Google Keyword Tool "Advertiser Comeptition" Question

Jump to Last Post 1-7 of 7 discussions (13 posts)
  1. Edweirdo profile image84
    Edweirdoposted 13 years ago

    Hi all!

    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!

    1. mailxpress profile image51
      mailxpressposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Edweirdo,

      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.

  2. KeithTax profile image72
    KeithTaxposted 13 years ago

    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.

    1. Edweirdo profile image84
      Edweirdoposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Kieth!

      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?

  3. thisisoli profile image71
    thisisoliposted 13 years ago

    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.

    1. KeithTax profile image72
      KeithTaxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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.

      1. Mike Rogers profile image59
        Mike Rogersposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        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 wink

        Mike smile

        1. KeithTax profile image72
          KeithTaxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          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.

  4. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 13 years ago

    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

  5. thisisoli profile image71
    thisisoliposted 13 years ago

    Good point!

  6. Edweirdo profile image84
    Edweirdoposted 13 years ago

    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 wink

    1. thisisoli profile image71
      thisisoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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 tongue

  7. CPATechNut profile image61
    CPATechNutposted 13 years ago

    I agree with Keith. Forget the little green bar. There are a score of more important metrics you could be spending your zots on.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)