Competition column in Google keyword tool

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  1. Haunty profile image74
    Hauntyposted 13 years ago

    Can someone explain to me in plain English what competition means with regard to us?

    It says there that it gives an indication of how many advertisers are bidding for a keyword. But what does that mean?

    I always thought high competition meant that too many webpages are after the same keyword, but now I'm lead to believe it actually means a high number of adwords advertisers bidding for the keyword. So which is it?

    1. profile image51
      HotHubposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Haunty, the level of competition reflected in the Google keyword tool reflects how many bids there are for a term within AdWords. Nothing more.

    2. thisisoli profile image76
      thisisoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It's the number of Advertisers bidding on a keyword. It is NOT the number of websites competing for a keyword.  A higher competition in the google keywords tool is a good thing.

  2. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 13 years ago

    I look at my competition as any site/page that ranks higher for my keyword than I do. So if I Google the keyword I'm going after, whoever comes up on page 1 is my competition for that keyword.

  3. Haunty profile image74
    Hauntyposted 13 years ago

    I'm talking about keyword research. I open up the Google keyword tool and look up 'apache http server'. It shows a very low competition, so I think to myself, 'hey, that's a good keyword, because very few people write about it.' Then I go and do a Google search on it and find that there are actually a lot of high pagerank websites dealing with the topic and it would be impossible to rank well for it. So why did the keyword tool show low competition while in fact it's pretty high? It escapes me completely.

    1. ChuckHuckaby profile image39
      ChuckHuckabyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It shows low competition in the Google tool you're using because nobody bids on that keyword because that keyword doesn't signal someone looking to "buy" something.

  4. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 13 years ago

    The Google keyword took was designed for advertisers -- not for publishers. I believe the competition column is an indicator of how popular that keyword is with advertisers and is not indicative of how many other sites are competing for that keyword.

    1. maverickserp profile image60
      maverickserpposted 13 years agoin reply to this
  5. 1974 profile image69
    1974posted 13 years ago

    Taken straight from Google:

  6. Haunty profile image74
    Hauntyposted 13 years ago

    Ok, so it's not what I thought it was. Thank you.

    1. livewithrichard profile image72
      livewithrichardposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Higher competition can sometimes mean that there will be a higher payout for publishers when someone clicks on an ad targeted to that keyword. Not always the case. 

      That competition scale is used for adwords users to show them roughly they will have to bid higher to get the ranking they desire for that term.

      We as publishers use the adwords traffic tool to determine if the keyword has enough value for us to consider targeting it in our content.  Others may differ but I choose not to target any term that has a suggested bid lower than $3.

      Of course it would be in your best interest to do a broad and exact search on Google to determine how many competing pages there are.  I would target exact phrases with less than 50,000 competing pages, of course the fewer the better, but also there needs to be a search volume of at least 1000 per month.  If people aren't searching for the term then you are pretty much wasting your time.

      The rules change though when you are targeting in a micro-niche, say there is a search volume of between 100 to 1000 and competing pages of less than 5000 then you stand a very good chance of nailing that term and a good bit of those monthly searches, however, those are terms you want to use to convert to offers not adsense.

      1. Aficionada profile image78
        Aficionadaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Great, helpful answer, lwr!  But... what does this last part mean?  What do you mean by "convert to offers not adsense"?

        1. livewithrichard profile image72
          livewithrichardposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          When the numbers are that low that means the adsense payout, if there is one, will be extremely low too.  So if you want to earn for promoting such a keyword term or phrase then you need to promote an affiliate product that solves a problem for those few people that are searching that phrase.  Adsense income for those terms are likely to be worth a penny or two at best.

          Just about every term you can think of has some sort of affiliate program attached to it.  Just do a Google search for "your term + affiliate program" and review the returns.

          1. Aficionada profile image78
            Aficionadaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks for this too.  Am I correct in believing that here (talking about affiliate programs) you are referring primarily to other sites, not specifically to HubPages?  I joined another affiliate program some time ago (before I understood what these things were all about), but I don't believe it is accepted here on HP.

            1. livewithrichard profile image72
              livewithrichardposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Sure it's accepted. Your content needs to unique and add value to anyone that is searching for the information you provide.  For example, I wrote a hub, some time back, about "Cheap Eyeglasses" and Where to buy cheap eyeglasses online, and in that hub I wanted to promote an affiliate product from 39dollar glasses.  The content is original and not just a rehash of what is found on the affiliate's site.  It solves a problem by offering a solution on where to find inexpensive eyeglasses online.

              Point is, you are not limited to just Adsense, Amazon, Ebay, or Kontera.  If you can write in a manner that solves a problem or offers a solution you can refer readers to an affiliate as long as your content is unique and you use no more than 2 links pointing there.

