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Keyword Competition

Many people will look at the number of pages listed for a phrase and think that is a fair estimate of competition level. It is not. That is just a measure of how many pages have those words somewhere in the content or in links that are pointing at their pages. A better measure of competition is to search for “keyword A keyword B,” as that will at least give you the number of pages which have that phrase on it. You also can further target your competition estimation by using allintitle: and allinanchor: search functions. Pages which have your keyword phrases in their title may be optimized, and pages which have them in their inbound links stand a good chance of being fairly well optimized. The best way to look at the competitive nature of a keyword is to look at the link profiles of the top listed sites.

The best way to know what your competition level is though is to look at the link profiles of the top few sites. Are they using keywords in their anchor text? How many unique domains are linking into their site?

Google primarily relies upon link reputation to determine relevancy for competitive terms. Post Trades is a new SEO forum which has a free tool in the upper right corner which tells you how many unique linking domains are pointing links into a site. That tool will not tell you whether or not they are using keyword rich anchor text, but it is another good way to estimate how competitive a keyword is. The Post Trades tool only analyzes the first 1,000 backlinks in Yahoo!, so if your competitors have more than 1,000 backlinks it may not be accurate.

Related SEO Tips

Simple Steps to Check the Keyword Density
Keyword density is always expressed as a percentage of the total word content on a given web page

What Is Keyword?
Keywords are what you think or your prospective site visitors may type in a search box.

Common Keyword Problems
There are a few common problems with keyword selection that should be avoid.