I know a couple... the first one I learned is to type the keyword into Google in quotes. The course I learned this from recommended finding keywords with under 15,000 results showing up when you type the keyword in quotes. Of course, it's very difficult to find a keyword with that little competition that also gets a decent number of searches each month...I've personally made it to position three for a keyword that had a little over 30,000 competing pages show up when you type the keyword in quotes. I've seen some EMD sites that were clearly built by internet marketers get the number one spot for keywords with as many as 115,000 sites showing up when you put the keyword in quotes. These were small Wordpress sites with 5 articles each, and they were promoting a CPA offer. They probably had lots of backlinks, but the point is that 115,000 sites showing up when you put the keyword in quotes isn't too many when you do your on and off page SEO really well. Another method I've learned is to search for allintitle: "keyword" and see how many sites come up. The course I bought recommended shooting for 1000 compeiting sites or fewer. I don't know if this is a good parameter because I haven't used this method before. What are some other ways to find out if a keyword will be easy to get on the top spots of the first page with? Free methods are best because some of us are on a budget, but if you want to share which software is good to buy then don't let me stop you.