+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Assessing the competition: What's the hardest thing to beat in the SERPS?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Dormant Account
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Saipan
    Posts
    84
    Thanks
    27
    Thanked 26 Times in 14 Posts
    Rep Power
    3

    Assessing the competition: What's the hardest thing to beat in the SERPS?

    I have been sizing up the competition in various niches and in the process, I have found myself in the throes of informational overload. I go on a quest to find a nice PR-checking plugin for chrome and finish with a toolbar that looks more like a stock ticker than anything else.

    There are numbers for everything:

    DMOZ/Yahoo Directory
    Pagerank
    Number of IBL (page)
    Number of IBL (domain)
    Number of IBL from .edu/.gov
    Number of Google Indexed Pages
    Domain Age
    Keywords in Domain Name
    Keywords in URL
    Keywords in Meta
    Keywords in Description

    It's insane!

    I even downloaded an evaluation copy of Market Samurai to help me make sense of all of it, and it's great, but I'm still left wondering "can I beat this site?"

    Which is/are the most important?

    Which carry the most weight?

    Which stats should I pay less attention to and which should I really watch out for?

    Any help here would be greatly appreciated. I have watched the tutorials on the Market Samurai site, however, as with most examples, they use extreme cases (e.g. Golf vs. Ladies Driver).

    This leaves me wondering how to evaluate more subtle differences in competition....

  2. #2
    Dormant Account
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    365
    Thanks
    91
    Thanked 95 Times in 69 Posts
    Rep Power
    9
    Of course no one knows for sure, but here are the results of a survey of some of the most respected SEOs: http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors

  3. #3
    Top Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Nr Manchester UK
    Posts
    2,114
    Thanks
    291
    Thanked 652 Times in 376 Posts
    Rep Power
    36
    Perhaps you're asking the wrong question. I would be asking myself can I beat this site for specific phrase "xyz".

    I'd say that the most important factor is always going to the quality of the backlinks and that's fairly easy to establish using a backlink checker, just look to see what kind of sites are linking to your competitor and what kind of sites link to them in turn. You'll build up a picture of what kind of 'Authority' the site might have and that's the level of competitiveness you need to make decisions about trying to outrank them.

    The SEOMoz SEO tools section includes has a 'Keyword Difficulty' score tool which factors all this stuff and tells you how hard it would be to compete. For $75 a month it's very cheap.

  4. #4
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    7,511
    Blog Entries
    30
    Thanks
    4,160
    Thanked 2,926 Times in 1,641 Posts
    Rep Power
    107
    This leaves me wondering how to evaluate more subtle differences in competition....
    Why?

    Why do you want to evaluate subtle differences? Is it even possible to examine subtle differences when the ruler you're using to do the measurement (the SERPS) keeps changing all the time with geo-targeting and personalisation and random testing and throttling?

    No offence to Rich but Market samurai, SEOMoz and other tools are completely unnecessary. For any term bar the most competitive ones - even terms like Make Money Online - if you spend all that analysis time building content and links you'll wipe the competition out anyway.
    Show your support - Like us on Facebook

  5. #5
    Dormant Account
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Saipan
    Posts
    84
    Thanks
    27
    Thanked 26 Times in 14 Posts
    Rep Power
    3
    Thanks Clayton! I didn't come across that info in my searches


    I would be asking myself can I beat this site for specific phrase "xyz".
    Yeah, Rich, that's actually what I was doing when I came up with this problem.

    Take this example:
    I found a decent niche with a decent amount of traffic....say...."Bed sheets". While researching "Bed sheets" I found that the top site listed in google is called WidgetBlueSheets.com/the-best-sheets, has a PR of 3, is 5 years old, and about 3000 inbound domain links, and about 65 inbound page links. Just for the sake of argument, we will say the distribution of IBL quality is the same in both of the examples I use here (i.e. 75% from pr0, 15% pr1 etc.)

    Now example Two:

    While I was researching "Bed Sheets" in Google Keyword Tool, I came across the keyword "Bed covers". This search term has about the same amount of traffic and about the same amount of money being bid for the number 1 position for that phrase in Google Adwords.
    In other words; all things being (pretty much) equal.

