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Market Samurai can be counter-productive

  1. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    I jumped on the bandwagon and signed up for Market Samurai.

    Having spent some time playing with it, I'd advise people to think twice about signing up.

    I can see the value, however having used the rank checker and SEO competition for my websites, all it's achieved is to make me want to throw in the towel.

    MS has shown me my competition and shown me what an impossible task it is to ever rank anything close to any of them.  It's completely pointless.  A waste of time.  I might as well delete the lot of them and give up now.

    I was a lot happier when I was in blissful ignorance!

    1. alternate poet profile image76
      alternate poetposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      If we take the information that it gives as correct, and I have no reason to think it is not ?  then it is a bit daunting isn't it.  I have just got to the point where it is clear that good markets have (maybe obviously) corresponding high competition.  Using hte method they rcommend for finding niches to explore turns up pretty thin pickings, but they are there I suppose.

      It just supports the chat on the forums about hte value of a good niche I think.

      I have a specific site idea in mind and am looking at how to build a network of stuff to support it and drive people to it - I have decided (for the time being until proved wrong) that a combination of lesser competetion words with the big words that have high competition will have to be the way to go.  But it is still very much on the drawing board.

    2. shazwellyn profile image85
      shazwellynposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hey... I thought it was just me!  I thought it was quicker doing it myself!

  2. Boomer60 profile image61
    Boomer60posted 6 years ago

    Wow! This is the first negative thing I have heard about Market Samurai. But again is this all bad?

    I am considering getting this tool. I want to know exactly what my competition is before I build websites or hubs here on Hubpages. How can this be counter productive?

    No website is impossible to beat. The only thing that would matter to me would be the pay-off if I did conquer the niche. And also my willingness to invest the time.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      In that case, it wouldn't be. But if you already have sites that you've done a lot of work on, then you discover the subjects are completely dominated already, that's different.  And that's where I am.

      1. alternate poet profile image76
        alternate poetposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        But MS talks about ways of finding the niche keywords associated with your subjects I think  -  I looked on this as a way of getting the lesser keywords lined up to bring traffic in through the back door so to speak.

  3. Hovalis profile image88
    Hovalisposted 6 years ago

    Marisa, where are you in comparison to the competition? That is a good place to start. Don't assume you are at the very back of the heap, because you aren't! If you were there would be no traffic at all to your sites.

    Have a look at some of the alternative keywords as well. You may find that a slight shift in keywords will get you what you want with your sites intact.

    Does Market Samurai give you a measure of the amount of backlinks you'd need to get ahead of the competition? Micro Niche Finder has this and it is a great little tool. Keywords which looked insurmountable turned out to be not as bad as I thought.

    Just remember when digging from the front is too much work, try digging a little from the sides. It might get you the results you need.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes F&*($%ing thousands.  And most of them have domains far older than mine.  And I have looked at alternative keywords.

  4. ross670daw profile image78
    ross670dawposted 6 years ago

    I can understand your frustration with Market samurai Marisa, but please don't give up, think of your readers. While samurai highlights the keywords we probably should avoid,unless we intend on giving everything we have got to get our Hubpages to the top of the serps, I think it is an extremely useful tool in determining those very few high traffic, low competition niches, and how to go about ranking for them.

    Some keyword niches naturally have Hubpage hubs rank higher on Google, while others not so, saying that, Google is growing more attached to new regularly updated content since it's caffeine update. I am sure you all know much about these things already.
    Being able to narrow down to some viable longtail keywords, where you can see what commercial value they have, see what backlinks those competing top sites have, and their anchor text, and how many,( where you can then go to those sites and get the same backlinks to your site) and also determine how many competing pages there are with all the other SEOC, SEOTC, SEOTCR, OCI, and all the other letters in the competition analysis features, for me Market samurai has way more benefits than disadvantages.
    Plus all the other modules to play with. You must drill down, aim high and fight back please.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Ross, I did say I can see MS has value.  You're missing my point and so is Misha. 

      I have existing websites.  I thought I was doing a reasonable job of understanding keywords and SEO, based on the Keyword Tool and the Wonder Wheel.  Now I look at them in MS I get a totally different picture - I'm up against aged domains with thousands of backlinks. 

      Which means, as Mark said recently, if I'm serious about making money online then I should abandon the lot and start again.  Except that I care about the subjects I write about on some of those websites and it would pain me to let them go - but it also pains me that they may never go anywhere.

