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How to REALLY check competition for a niche

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by mate73, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. mate73

    mate73 Junior Member

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    Within the last week I've mentioned this two times on this board but since I'm still getting sick and tired of people discussing how difficult it is to rank in a niche with 200 000 results this information needs to be spread. You can probably make an e-book out of it and earn some bucks but hey, here it is for free. Just give me a thanks and we will be even.

    Everyone of you will agree with me that the only results that matters are on the first page. Sure you might get some visitors on page 2 and once in a while on page 3 but that's not enough to build a business on. By agreeing with this you also agree that it doesn't matter if you rank on place 50 or 500 000, you will most certainly get the same amount of traffic.

    So, your competitors are not the results on place 1 - 500 000. You competitors are the sites ranking 1 - 10 and those are the only sites that matters!

    Real life example) You are going to run 100 meters and you can choose to run against 10 fast leopards or 500 000 snails. Everyone of you will choose to compete against 500 000 snails and this is why looking for the number of results when choosing a niche is a fucking terribly idea. So stop doing that now!

    How it works theoretically

    To tell you the truth I'm really lazy so I'm just checking the most important. If you want to really know everything about your competitors you can dig deeper. I will give you some ideas on how to do this by the end of this text, but feel free to mention your ideas by leaving a comment.

    As you already know, a backlink can be compared with a vote for your site. I'm not going to ramble some random made up statistics but I can say with certain that backlinks are the number one measurement when search engines rank your site. This is why you should focus on the backlinks when examining your competition.

    So, to tell you how to rank number 1 in a niche you need to know how many backlinks you will need. This is unfortunately no exact science but by compering the backlinks for your competitors you will get a good idea on how many backlinks of each kind you will need.

    How to do it practically

    The first thing you need to do is to gather all the backlinks for your competitors ranking 1 - 10 (depending on how lazy you are). If it's a low number around 1 000 you can use Yahoo Site Explorer. If it's more you might want to use a software such as Advanced Link Manager.

    When you've gathered all the backlinks you should check the PR for each and one of them and combine it to a list. Before going forward it might be a good idea to filter out the highest PR from each domain. Personally I believe a few backlinks from a site are as good as one sitewide link so these sitewide links will just mess up your stats by looking like hundreds of unique backlinks.

    For an example:

    Competitor #1 - 180 PR0 - 9 PR1 - 2 PR2 - 18 PR3
    Competitor #2 - 130 PR0 - 10 PR1 - 4 PR2 - 3 PR3

    Since we have no idea how many PR1 equal one PR2 (no, we don't!) you simply have to make some guesses. After a while you will figure out what you need to outrank the two mentioned above. You can be pretty sure that by getting 180 PR0, 10 PR1, 4 PR2 and 18 PR3 you will outrank them both.

    Develop this idea

    If you are not as lazy as me you can start to play with other variables such as anchor texts, links position on the site, total number of external links, total number of internal links, if the links are nofollow or d0follow, etc. The sky is the limit as once said.

    But isn't pagerank worthless?

    Obviously PR isn't as good as it once was but it's still a hell of a lot better than running blindfolded not knowing if you are competing against 100 000 snails or 100 000 leopards..

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    If you found this useful, don't forget to thank me by pressing the button on the right. And please, as soon as you see someone mentioning how they are outranking xxx xxx sites, please forward them to this topic!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 36
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  2. _unknown_

    _unknown_ Junior Member

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    I've been thinking this for a while now, you just confirmed my own theories :)

    Thanks! rep+ given
     
  3. charlie3

    charlie3 Senior Member

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    That puts it pretty plain and simple. A lot of times I get so deep into competition looking at all the stats and everything else, but what you said about just getting a few more backlinks in each PR level than the #1 or #2 competitor you're probably going to get right up there.

    Sometimes you just gotta step back and not over think things so much. Thanks :D
     
  4. realmarketing

    realmarketing BANNED BANNED

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    i agree when you step back and look at the big picture you usually find that small something that you aren't doing.
     
  5. Genghis John

    Genghis John Registered Member

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    I try to be as formulaic with this as possible. Thanks man.
     
  6. millhugz

    millhugz Regular Member

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    +rep for the real life example.. so simple yet so powerful..
    You made my day.
     
  7. xxf8xx

    xxf8xx Supreme Member

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    This is a damn good post and a LOT of people need to read this. Thanks a ton for taking the time to post this. I will be posting a link to this on my blog. Hopefully more people can read this and learn from it.
     
  8. neverblue

    neverblue Newbie

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    very useful post
    thanks
     
  9. chockomonkey

    chockomonkey Regular Member

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    Hmm you're right. I should be doing more link research instead of just the stuff MS gives you. ty
     
  10. BootLoot

    BootLoot Junior Member

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    Great advice, I need to follow it myself.
     
  11. royce22

    royce22 Registered Member

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    great post we need more great content like this in the community. I had the same question on the competition. definitely will be using this in future
     
  12. mousanony

    mousanony Newbie

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    I've always considered myself a noob, so even though I thought it was odd I never questioned those people who flexed their e-dick saying they outranked 50 million sites lol. Obviously, like you said it's more important whos in the top ten
     
  13. smoove081

    smoove081 Junior Member

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    Good info thanks man
     
  14. Bestbuyfoam

    Bestbuyfoam Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks for your time, good timings for me! Thanks for the share, +rep...


    And have a blessed one...
     
  15. THUNDERELVI

    THUNDERELVI Elite Member

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    NO tool will give you all the backlinks a website has, if it's more than 1k, then you can't know exactly what your competitors are doing and where are they getting their links, you can only analyze 1k links Yahoo Site Explorer gives you!
    Besides this, it's a very useful post, thnx a lot!
     
  16. Camsam

    Camsam Registered Member

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    Christ....
     
  17. bartemt

    bartemt Registered Member

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    Thanks for making a thread about it, I have also mentioned this like 5 times in my replies but it always gets ignored.

    Luckily I have only started one site based on the amount of competition before common sense hit me.

    That site is still ranking nowhere for its keyword (not even top 500, with 50k competing pages), it has more backlinks than any of my other sites, some of which are ranking top10 for their keyword against 500 000 competition.

    BTW, pagerank scale is logarithmic, so a PR1 link would be worth 10 PR0 link, PR5 link worth 10000 PR0 links and so on, these are just my best guesses based on the claim/fact that pagerank scale is logarithmic.

    These need to be a real high pagerank links not "PR9 link omg"- links. Meaning your link needs to be on the page itself that has 9 pagerank (IE. youtube FRONTPAGE) not on a subpage which usually have PR0. Then there is also the fact/claim/myth that all links on a page share the juice, so a link coming from a PR4 page with only 4 other links on it is better than a PR5 link with 50 links on it for example.

    Going this deep into competition analysis is kind of excessive though and a huge waste of time.
     
  18. jakekelly

    jakekelly Junior Member

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    This is something I tend to forget about when I am doing competition analysis. This is a real good kick in the pants for me. I have got to start looking at my competition more in these niches. Thanks for sharing this!
     
  19. Dj Co2

    Dj Co2 Elite Member

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    I can't stop wondering at the intellect of BHW members :).. Damn good post mate! +Rep
     
  20. Maddrax

    Maddrax Registered Member

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    Thanks for the post! Actually, when it ended I really was in the mood of further reading but then, well, it ended :)