              1. Aficionada profile image78
                Aficionadaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                Everything is new to me. (Still, after 11 months smile .) I think I was assuming that in talking about affiliate programs (earlier) you were referring to those that are linked to the HP account. 

                But instead (hoping I'm catching on now), you're saying that if I'm a member of a different affiliate program and I provide a link to them in one or more of my Hubs - not exceeding the accepted number on a Hub - then I can generate revenue through that affiliate program when someone reading my Hub clicks on the appropriate link and then purchases something at that other site? And it would be reported only through that affiliate program's channels; it would have nothing to do with the reporting that I receive through the links on the Affiliate Settings section of My Account?  I hope I'm catching on - I'm getting excited about this!

                1. livewithrichard profile image72
                  livewithrichardposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  That is exactly how it works!  I personally use the following affiliate networks (besides Amazon, Ebay, and Adsense)

                  Commission Junction -
                  Share a sale -
                  LinkShare -
                  Clickbank -

                  There are hundreds of others but those above have many fine and brand name products (Clickbank is mostly ebooks or eProducts)

                  You can become an affiliate of Walmart or Kmart and promote their products and earn a commission.

                  But of course the best platform for affiliate marketing is on your very own self hosted blogs because you can be niche specific and the traffic coming to your blogs are there because you brought them there.

  7. profile image48
    hannahmontana1234posted 13 years ago

    ^-^ i am reading your coversation ok. so um how many schools are there? name all of them i will say 2 say one burliegh hill edith cvell that;s burliegh hill is my new school

  8. Vcize profile image60
    Vcizeposted 13 years ago

    I've found google keyword tool to have lots of unreliable data in it.  I've found it very easy to rank for terms that have very "high" competition listed there, and vice versa, many times.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Vcize, read the rest of the thread. You've completely misunderstood what the "competition" information is telling you.

      It's a very common mistake,most of us make it when we start out!

  9. profile image51
    HotHubposted 13 years ago

    Competition in the Google keyword tool reflects how much competition there is amongst adwords users for a keyword. It does not in any way reflect how much you will receive when someone clicks on an ad or how much competition there is within google organic results.

    Because of smart pricing and other variables, when numbers are low you can still earn more for clicks over ads where numbers are high - and vice versa.

  10. CYBERSUPE profile image61
    CYBERSUPEposted 13 years ago

    Thank You livewithrichard for you explanation.

  11. ImChemist profile image59
    ImChemistposted 13 years ago

    Higher competition mean hard work you have to do with your SEO plan.

    1. profile image51
      HotHubposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Nonsense, high competition shown in the Google Keyword Tool means there is high biding competition for a keyword or phrase within AdWords, NOT that there is high competition within organic search results.

      The Google Keyword Tool draws no data whatsoever from organic results such as how many back links a page has, how authoritative a site might be, how old a site might be etc. Therefore there is absolutely zero correlation between the competition for ads shown in the Google Keyword Tool and and the level of competition within Google organic results.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      IMchemist, you need to read the rest of this thread, too.  You've totally misunderstood what it means, as others have already explained.

      1. andyoz profile image87
        andyozposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I have been wrong in what I previulsy thought about this then.  Is it just a coincidence then that when you see the competition rate as high, there always seems to be lots of pages relating to those keywords.  I have never seen a result comes back as high competition then look on the google search and see relatively few matches.

        1. profile image51
          HotHubposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          That's true, but it doesn't tell you how competitive those matches are, just how many.

        2. Franklin Minnis profile image52
          Franklin Minnisposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          3 months old, yet I just found this.  If you were to think about what everyone is saying about competition in the keyword tool.  Yes, the competition reflects the advertisers that are paying for that specific keyword.  Alternately, we as publishers, affiliates, or what have you; use the competition to guage the "profitability" of the keyword.  Logically, you could infer that competition within adwords for that keyword also reflects the equivilent if not more of competition of the publishers, affiliates and the like.  Question, if there is a keyword where the adwords competition is so fierce that they are paying 30, 40, 50 bucks a keyword; what would the actual competition between publishers be?  1 million, 2 million, 46 million in google search results?

  12. Haunty profile image74
    Hauntyposted 13 years ago

    Thanks for the detailed answer, Richard.

  13. profile image56
    joeramanposted 13 years ago

    Its informative one it provides a lots of information related to topic also provide some more information related to topic.

  14. gdon9 profile image60
    gdon9posted 13 years ago

    Nice and informative answers there. We have knowledgeable authors over here at hubpages.

    1. andyoz profile image87
      andyozposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Will second that!

      1. gdon9 profile image60
        gdon9posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Yeah nice one B-)

  15. DaNoblest profile image60
    DaNoblestposted 13 years ago

    Thank you! I found this very useful.


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