      1. Aya Katz profile image90
        Aya Katzposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Don't give them up. Aged giants can give way to newer, younger sites. How this happens is unlikely to be reflected in a tool like Market Samurai.

  5. Misha profile image74
    Mishaposted 6 years ago

    Marisa, this has nothing to do with MS (or any other SEO tool), and has everything to do with your lack of SEO knowledge. You can continue to stay uneducated in this area, or you can start educating yourself. Choice is yours. Advising others to stay ignorant does not look as the wisest piece of advise you ever dished out. smile

    1. Aya Katz profile image90
      Aya Katzposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Misha, for once I would put in a word in favor of ignorance. After all, the market is just a massive number of people vying with each other, right? If you are informed of the exact odds as they -- the other people -- understand them, then aren't you basically agreeing to accept the market as it is, only fall into line and do what they tell you, going for the better paying but less competed for keywords, like a good little soldier taking orders from others?  Don't we want want to change the market? Isn't that what really successful business people do?

      1. Misha profile image74
        Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I want to feed my family first Aya. And this is waaaaaaaaaaaaay easier done by following the market than by trying to change it. smile

        And I was not even talking about that... Both Marisa and Lisa seem to demonstrate a lack of skills in using MS - nevertheless claiming it does not do the job. In my experience, MS does what it was designed and advertised for just fine - so I was trying to point out that before blaming the tool it might be feasible to learn how to use it first and what it was designed to do. smile

        1. Marisa Wright profile image93
          Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I didn't say it didn't work. If you read my post again, you'll see I say it does work. 

          I was saying it works so well, it's depressing. It's a case of too much information - when you see how daunting the competition is, it just makes you feel like giving up on the spot. 

          When I thought I was trying to climb Ben Nevis, I was happy to keep trying.  Now I realize I'm climbing Everest, I'm not sure I'm up to the job.

          Thanks to WryLilt, Nelle, Lisa and everyone else who has offered encouragement!

          1. Misha profile image74
            Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            LOL You said "it can be counter productive" - which does not exactly mean "it does work". And I am trying to explain that the way you used it and interpreted the results are counter productive, not the tool - as you title says. smile

            As others said several times here - use MS to search for less competitive keywords related to your niches, and add pages about those keywords to your sites - instead of grieving about MS revealing your wrong choices of initial keywords. Nothing to grieve about really, we all did such mistakes in the beginning. Instead of giving up and deleting your sites - amend them using your newfound knowledge. smile

            1. Marisa Wright profile image93
              Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Misha, this is what I said:

              "I can see the value, however having used the rank checker and SEO competition for my websites, all it's achieved is to make me want to throw in the towel.

              MS has shown me my competition and shown me what an impossible task it is to ever rank anything close to any of them."

              Did you see that phrase, "I can see the value"?????????????

              What I was saying was, that Market Samurai can be very de-motivating.  I don't need you to de-motivate me even further by telling me I'm stupid and ignorant.

              1. Misha profile image74
                Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                No Marisa, I never meant to call you stupid - I know very well you are not. Ignorant is probably not the right word here too, cause I know you are learning that stuff, and my understanding of the word "ignorant" includes the lack of willingness to learn - which is clearly not the case here.

                So I apologize if I sounded this way, it definitely was not intended. smile

                1. 0
                  klarawieckposted 6 years ago in reply to this


                  I tried to look through your hubs and you have so many on the subject I was overwhelmed. If I send you an email with my email, could you email me the hubs you've written about things that can help me increase the traffic?

                  1. Misha profile image74
                    Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this
    2. jaymelee23 profile image66
      jaymelee23posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes - people... if you want to turn your articles, sites, or blogs into something that makes money then you need SEO and to follow what MIsha says. Now if you are using articles, blogs or websites for hobbies then so be it. You won't make any money by doing your own thing though. You have to use these tools to figure out what will drive traffic to your site and use them to also figure out how you can compete.

  6. lrohner profile image84
    lrohnerposted 6 years ago

    Marisa-Like many other SEO tools, Market Samurai is really not much better than a flag in the wind. I'm not saying don't use it, just don't take what it says as gospel.

