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Why is SEO Competition Important to Understand?

As you learn SEO, it is important to grasp a quick understanding of SEOC (Search Engine Optimisation Competition). This refers to the amount of pages optimised for a particular phrase, that are indexed within Google. SEO Competition levels are important to understand, as they will be key in determining how high in Google you can rank, when optimised for a particular keyword.

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How does SEO Competition play a part in Google ranking?

Google considers many elements of a site when determining where to rank each webpage.  ‘SEO Competition’ usually refers mainly to the number of pages that Google has indexed for the same key phrase, but a deeper analysis of SEO Competition is required if you are to stand a good chance of ranking well. Google doesn’t rank sites randomly, and the hierarchy of results isn’t just dependent upon how well optimised a site is; other factors are considered.

When deciding on a keyword that you want to rank for, you should of course compare the number of pages that Google has indexed for that keyword with the number of monthly searches made for the same term. Then, take a closer look at the top ten results displayed on page one of Google’s results page.

Where possible you should try to discover the domain age of each of the top sites, this will give you a good idea of the level of authority that each site possesses. It is not easy to find out this information and you may want to ask an SEO agency for assistance here.

The next element that should be taken into account when considering SEO Competition is a site’s Page Rank. There are many online platforms that can give you an idea of a site’s Page Rank. Again, this will help to assess your competition’s online authority.

Finding out how many back links a site has and comparing that figure to the number of external links pointing to your own site will give an idea of the competition levels you are facing within this area of optimisation. Google will take this all into account when deciding in which order to rank your sites. Keep in mind that even if a site has 1000s of back links, if they are from disreputable sites, such as link farms, Google will not hold them in high regard. If you have less back links, but they are from sites with solid reputations, then you win this round. Links from .edu and .gov websites will always be worth more than any other links.

If a website has directory listings with Dmoz directory or Yahoo directory, then Google will also assign them additional authority. You will find this rather hard to find out, short of searching through entire directories for each company, which is impractical to say the least. However, any reliable SEO agency would be able to find this information for you quickly and easily, as part of their process.

Lastly, you should look at each well ranking competing site and evaluate the SEO meta-data that they have in place. Ensure then that your meta-title, meta-description, friendly URL and H1 tags are optimised just as well, if not better, than theirs.

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