    For this second search term however, the site BedCoversHQ.com is the number one listed site. It has:

    A pagerank of 1, with only 400 IBL (domain) however 300 of those are pointing to the exact page that I am looking to overtake. The domain name "BedCoversHQ.com" has the exact phrase I'm searching for, but the domain age is only about 2 years.

    Which villain should I take on? Which would be the easiest to beat and why?


    This leaves me wondering how to evaluate more subtle differences in competition....
    Well Clinton, I perhaps should have said "how to evaluate sites when I can't compare apples to apples" as this would have probably better conveyed my meaning.
    That is a really great point you make about the 'ruler always changing'. Relativity anyone?
    It seems to me that time would be better spent on the front end trying to find weak markets than it would be spent writing heaps of content just to get noticed. It seems that if I attacked a weaker market with the same amount of content, then it would put me so far out in front of the competition that I could start attacking more competitive keywords after I am more established. Is my thinking wrong?
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not the type that's trying to beat Google at their own game, however I certainly want to make sure I am using the available information to full advantage.

    I wonder of a formula could be set up for making sites comparable in a more scientific way.....

  6. #6
    Top Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Nr Manchester UK
    Posts
    2,114
    Thanks
    291
    Thanked 652 Times in 376 Posts
    Rep Power
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    No offence to Rich but Market samurai, SEOMoz and other tools are completely unnecessary. For any term bar the most competitive ones - even terms like Make Money Online - if you spend all that analysis time building content and links you'll wipe the competition out anyway.
    None taken mate. You are kinda negating the whole SEO industry though with that statement, something of a controversial opinion if you don't mind me saying so.

    The counter view is that rather than blindly buliding content etc and hoping that it'll be so great that you'll "wipe the competition out anyway", a smarter use of that time would be to do what Casey is doing (and all SEOs do) and do some considered analysis to spot easier opportunities to rank

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey101 View Post

    Which villain should I take on? Which would be the easiest to beat and why?
    You won't be surprised if I say villain two for the simple reason that it's not as strong as villain one and should therefore be easier to beat. Bear in mind that not all links are created equal and it's not about numbers. 5 really good links might be better than the 300 poitning at the competing page.

    Another option is not to focus too much on single rankings, I would look for 20 bed sheet related phrases and try to shotgun the search results rather than put all my effort into getting one really good ranking. That way your rankings are more resilient to algo changes, more flexible in the traffic they bring in and you haven't got all your eggs in one basket.


    Quote Originally Posted by Casey101 View Post
    I wonder of a formula could be set up for making sites comparable in a more scientific way.....
    Although site Authority is a big factor in ranking (IMO) don't forget that search engines rank pages not sites and tools do currently exist for doing that exact analysis you're describing, SEO book has a good one but that's a little more expensive at $300 per month.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to JJMcClure For This Useful Post:

    Clinton (18 October 2010)

  8. #7
    Dormant Account
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Saipan
    Posts
    84
    Thanks
    27
    Thanked 26 Times in 14 Posts
    Rep Power
    3
    Thanks Rich that was very helpful.

    I was, like you said, betting that you would say #2 but I'm glad that you got my point about Links>page vs. Links>domain. That is something that I have been really curious about as it appears so much weight is placed on IBL's.

    With these two examples I tried to use opposites to try to cover a few different variables.

    Domain name containing exact phrase vs. containing only one word

    Page Authority vs. Domain Authority

    2 year old domain name vs. 5 year

    Pr1 vs. Pr3


    I like your idea about "shotgunning" the phrases but it brings up another question:

    Should I use the shotgun strategy from the start, or should I start out at first with only one or two phrases, make some amazing, ground breaking content about bed sheets and hope to attract natural backlinks generated from this search phrase? I could then use that newly acquired domain authority to springboard into "best besheets" and then to "buy bedsheets".

    Does it even matter enough to worry about it?

    Thoughts?

    One other thing: What are everyone's thoughts on the keyword density of the domain? Again, does it even matter enough to worry about? Using our favorite keyword phrase of "make money online", Google brings up 409mil results with the top 5 domains not even containing the word "online".
    Everyone says not to use hyphens because they have to be spelled out, however how often do we really spell out a domain name when it is about something we are searching for. Heck, I barely notice half the domain names I even visit while researching for a particular product.