    I have a keyword that I've held the #1 spot for several years. I also hold the #3 spot and, until recently, the #2 as well. I ran that keyword through MS and can tell you that the daily searches it returned were about 1/3 to 1/2 of what they really are, trends were about right, and the average daily clicks (AWT) was only a fraction (about 1/30th) of what I really get. On the flip side, maximum # of potential daily clicks (SEOT) was grossly overstated.

    You have a choice of using nothing or using MS, and I would go with using MS. But frankly, I use it more to gauge competition than I do to determine keyword value.

    1. Misha profile image74
      Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Lisa, somehow your numbers do not make sense for me. None of them.

      How do you know what daily searches "really" are?

      AWT is expected Adwords traffic, I doubt you are talking adwords here...

      And SEOT is a rough approximation that takes into account only SERP position, while the real traffic depends on other things, too...

      Looks like you might benefit from re-watching some of the educational videos that come with MS. smile

      1. lrohner profile image84
        lrohnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I don't doubt that, Misha! smile

        So let me stick to what I do know--I get roughly twice the amount of unique visitors from search engines to my site than what MS says is the average # of daily searches, and have been for years. The number it gives isn't even nearly close.

        While I cannot prove nor disprove the remaining numbers, I can tell you that I know this niche and its competition and its advertisers. If nothing else, the numbers that MS gives just don't seem or feel right.

        Better? smile

  7. 0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 6 years ago

    Marissa please don't get discouraged by MS or any other statistical tool. You have an intimate knowledge of dance and it's equipment and that give your site a ring of truth and interest. I also love your anti-aging hubs.

    If there's a topic I want to write about, then I write abount it, MS, TKA, or wordtracker be damned. Then I just promote like crazy.

    I would think that your dance site, would get lots of genuine interest and backlinks from others in the dance community. And google will see that it's very genuine - and reward as such!

    I have a site that is on a subject that I probably know better than anyone else in the world, that is an extremely competitive niche, it's doing really well, with almost no promotion effort on my part. People just flock to the info and give backlinks.

    There's so many ways to make money online, some people love models, others never use them. After my experiments of the past few months, I say do your own thing and do it well - and you'll be fine.

  8. lakeerieartists profile image79
    lakeerieartistsposted 6 years ago

    Market Samurai is a tool.  And we always have to remember that tools are to be used by us, not us used by them.  I would say take the information on Market Samurai into consideration, but then also use your experience to judge what will work and what won't.  As the work we do is judged ultimately by humans and not machines, we need to realize that in the end the human factor does come into play, and not just the numbers.

  9. sunforged profile image68
    sunforgedposted 6 years ago

    There is always some creative phrasing that is used by searchers but not by your competition.


    Capture that traffic. Capture new terms and events in niche that are yet to happen (reactive keyword research wont help find those)

    It snowballs.

  10. Bill Manning profile image69
    Bill Manningposted 6 years ago

    I've found that you always can rank better and easier than what any SEO or key word tool says. From what I've seen tools tell me I can't rank for anything, yet I'm #1 on google for dozens of words.

    Use them to get a general idea of what to go for, and the different key phases you may not have thought of.

    Then just go for it and see what happens. Often you will find you rank lots better than what the tools say you would do. smile

  11. Jane@CM profile image60
    Jane@CMposted 6 years ago

    I used the 30 day free trial and got too immersed in it.  I was spending more time researching than writing lol  What I did find was that the keywords I found on MS and used in my hubs have not out performed my other hubs overall.  They are about equal, some better, some not.

    I still research my keywords, but I also look at the whole picture - my own real world to find what I need.

  12. thisisoli profile image72
    thisisoliposted 6 years ago

    WHoah, Marisa, just remember that a websites success doesn't always come from where you intended, and that statistical tools are there to help you.  Try looking for long tail keywrds and write a few articles around them, while still working on your primary keywords.  Keep building things up and you will be surprised what you can achieve.  I have cracked some pretty tough markets, it is definitely possible, especially for a good writer such as yourself!

  13. skyfire profile image74
    skyfireposted 6 years ago

    One thing i learned from amazon sales hub writers is that you have to find the product & write reviews till you get exhausted. If you waste time keeping eye on competition, you'll lose more money than you can earn from product hubs. There is a lot of competition for product reviews of thesis, artisteer & mnf but you can still beat the competition with your sales hubs. Competitor analysis to some extent is good, but is over-rated these days IMO.

  14. Fiction Teller profile image62
    Fiction Tellerposted 6 years ago


    I know you're not asking for advice here, as the subject is MS...but I suspect one thing that could defeat the numbers is if you offered something on your website that's high in demand but nobody else offers.

