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Adsense - Why Low Competition = Less Money for You!

Updated on February 7, 2014

Common fallacy

For many years now, article writers, internet marketers, SEO agencies and businesses alike have invested heavily into advertising online. Indeed, the last few years have seen a major increase, and many more individuals are joining the internet marketing craze due to a variety of different reasons, such as freedom, the economy, and more.

Now, Google Adsense is undoubtedly the king of online advertising and revenue. It allows businesses and sites to advertise on their platform, and allows individuals and business to display the adverts for those who have paid to be displayed. The individual or business placing Adsense adverts on their pages will then be paid a good share of the revenue generated.

There are many guides, online and off, that discuss Adsense in more detail, but one very common misconception I have come across is regarding Google’s Keyword Planner, and has to do with ‘keyword research’, a term popular with article writers and internet marketers.

This misconception has to do with the ‘Competition’ module.

What do people think it means?

Many people, experienced and novice alike, perceive the competition module to be telling them how easy it is to rank for a keyword. You may see it like this too – you may think that High, Medium and Low Competition means exactly that – High=Hard to rank for, Medium=Medium difficulty, and Low=Super-easy.

Undoubtedly this is how it appears to the untrained eye. Low competition for a keyword must mean it’s easy to rank for, right? I mean, that’s usually what ‘competition’ refers to. And the Keyword Planner is here to help us too, isn’t it?

Sorry, but this kind of thinking couldn’t be more wrong!

What does it do really?

In short, the competition module in Google’s Keyword Planner is actually for advertisers looking to buy their own Adsense ads, not people looking to make revenue by displaying the ads on their content. That means if you’re doing keyword research to find some great keywords for your blog or article, the competition module is of little use to you – although there is one thing that may be very useful indeed. You need to rid your existing beliefs though, because it doesn’t tell you how easy it is to rank for a keyword.

They do not tell you how competitive a keyword is to rank for

This is very important to remember. When researching a keyword using Google planner, the competition module is not for you unless you are buying that keyword (e.g. placing your own advert and spending money on it). If you’re not doing this, yet you still place huge emphasis on using them to find yourself great keywords (e.g. you’re thinking “Wow, low competition? That’s easy to rank for!) then you need to read on, because this is not what they mean.

Why you are using keyword tool completely wrong – and what you can do about it

If you place huge emphasis on High, Medium and Low competition when finding keywords to rank for, then you’re doing it completely wrong. You need to switch your thinking and use it to enhance your search results, not make finding ‘low’ competition your goal.

In fact, you actually always want to be targeting High to Medium competition keywords when possible.

Why target High and Medium competition keywords? I thought they were harder to rank for?

Not necessarily! Google wouldn’t divulge such information about how hard a keyword is to rank for directly through their system. Ranking your article, site or blog for a keyword depends upon a huge number of factors, and Google wants as few people as possible to know what their algorithms are in order to avoid manipulation of the search results.

However, by targeting high and medium competition keywords, you’ll at least know that there are advertisers willing to spend money on these ads, which in turns means there will be customers, which in turn means a market and profits for you. If you targeted a low competition keyword, the chances are that for each click on any Adsense adverts you’re displaying, you will receive less than if you’d targeted high and medium competition keywords – simply because there will be more people wanting to advertise on these!

Therefore, it’s best to not use Google’s Keyword Planner alone, and certainly not base your decisions upon its competition module. It can be a useful ally in deciding which niches and keywords to target, but if you’re using it alone then you are hurting your profit potential immensely – I cannot stress this enough.

Use the competition module to see if people actually want to spend money on that keyword:

Do people want to spend money on the keyword? Here’s a quick translator for you to keep in mind:

  • High Competition = Yes, absolutely! Shut up and take my money!
  • Medium Competition = Yes, I’d like to advertise
  • Low Competition = Not really (Avoid!)

The higher the Adsense competition, the more money you can make!

Pair Google’s Keyword Planner with some other great keyword tools, and you’ll be well on your way.

Don't try to fool Google - they're watching!
Don't try to fool Google - they're watching!

Well, give me some great keyword research tools that actually tell me how hard a keyword is to rank then!

Ok, since you asked for it, below are some of the absolute best keyword research tools I could find. Some of them you will need to buy, although you usually always receive a free trial to evaluate them. Enjoy!

Long Tail Pro

Market Samurai


Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool

Ultimate Niche Finder

Keyword Eye

Give each of them a try to Google some tutorials for each (or follow them on the websites themselves), and see which one you like best before making a purchasing decision. All of these are superb keyword research tools, and when used in conjunction with Keyword Planner, can really make keyword research a breeze.

I hope you enjoyed this hub, and if so, please leave a comment. Also, if you believe I’m wrong about anything or you have ground-breaking information, let us know!


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