    Man, I think I may be over-thinking this. I don't know about that though.... I may have to think about it


    SEO book has a good one but that's a little more expensive at $300 per month.
    Dang it! I thought I was on to something!

  9. #8
    Top Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Nr Manchester UK
    Posts
    2,114
    Thanks
    291
    Thanked 652 Times in 376 Posts
    Rep Power
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey101 View Post

    I like your idea about "shotgunning" the phrases but it brings up another question:

    Should I use the shotgun strategy from the start, or should I start out at first with only one or two phrases, make some amazing, ground breaking content about bed sheets and hope to attract natural backlinks generated from this search phrase? I could then use that newly acquired domain authority to springboard into "best besheets" and then to "buy bedsheets".

    Does it even matter enough to worry about it?
    That's what I would do, it's easier, quicker and sets you up for further down the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey101 View Post

    One other thing: What are everyone's thoughts on the keyword density of the domain? Again, does it even matter enough to worry about? Using our favorite keyword phrase of "make money online", Google brings up 409mil results with the top 5 domains not even containing the word "online".
    Everyone says not to use hyphens because they have to be spelled out, however how often do we really spell out a domain name when it is about something we are searching for. Heck, I barely notice half the domain names I even visit while researching for a particular product.
    Domain name is only one signal and easily outweighed by others so I wouldn't worry about it too much, it helps but not a lot.

    Dashes for search engines, non-dashed for humans but I think using dashes for search engines isn't really necessary anymore.
    Last edited by JJMcClure; 17 October 2010 at 10:53 am.

  10. #9
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    7,511
    Blog Entries
    30
    Thanks
    4,160
    Thanked 2,926 Times in 1,641 Posts
    Rep Power
    107
    While I was researching "Bed Sheets" in Google Keyword Tool, I came across the keyword "Bed covers".
    How about bedlinen.xyz with bedsheets.bedlinen.xyz, bedcovers.bedlinen.xyz and bedthrows.bedlinen.xyz or bedlinen.xyz/bedroomlinen/bed-sheets.htm? You could take traffic from both WidgetBlueSheets.com and bedsheetshq.com

    In other words, rather than choosing the easier target, focus on the subject you want to be top for and keep plugging at it till you are. This wouldn't work for competitive terms, but certainly seems doable for terms like these.

    You are kinda negating the whole SEO industry though with that statement, something of a controversial opinion if you don't mind me saying so.
    That wasn't the intention. My point was that he should do the SEO, not worry too much about assessing the relative strength of various competitors as it's easy to get bogged down in that.

    Exact match domain seems useful for competitive terms. On terms like these it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. But I would name my folders and htm pages carefully.
    Show your support - Like us on Facebook

  11. #10
    Top Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Nr Manchester UK
    Posts
    2,114
    Thanks
    291
    Thanked 652 Times in 376 Posts
    Rep Power
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    That wasn't the intention. My point was that he should do the SEO, not worry too much about assessing the relative strength of various competitors as it's easy to get bogged down in that.
    I understood your point and I don't agree, I think the best thing he could be doing is assessing the relative strength of various competitors. Maybe we have a different perspective on working smart in this context.

    As someone who does SEO for clients occasionally, the last thing I can say them is 'add lots of great content, you'll be fine', I have to do some research, find a bunch of relevant keyword phrases, assess the competition for them and not only figure out which are attainabale but exactly what it is that will attain the ranking and then say "add this specific great content, you'll be fine".

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. How to beat Flippa phone verification when creating dummy accounts
    By Clinton in forum General & Miscellaneous
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29 October 2011, 6:13 pm
  2. Accounting for Google Panda update when assessing website value
    By Andrew in forum Buying a Website, Blog, Internet Business
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 19 April 2011, 7:31 am
  3. Google: Bing is cheating and copying our SERPS
    By Clinton in forum General & Miscellaneous
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10 February 2011, 7:14 pm
  4. FP - Assessing a website for sale
    By stacey in forum Buying a Website, Blog, Internet Business
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2 February 2011, 12:18 pm
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 8 June 2010, 5:27 pm

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts