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How to interpret Competition, KEI, Keyword difficulty
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Gone South

Tenderfoot

Tenderfoot
Posts: 5
Posted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:16 pm

Hello Rank Tracker experts,

I've been using Rank Tracker for a year, read all the Link Assistant materials and searched the forum, but still want to know more about how to interpret these three important metrics.

In each project we can choose the source of the Competition metric between Google Adwords (new project default) or Search Engines. Link Assistant says that KEI is composed of number of searches squared, divided by Competition, so the Adwords metric and the Search Engine metric produce hugely different KEI results. So different, in fact, that we users need some insight into what is best.

To illustrate, I'll use the following keywords:
    1. how to travel (short keyword)
    2. "how to travel" (exact short keyword)
    3. how to travel for free (longtail keyword)
    4. "how to travel for free" (exact longtail keyword)

Results are shown as: Competition / KEI / Keyword Difficulty.

1. how to travel
Adwords = Low / 2.160 / 44.5
Search Engines = 1,720,000,000 / 0.003 / 44.5

2. "how to travel"
Adwords = Low / 2.160 / 52.0
Search Engines = 63,500,000 / 0.091 / 52.0

3. how to travel for free
Adwords = Medium / 1.980 / 50.9
Search Engine = 1,030,000,000 / 0.019 / 50.9

4. "how to travel for free"
Adwords = Medium / 1.980 / 49.5
Search Engine = 383,000 / 50.548 / 49.5

So, Rank Tracker experts, what are we to make of this? Here are my conclusions. Feel free to correct me or add on.
    - The default source for Competition (Adwords) makes no distinction between using the exact phrase (quotation marks) or not.
    - The Search Engine result is hugely narrowed using the exact phrase, cutting Competition 96.3% for the short keyword and 99.6% for the longtail keyword. The effect on KEI is dramatic, pushing KEI up by a multiple of 30 for the short keyword and and astonishing 2660 for the longtail keyword.
    - Changes in Competition source have no effect on Keyword Difficulty, but using the exact keyword phrase does, increasing Difficulty for the short phrase and lowering it for the longtail.

What does it all mean? How should Rank Tracker users find the best keywords from these metrics? My conclusions are:

    - Using Adwords as a source for Competition is inexact, since Rank Tracker assigns a simple ratios to each of Low, Medium and High.
    -The Search Engine source for Competition may be more objective, but only if we use the exact keyword phrase (in quotation marks). This is what internet users type into their search engines, so other sites with that exact phrase would be our true competitors.
    - A short and common keyword phrase has low KEI because it generates a lot of search result pages, but relatively few people are searching for it. A longtail keyword would have far fewer pages with the exact phrase, but the KEI might go up if the decline in searchers was not so steep. In other words, a longtail with a higher KEI is targeted better. (Too bad that most longtail keywords don't rate at all!)

Questions for the experts:

    - What is the Adwords source for Competition and the resulting KEI really telling us? Is it good for websites that plan to use Adwords?
    - What is the Search Engine source for Competition and the very different KEI really telling us? Is it better for websites relying on organic search?

---

On the topic of Keyword Difficulty, it's wonderful if a nice low green score, but we're advised to forget about those high red ones. But what about that large space in between? Is a yellow 52.0 okay for an established site to pursue, but hopeless for a new site? Is it possible for a new site to compete on a yellow-green 39.0? Or do we newbies have to push out into the longtail wilderness yet again, questing for green?

Question for the experts: what's the range of realistic Keyword Difficulty scores where a new site might aspire to crack page 1 within a year or two? I know there's a lot of variables in there and a ton of work. But we newbies could benefit from some council on what mountains are just too high.
---

Along with the other Rank Tracker metrics, these three are closely related when we make our decisions, but more clarity would certainly help. Thanks to all experienced users and to those bright people in Minsk for any assistance on this.

1qay1qay

Newborn

Newborn
Posts: 2
Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:17 pm

I think that this post shuld be answered in past year time

I am also interesed in answers to his question

Web Brain InfoTech

Tenderfoot

Tenderfoot
Posts: 6
Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:46 am

Nice Posting..It's pleasure to read good post like this one, Your post has been a source of great knowledge. Nice Questions you asked here, I am curious to know the answers by expert..

pixelangry

Senior

Senior
Posts: 18
Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:39 pm

So, I advise you. First, the Key is a fairly useless index, because in the era of semantic research it counts little. What, google now also looks for synonyms, so for example if you search "how to create site", he considers the same and also positions "How To Make A Website","How To Build a Website"," Create Your website for free" etc, so if he says that for How to create site he has 100,000 indexed documents, he does not even consider variants that are competitors that run for The same keyword once made sense, because it almost always considered different keywords and therefore it showed a different serp for each of these keywords, now it does not do it anymore Also for what concerns the keyword difficulty, let loose the values ​​that gives you Website Auditor, because they are tremendously busted, try to find the difficulty of the keyword "Google", and look for the difficulty of "How to build website" and you'll see that they are similar Now, even those who are a SEO guy know that to try more google is impossible and try to place "how you build website" is difficult, but you do not have Google levels, and then you realize by yourself that WA's metric is stupid.

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