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!