The Worst SEO Lie Ever!
by Yaroslav Korchagin

If title of this article attracts your attention I presume you promote website(s) (maybe you’re a SEO, maybe not, but you certainly want your website to rank high on Google).

And this means you optimize / promote your website in Google for some specific keywords, don’t you?

And you surely want to promote your site for the least competitive (and the most popular of course) keywords, am I right?

Many people think that in order to check keyword competition you need to:
  1. Enter your keyword in Google search.
  2. And take a look at the number of search results: . People really think this number indicates a keyword competition level.

However, in fact IT DOES NOT!



This number ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT show your keyword competition level!

Great example is a word “and”.



If you type in Google search keyword “and”, you’ll see that it has [ame="http://www.google.com/search?complete=1&hl=en&q=and&btnG=Google+Search&a q=f"]9,880,000,000 results[/ame]* (i.e. almost 10 billion results)!

Now, how do you think, will anybody promote his website for this keyword?

Of course NOT! (No sense)

And is this keyword popular? Does anyone search anything for this keyword?

Of course NOT! (No sense)

And now, the most important question: is this keyword competitive?

OF COURSE IT'S NOT!

Here are a few more great examples of suchlike keywords (with big numbers, but with absolutely no competition at all!):

Keyword | Number of Search Results on Google

the | [ame="http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&complete=1&hl=en&q=The&btnG=Search"]10,950,000,000 results[/ame]*
a | [ame="http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&complete=1&hl=en&q=a&btnG=Search"]14,010,000,000 results[/ame]*
an | [ame="http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&complete=1&hl=en&q=an&btnG=Search"]4,850,000,000 results[/ame]*
of | [ame="http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&complete=1&hl=en&q=of&btnG=Search"]10,640,000,000 results[/ame]*
on | [ame="http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&complete=1&hl=en&q=on&btnG=Search"]8,140,000,000 results[/ame]*
in | [ame="http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&complete=1&hl=en&q=in&btnG=Search"]11,860,000,000 results[/ame]*
about | [ame="http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&complete=1&hl=en&q=about&btnG=Search"]4,390,000,000 results[/ame]*

* NOTE: These numbers were written down by me on 25-th of March, 2008. They show total number of pages on the Internet containing a searched keyword. These numbers always grow. And they always grow not because the competition is growing, but just because thousands of new pages are created daily! (So don't be surprised if these numbers are already different for you.)


PROOF: Do you still think these numbers show keyword competition?

Then take a look at the following proof: in order you could visually ensure these numbers do NOT show keyword competition, we decided to get our own website in Top10 Google search results for some of suchlike keywords! Find out more about this SEO Experiment: Keyword Competition Research Experiment.


So what does this number really shows?

This number only shows how many pages there are on the Internet with your keyword on them. And if a page has your keyword on it, it absolutely does not mean the owner of that website promotes his page for that keyword! It also absolutely does not mean all those pages have backlinks with this keyword in the anchor text to their sites. And if they don't, they are not your competitors! Moreover, since off-page optimization factor is much more important than on-page optimization, if you build just a few links with that keyword to your site, you'll easily outrank all those sites! (Since they have no backlinks with this keyword in the anchor text.) Still don't believe me? Then check out this SEO Experiment: Keyword Competition Research Experiment.


So how should you actually determine keyword competition?

You all know the most important SEO factor influencing Google search results. Everyone knows that - it's BACKLINKS!

So, we've got a reasonable question - so what should you analyze to find out the keyword competition?

Of course, of course it's backlinks!!! You need to analyze backlinks of Top10 websites appearing in Google search results for your targeted keyword.
  1. Enter your keyword in Google search.
  2. Take URL of the very first website from the search results.
  3. Now use some backlink checker tool to find & analyze all backlinks this website has. (You need to consider not just quantity, but also quality of those backlinks: Google PR of each backlink, number of external links on each link backs page, etc.).
  4. Find & analyze all keywords !!!!!ALL ANCHOR TEXTS!!!!! used in backlinks to this website. (So consider not just quantity & quality of backlinks, but anchor texts used in those backlinks!!!).
  5. Take URL of another website from Google search results. Now find & analyze all backlinks of this website (anchor texts of those backlinks, their PR, etc). And so on… Analyze Top5-Top10 Google search results.

NOTE: The most important thing you need to pay attention to are ANCHOR TEXTS used in backlinks of your competitor websites. Find out more about what and how should be analyzed to correctly estimate keyword competition in the following article: How To Check Backlinks?

OR, all this research & analysis can be done for you automatically by our Free Backlink Checker Tool. This tool is designed exactly for this purpose – to help you determine keyword competition, and to allow you to find the least competitive keywords & easily outrank your competition!

Thanks,
Yaroslav Korchagin
SEO Tools For SEO Experts Team