    Such as:

    The personal touch (your own detailed experiences)

    Peripheral sections that solve problems typical for your market (for example, about finding gigs in your subject, or about health implications of your subject, or best of all, a comprehensive list and description of training schools and programs at all age levels)

    And if the sites against which you're competing are truly authoritative, do what Google does - don't ignore the competition; embrace it and encompass it.  Link to the competition, point out what's valuable about it, and be a go-to source for it.

  15. WryLilt profile image89
    WryLiltposted 6 years ago


    I know exactly how you feel! I'm on my free trial and it's scary seeing the numbers.

    But I learnt early on from a non keyword researched really good quality hub early in my days at HP (It was an interest topic and I had no idea how competitive it was!). If something really is the best of its kind on the net (or at least very good quality) you'll get the traffic. So forget the numbers, just work on making sure it's as good quality as possible.

    And to everyone taking a shot at Marisa, she's just venting her frustration, not purposely taking a pot shot at MS. Many other people have done it on the forums...
    I've never seen Marisa be anything but encouraging and helpful on the forums so I think she has the right to vent once in a while!

    1. sofs profile image87
      sofsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      This is very encouraging for those of us who are starters to just focus on what we do, and do it well. MS or no.  So I just take this write good quality hubs!!!   Goood news this!!

  16. jaymelee23 profile image66
    jaymelee23posted 6 years ago

    Marisa, you're just going to have to make sure that your pages are better SEO'd and that you have more backlinks than your competitors. In time you can climb over them. I have no idea if you have any social networking tools on your site or not, but consider adding a forum or something similar to keep people coming back. In time your social community will help build your site up with backlinks too from external sites and blogs. Don't sweat it Marisa, if your niche is your passion then you will do fine in the long run if you stick to it. It will probably take quite a bit of work but anyone can rank for any term or phrases they want if they put serious effort into it. Good luck. Market Samurai is a very good tool.

    WryLit and LakeErieArtists, you could have a article that is so good that it could win awards but if you don't have all they necessities that are described above then no one will ever find you. The internet is way different on determining what is "great" content. Other sites, SEO and algorithms decide. Haven't you ever seen those MFA sites? I'm sure you have... are they great? NO.. but they rank very well because the site owner did some keyword research, slapped a site together with thin content, plastered some ads and then keep anchor text backlinking to it all over the internet for the keywords they want to rank to for.

    1. Bill Manning profile image69
      Bill Manningposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, and unfortunately that proves that crappy sites can in fact outrank great content sites. Google can and does get fooled all the time about what is a good site.

      There is a niche, not going to say what it is. But all the top 8 spots are just single page sites with almost no text at all, totally worthless really. It's all because of thousands of backlinks they have, nothing more.

      Which means soon Google will change the way they rank pages again, as they always do. Can't wait for that! smile

      1. jaymelee23 profile image66
        jaymelee23posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Are they MFA? I'm guessing so.. well, G hates them. Click on the "Ads by Google" thingy next to ads on the sites. A form will pop up where you can turn them in. You have to do it one by one, I believe. I hate MFA and there is another thread on Hubpages about it. Seems the majority of people agree. Nothing wrong with trying to earn money on the internet but those sites p*ss me off because they just make things spammy. They also ruin it for those who supply good to great stuff and are trying to earn a few in exchange. Half of the MFA sites that I come across are barely readable due to article spinners. Bill, do the internet a service and report them. Then dominate that niche will some great stuff.  Google encourages people to turn them in because it not only hurts good sites but it hurts them by supplying spammy results to users.

  17. Christene profile image81
    Christeneposted 6 years ago

    Marisa, before Market Samurai were you happy with your earnings here on Hubpages and on your own sites?

    There will always be people outperforming you, but if you are doing well for yourself it shouldn't matter how they're doing. Don't get discouraged!

  18. IzzyM profile image86
    IzzyMposted 6 years ago

    Marisa I looked at your sites and I think they are just great! Well -written, professional and with really attractive layouts.
    Just keep working on them, maybe backlink a few of them, especially to the same sites that are giving your competitors backlinks, and they will come up in the rankings, because they are good quality and that's what google wants.
    MS has been fantastic for me, not so much yet for keyword research, but for allowing me to see what was wrong with my existing hubs and improving them. My stats are still on a steep climb upwards since I made some changes. All thanks to Market Samurai.
    Why don't you check your hubs out? You might be pleasantly surprised at how well they are doing - getting these four red boxes at the end seems to be of extreme importance and will make a difference if they are not there now.
    I still need to find out how to add the description to blogger. That's holding my blogs back because they're not fully optimized.

