Chances are she did not mention the much favored and oft times maligned, Google Adwords keyword tool, also know as the Keyword Tool External, How could she forget? Mom surely taught you what she felt you needed to know to get ahead in the world.
Wash behind your ears, never date sailors, watch what you eat and always wear clean underwear. (If you get run over by a truck do you really want to end up in the hospital wearing dirty underwear?)

Good stuff but she may have been too busy too give you the most important information you will need to succeed. Yep. How to use the External Keyword Tool. Lets talk about keyword research and competition for a minute.

Remember you are only competing with those who are on the first page of Google. No matter how many millions of competing sites there are you only have to out rank one of the 10 on the first page of Google. Most marketers believe that fewer competing pages usually means easier competition but can also mean low interest in the keyword.

SEO Quake--A Free Firefox And Chrome Keyword Addon Tool

One of the best free tools for checking competition is the SEOQuake addon for Firefox or Chrome.
With that turned on you can look at the first 10 sites on Google and see what each sites page rank is, and also check to see if the keyword is used in any of the domain names,  used in the title and the article snippet and with this information make a pretty good estimation of how difficult the keyword is going to be to compete against.

There is no concrete rule because other factors can affect how you rank but a starting rule of thumb is if there are sites with page rank 4 or above in the first 4 or 5 positions it will be tough competition. If you find lots of page rank 1 to 3 sites listed in the top 4 or 5 positions you normally have a good chance of beating them.

Make Sure Your Keyword Choice Is Displaying Adword Ads

Because it seems that Adsence is the largest source of income on sites like Infobarrel, you might also want to make use of, a free tool that will tell you how many Adword ads are on Google for a particular keyword and also the estimated CPC

Finding a super easy to rank keyword in the Adwords keyword tool that has no Adword ads will not bring in much income. The keywords for this article for instance while having good search volume do not display enough ads to make them profitable. But many times we write just to pass on helpful information. To be successful I believe you have to give back and not just take.

Also keep in mind that page rank means just what the name implies. The rank of a certain page, not the entire domain. You may find sites that have lots of backlinks to the domain but few or no backlinks to the page with the keyword you are interested in. That's good news.

Just in case I have not confused you enough let me give you a little more to chew on. Have you ever wondered how in the world Google can, in just  a milli-second look at 13,000,000 pages and decide which 10 should be on the first page? Well apparently they don't. It appears they look at a much smaller number that may be around 400 to 700 give or take.

Have you noticed that when you are searching a keyword sometimes at the bottom of a page you see something like this statement?  "In order to show you the most relevant results we have omitted some entries very similar to the 525 already displayed". "If you like you can repeat the search with the omitted results included".

What they appear to be telling us is that they have looked at all the zillions of pages available and narrowed their choices to that small number, what ever it might be but usually under 700 or so and when they have to instantly put up the best ten choices, in their opinion, they only have to choose from that small number.

I personally use a neat little keyword tool that lists those actual keyword competition numbers along with other important information and then ranks all the keywords in five categories. Amazing, great, good, bad and terrible. Saves hours of time when comparing the best keywords.

View Of Results From The Stealth Keyword ToolCredit: OneClickLearning

Google's Keyord Tool FiltersCredit: OneClickLearningSecond Step In Setting Keyword FiltersCredit: OneClickLearning

Set A Filter In Google's Adwords Keyword Tool To Save Time

We usually try to find keywords with good search volume, I don't use any keywords that do not get at a minimum 1000 searches a month, and low competition, as a good starting point. By the way you can set a filter in the Google keyword tool for any amount you like which will eliminate a lot of searching.

Near the top of the tool you will see the phrase, Advanced options and filters. Clicking that opens a box where you can insert any number you like. Make sure you hit your Enter key once to set it and then when you do a search it will eliminate any keywords that are not getting at least that number of  searches.


Well there you are. A few things about the Adwords Keyword Tool that mom forgot. But she did remember to tell you about those nasty old sailors so give her a break. (I wonder if her warning has anything to do with all those old sailors uniforms I found in dads old service trunk?)

If you found this article helpful you may want to read this one also:

Power Proofreading For The Article Author

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