Competition Analysis in Search Engines

So here in TDN Towers, we’ve  been busy bashing the keyboard creating a tool that may revolutionise the way you assess the work to be done in ranking a site.

It will assess an industry for how competitive it is and what it will take for you to take your, or your client’s site, to stand a good chance of ranking at the top.

It’s purely related to the off site factors and doesn’t take into account the prerequisites for success… a great site, at least as good as the competition currently ranking in the top spots etc is the minimum standard.

But you know that already, let’s dive into the tool itself.

The details of how this system works are based on a post we made detailing the process that has been proven and provided consistent results, predicting the work to be done for well over a decade.

The post was well received by the SEO community but one overwhelming message came back….
“Jason, this is bloody hard to do.”
“Excel won’t work at these scales “and
“I can’t get the data easily, and I don’t know what to do!”

So Richard and I decided to sit down and create something that does this all for you… It wasn’t easy, it isn’t cheap, but it bloody well works and does so extremely easily.

The bottom line is simple… If you want to rank, this tool helps you define the level of link building that you’ll need to perform to get to the top.

Let me be clear though, this system is imperfect… but it is the least imperfect method I know for assessing your competition in the SERPs!

So let me tell you about the flaws that you need to be aware of and understand so that it’s limitations can be appreciated when you see anomalies or enter data to be analysed that gives you results you wouldn’t normally expect.

First of all I strongly suggest reading the blog post above. The link again is:

Now… onto the geek heavy stuff.

When using the system it asks you to choose 5 options…

    1. Search Term
    2. Your Domain
    3. Language
    4. Geolocation
    5. Google version

All 5 are important.

1. Your Search Term.

When using this system, please think of it as a way of understanding a marketplace as a whole and not a specific keyword.

We’ll return data for [buy little green widgets for sale in London] but [green widgets] is likely to be the better term for you to ascertain how well you’d do and what it would take to become the [green widget] master and rock n roll with all the big [green widget] sellers out there. You want into the [green widget] seller’s club and want to be there at the very top

Our presumption is you don’t want just one keyword, but want to be competitive across the board for ALL key-phrases that the companies currently ranking, have search referral traffic for.

If you only search for one small word or phrase, then although we’ll return data (and charge you for it) the tool may well give you back results that are inappropriate for that term.

IE, Seeing Amazon and eBay appearing and us analysing all their backlinks, when you really only want to compete with local retailers…

It’s for this reason we display the results and allow you to deselect inappropriate competitors to analyse against in the next stage….

2. Your Domain.

This should be self explanatory. It’s your or your client’s core web site, the one you wish to rank… Get this wrong, and everything else will be a waste of time!

3. Language
4. Geolocation
5. Google Version

Language, Geolocation and Google Version are important, especially when you get unusual combinations…

If you work in travel you’ll know this very well as a foreign language term to what you’d normally expect for an IP and/or Google version can be a great signal of a traveller.

For example –

Now I don’t speak French, but I believe that the phrase [de voiture londres] is French for [car hire London]

This is a pretty strong signal that a French visitor to London wants to  hire a car and the PPC guys have done superb work here, showing adverts in French to increase likelihood of conversion.

The language is French, the originating Google version is .fr, which is what this traveller would have set as default on his phone or laptop, but his Geolocation is in the UK… Likely in London.