  19. jaymelee23 profile image66
    jaymelee23posted 6 years ago

    I also just looked at your sites and they are very nice Marisa. Stick to them and figure out what you can do to improve your traffic.

  20. 0
    Tilecleaninghubposted 6 years ago

    I agree about Market Samurai to a point.  It does make things seem a lot more confusing.  Some of my most viewed articles are just thought up with no keyword research and just writing all the knowledge in my mind.  Do not give up and do not let the stats and such scare you.  If you have a good website with tons of content and you are the expert in that field then you will be number one if you take the time and effort in your website.

  21. Cordale profile image75
    Cordaleposted 6 years ago

    I don't understand why you will say this has encouraged you to delete some hubs. I'm supposing you wrote this hub out of some bad-illed feelings from being disappointed, but shouldn't it encourage you? I mean if you are happy with how you are doing now, this should only show you that there are even tons more to be made! It should encourage you to get on their level and control your niche!

  22. Kangaroo_Jase profile image80
    Kangaroo_Jaseposted 6 years ago

    SERPS, keywords, SEO, Longtail keywords, articles, article marketing, backlinks, backlinking, inline links, Click Through Rate, cost per click, expected clicks per thousand impressions, ePn, AdSense, Adwords, website setup, blog, blogging, setup a blog, internet marketing, internet advertising, affiliate marketing, affiliate advertising, Amazon, bidvertising, web site flipping, SE updates, SE dance........ please feel free to add a 'term' I may have missed.

    After 6 months of getting into 'internet marketing' I came across pretty much all those terms above and how did it make me feel?

    "I can see the value, however having used almost none of this before and feeling heavily overwhelmed as I have no guidance, all it's achieved is to make me want to throw in the towel"

    I am still around after slowly crawling, and dragging my way through understanding all of this shit after 2 years. After $1 a month after 12 months, then $10 a month after 18 months and looking like making some decent money to more than pay for fuel for the car each week. It is nice I am finally getting somewhere.

    Competition?????? F**k the competition, give me enough time and I will be happy with the traffic I shall be getting with those niches I am working with.

    Chin up Marisa, your a dancer, when you danced professionally at one stage (I gather) I very much doubt you stopped dancing due to feeling overwhelmed by the other dancing competition wink

    Same principle applies, Pase Doble over that competiton !!!!!

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      You're quite right, KJ!  The show must go on!

  23. Greek One profile image79
    Greek Oneposted 6 years ago

    , I have a similar small request...

    Will you let me into your home and teach me everything you know about SEO?

    1. 0
      klarawieckposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Can't be that bad, Misha... He's a marble bust. How harmful can he be?! smile

      1. Greek One profile image79
        Greek Oneposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        depends on what he feeds me...


        1. 0
          klarawieckposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Damn! You had a serious case of gastroenteritis! Ouch!

          1. Greek One profile image79
            Greek Oneposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            not only that.. I had to pass gas very badly smile

            1. 0
              klarawieckposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              You seem quite content after letting the big one go. I see... thumbs up?! wink

              1. Greek One profile image79
                Greek Oneposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                if I had my thumb up.. it would have stopped it from getting away

                1. 0
                  klarawieckposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  What are trying to do with your right hand then? Calling a taxi to get to the toilet in time?

                  1. Greek One profile image79
                    Greek Oneposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    i was bragging to the girl across the street how big it could get

  24. alternate poet profile image76
    alternate poetposted 6 years ago

    Just an update on this - I took the worst performing hubs, from my really really poorly performing hubs anyway in terms of SEO.  I linked two to Stumbleupon and they went from zero views per day to between 2 and 10 views per day and have stayed there.  I take this to mean that if I link to a good selection of suitable sites I would get some kind of traffic rise from each one, and the increased traffic could itself increase traffic generally.

    The issue of money hardly arises yet as I can't think what poetry might sell big_smile

    I only put this here as all the other contributors to this thread are talking in high numbers with complex ways of promotion, maybe I am the only one who often get zero views big_smile