Predicting How Competitive a Search Keyword Is

Oct 22, 2008 • 7:44 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Keyword Research

A HighRankings Forum thread has discussion around an old patent from IBM named Prediction of query difficulty for a generic search engine. In short, the patent describes ways to determine how difficult a specific keyword is. Now, the patent was filed back on October 19, 2004 and issued on July 29, 2008 - so it is old.

What tools can SEMs and SEOs use today to figure out the competitive landscape of a keyword phrase?

  1. One of may favorites is to look at the search results page. If there are many organic results with matching title tags then you got a competitive landscape.
  2. If there are many paid search results on the page, then it is competitive.
  3. If your competitors have tons of links, then it is competitive.
  4. If your keyword phrase is at the top of Google Suggest, as you type, then it is competitive.

But is it often nice to catch the wave of a spiking competitive term. Seasonal terms, news oriented terms, and so on. You can catch many of these at Google Hot Trends.

Do you have more ways of predicting the competitive nature of a search word?

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forums.

This article was pre-written and scheduled to go live today.

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08/26/2010 12:08 am

Thanks for mentioning these four factors. In my opinion, I think “many paid search results on the page” and “competitors have tons of links” are more competitive than “many organic results” and “Google Suggest”. I mean, you must pay money for paid search results and you need to spend lots of time on building tons of links. Money and time are important indicators for competition.

Robin Williams

02/02/2012 07:04 am

Before targeting a new keyword, it is essential to evaluate the difficulty of the market and this is done by analyzing keyword competition. The competition for a keyword can vary and it depends on how popular the keyword is and what is the industry competition for that particular keyword.

Sairaa Anwar

03/18/2012 09:29 pm

thanks a lot its really very help full to me..


11/29/2013 08:08 am

Keyword should be selected very carefully because most searches depend upon the keyword. Use Google adwords to choose proper keyword with less competition and more number of searches per month.

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