Through my research, I can't really find a focused answer to this, so I wanted to get some opinions: What indicators should one look at in sizing up their competition in the google top ten rankings of their choice keyword? A couple that I have been looking at recently were the obvious ones, such as the number of backlinks. I imagine that if there is a site with tens of thousands of backlinks, that ranking might be difficult. However, if this were the case, then the top ten would likely be placed in the order of the the number of backlinks, which certainly appears to not be the case. So there are some other indicators. Off the top of my head, I'm looking at: - Content - Backlinks - Keyword density in articles? - various rankings such as Alexa, Moz, PR, Page Authority, etc. - Social signals (likes, pluses, tweets etc) Of course if I am too specific on this question, my real question becomes "what's Google's Algorithm" which I believe everybody would like to know the answer to. If anyone has some insight on the power or relevancy of some of these indicators, I would appreciate the input.