I've searched around the forums and haven't found an answer to this one, so I thought I'd post a question here for those hubbers who have more experience at keyword research than I...
When I do research using the Google Keyword Tool, one of the fields shown is a green bar called "Advertiser Competition". Just about everything I've read about SEO and keyword research seems to imply that if this bar is all green, that's a bad thing.
According to the pop-up help at the Google site:
"This column shows the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. The shaded bar is a general guide to help you determine how competitive ad placement is for a particular keyword. "
Since this tool is seemingly intended for AdWords users (i.e. advertisers, not content publishers like us), doesn't the fact that a lot of advertisers are competing for a keyword make it *more* attractive to us writers?
This green bar doesn't indicate web content competition, does it?
I would think that web content competition would be gauged by typing a keyword phrase into Google and seeing what pages are listed - that is our competition.
Or am I completely backwards on this?
Any help from those more SEO experience would be appreciated!
In the past month I have been tweaking the keywords to my hubs, articles, blogs and websites. What I am trying is, I will use keywords which "estimated avg. cpc" is on the high ($$) side BUT also choose a high "local search volume". I hope to see an improvement.
I'll let you know how it works for me.
When using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you don't care about the "little green bar."
You want to focus on CPC. If a keyword has a nice CPC (say $1+) and traffic (say 5,000+ a month), you have a candidate.
Now Google the keyword and check the Page Rank (PR) of the top several search results for your keyword. A PR of 3 or less is good; 4 will take some work; and 5+ will require serious work to move up the ladder.
In short, get a keyword with traffic, a low PR, and a good CPC.
Note: The Google Toolbar displays the PR of each website you visit.
I already do all that using the techniques I learned from The Keyword Academy.
But I've seen contradictory info about that green bar! For instance:
A keyword phrase with average CPC of $5 and half-full green bar versus a phrase with $5 CPC and a full bar.
Would the one with the full bar be more likely to pay a CPC closer to the average, since there is more advertiser competition?
I ask because I have targeted some of my hubs to high-paying keyword phrases, only to have visitors come to that page and click on a 5 cent ad. So would using higher competition keywords be more likely to have CPC closer to the average?
I would say competition is very important in your strategy.
First off, more advertiser competition means consistantly higher click value. Click values can fluctuate hugely on a day to day basis, however with more people competing, these fluctuations should be less dramatic, and your values should be higher.
Some keyword tools measure publisher competition, THAT is a bad thing.
Where ever you read that the green bar is a bad thing, well, I wouldn't carry on reading.
The Keyword Academy has a video where they tell you to turn off the green bar and forget it. TKA only uses CPC, volume, and the keyword in their formula. I think it is a good formula.
I'm not an advocate of the method over at TKA. Page Rank, IMO, has little to do with the actual Google SERP competition for specific target keyword phrases.
I think they are generalizing for the masses and holding back the "good stuff" as one might expect. With that method now public it won't be long before disciples are competing with each other for good targets, muddling up the process.
I use a self-created formula for my blogs and websites that takes into account more what the sites on Google page one are actually doing to get there. In many cases, good targets can be found and ranked for over high PR sites by applying it. Just think like a search engine
Mike, I agree that you should use your own formula. I think TKA is a good starting place for many without experience.
It is important to note that different topics require different approaches to SEO. My best performing tax hubs would never have been written if I trusted data from Google's keyword tool. However, several research websites for CPAs use my hubs and websites as lead articles.
This thread started with a question about the "little green bar." I confess I look at it. But it plays little to no role in my writing process. Keyword research is a start. Sometimes you need to write a hub when everything says it will not work.
This is by no means an answer...just some more questions and factors to screw with all the "formulas"
The cPc you see is most always for the search network, those really high clicks make it into the content network probably only by accident or by new users.
Im an adwords buyer, I would never ever bid high in the content network.
Out of the various ad units on your page, the value of each drops based on its placement. The top banner image could be a $3 click ...while the little text link under the comments is worth only .05
and the ad competition bar has uses, but not in regards to your question. A lot of ad competition suggests a buying crowd, people are paying because those terms are converting for them. It also tells you that its certainly not a secret niche.
But your theory rings true..if the advertisers are in fact using the content network your more likely to see max bid revenue if their is competition for the term.
On the other hand, whether you plan it or not, you are writing content tat triggers dozens if not hundreds of phrases that advertisers are bidding on..if your consistently seeing much lower than you expected, you might want to figure out if a lower paying term is triggering ads
Thanks sunforged, that confirms what I was thinking and why those keyword-targeted pages get clicks for a few cents and why I see multi-dollar clicks on pages where I wasn't expecting them!
So all those SEO "experts" I've been reading who've suggested avoiding keywords with full green bars aren't such experts after all...
Who knew that you can't always trust what you read on the Internets
There are surprisingly few real expert out there, I think I ma pretty knowledegable on the subject, but as you saw in the above post, there are always new things to learn and angles to consider, SEO is far from being a black and white subject!
I think you could probably find an indicator for the percentage of non-expert experts by taking the number of people with Hubs on SEO and then minus the number of those authors who can be found asking basic SEO questions on the forums
I agree with Keith. Forget the little green bar. There are a score of more important metrics you could be spending your zots on.
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