How many times have you heard SEO ‘gurus’ congratulating themselves about ranking for keywords with millions competitors? I see it all the time, often on sales pages for SEO consutlancy services or ranking software.
So called experts will usually tell you that the total number of results that a search engine has lists for a particular keyword is a measure of its difficulty or competitveness.
The number of results has long be used as measure keyword difficulty, it’s even been used to form mathematical formula such as KEI or R/S ratios.
They’re all wrong.
I guarantee that you are NEVER competing against millions of other sites to rank for your particular keyword. And I’ll prove it to you right now.
Search for this term on Google – keyword research
I’m getting around 56 millions results in Google. Yours may differ a little depending on where you are.
Next add the following parameter to the URL in the browser window start=990 or just click here:
All we’ve done is skip to the 990th result, as you probably know Google will only ever display a maximum of 1000 results.
Now surely if Google really had 56 million viable sites all vying to be #1 for keyword research then they would easily max out the 1000 results. But as you can see Google has decided that only 811 of the results are actually worth displaying. To quote Google directly:
“In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 811 already displayed.”
So Google has decided that all but 811 of the 56 million results are irrelevant, junk or duplicate content sites etc. They’re not even worth displaying to the searcher.
Try it with a few other keywords:
hdtv – 77 million results reduced to 720 ‘real’ results
porsche cayman – 1.9 million results reduces to 602 ‘real’ results
tens machine – 1.6 million down to 701 ‘real’ results
So the next time an SEO ‘guru’ tells you how many million sites he just beat to get the first page just add the &start=990 switch to see exactly how many ‘real’ results they actually beat.
Interesting stuff? Well it defnitely is but next time I’ll explain why your actual competition is much, much lower still.