate muffins" and "real estate" - both have 300k results and equal numbers of user searching for the terms. Which would you rather take on as a client?
In the same respect, certain popular locations (large cities) will have more optimised sites in their SERPs than other locations.
In this respect, competitivness is relative not just to the quantity of the competition, but to the quality as well.
Definetely. Most people here that are saying a million is "very competitive" are more likely to be in competitive areas ;)
Its' not too hard to get top 10 for a G result of 8 million pages, in a NON-competitive field :)
I only look at how many searches are performed for such and such KWs to determine if there is demand for them, disregarding the offer (pages returned).
Why is it important to look at pages returned? The number will not reveal how difficult would be to penetrate SERPs, perhaps analyzing top 10 results will.
1.Overture Term Suggestion Tool
2.Term suggestion tools like wordtracker
3.PPC cost of keyword
4.Search results returned on FAST/Google
5.Pagerank/Link pop of the top sites for the keyword on Google
6.Number of sites listed in DMOZ for relevant category / how many subcategories
7.High % of penalised sites? :)
8.Large Corps. competing for keyword (and how much $ they could use to re-arrange the ranks)
9.Appears in Altavita Prisma/Related "theme" engines
10.Google has a redirect for mis-spellings of the word? :) i.e. they ad-a-word
11.Commodity or luxury? Some commodities must be non-stop competitive, luxuries less competitive but more expensive to promote? dunno
12.Can you spot affiliate sites littered about the place? Could be competitive
13.High number of ads on adwords/PPC listings
I use this along with the maximum bid to guage competitveness (as someone else mentioned, though, a lot of bidders don't understand ROI).
I stopped using Google SERP results when a site of mine less than two months old ranked number one for keyword1 keyword2 that returned 1.7+ million results. Both keywords are short (3 and 5 letters), but only myself and the number 2 site optimize for them next to each other.
- Number of results returned on Fast and Google.
- Number of searches done on Overture per month.
- Average PageRank of top 10 result pages.
- Average cost of top 10 listing on Overture.
- Number of bidders on the kw on Overture.
- Number of Fortune 500 companies returned in top 10.
- Number of top 10 listings that are via paid inclusion on Ink.
Season to taste:
- Number of pages in top 100, that you would consider "spammy" ;-)
There has to be a way to mathematically express that.