Keyword Difficulty – How Hard is it to Rank in Google?

Part for how to determine your chances to rank in Google, as you can tell, analyzing the search traffic potential of your article idea is a very simple and straightforward process. A much bigger challenge is to determine your chances to outrank the existing articles with your own one and get all this traffic to yourself.

The truth be told, no one really knows for sure how exactly Google ranks pages in their search results. Google is using hundreds of different ranking factors, and they are mixing them depending on the search query. A lot of people who are new to SL are often looking for some magic tool that will give them very specific recommendations on what they need to do in order to rank number one or even better, a magic tool that will do it for them. But I’m afraid such a tool doesn’t exist for many years. Google was pouring billions of dollars into building the most sophisticated search engine on the planet. So there is no way for some third party tool to crack their algorithms and give you the power to effortlessly get your pages to the top. But what we can do is get clues from pages that already rank at the top of Google. We can analyze them from different angles, compare them between each other and make assumptions on why certain pages outrank others. And there are only two sources of information for us. It is the page itself and links to the page from other websites. I’m going to cover the on page factors later in this course. So for now, let’s assume that all the top 10 ranking pages for your desired keyword are equally awesome and your own page is no exception. The content of your page is 100 percent relevant to the search query. It helps searchers with whatever they were searching for. It loads fast. It is optimized for mobile. It provides great user experience and it is visually appealing. And they have a perfect example to illustrate such a situation. Take a look at my guide to keyword research that was published at Trev’s blog. This article is clearly relevant to the topic of keyword research, and I doubt that you need more than two seconds to realize that. But if you Google for keyword research, our article only ranks number three. Well, guides from Moss and Becklin ranked number one and number two, respectively. If you take a look at their articles, each of them has its pros and cons. So it’s really hard to tell if our own article is better or worse than theirs. Especially, it is hard to figure out if you’re a machine and not a human being. So why does Google put us at position number three and puts us at position number one? Well, like I mentioned earlier, they may use a ton of different factors to identify which page deserves to rank higher. For example, guys from Google have recently admitted that they track how users behave after clicking on a certain search result. How long do people stay on that page? Do they close it immediately after visiting? Do they browse deeper into this website or do they go back and refine their search because they didn’t find what they wanted? But think about it for a second. In order for Google to measure how people behave after clicking on your page and the search results, that page should somehow rank in the top 10 search results in the first place. So how do you get in the top ten links from other websites is what gets you to the front page of Google. You can think of links as votes when some website links to your page. They are telling Google that out of all pages on the same topic, they like your page best. And the more of these votes your page will get, the more Google will respect it.

So as a general rule, the more websites linked to your page, the higher it will rank in Google. Now, back to my example. If you examine these search results in intravascular Explorer tool, you’ll notice that the article from Maus has vastly more links than our own article. It is much shorter and therefore not as deep as our own guide. But the huge number of links tells Google that it must be somehow better. Nevertheless, that’s why they’re ranked number one. But I’m sure you’ve noticed that this relationship is not linear. I mean, some of these pages have more backlands than our article, but they don’t drink above us. Well, like I said, Google is using hundreds of different factors in their ranking algorithms. And the raw number of linking websites is just one of many, but it’s a rather strong factor. Nevertheless, we did a cool research last year across two million random search queries. We wanted to study the correlation of different ranking factors with the position of a page and Google and all the wall ranking factors that we have studied. Becklin factors had the strongest correlation with Google. Ranking correlation is not causation, of course, but any professional knows that links are very important for us. So if the search results for your desired keyword have links from hundreds of websites, there is a very slim chance that you’ll be able to track them unless you get the same number of links to your own page. Let me show you another cool case. Let’s look at the search results for Akua Chocolate Lab.

What you can immediately notice is three outlier pages with tons of Bucklings, the Dragoman pages with just a few back links. And the next thing you notice is that these three pages are. Perfectly relevant to the search query, I mean, the other seven pages are clearly about chocolate Labrador’s. You can see that just by looking at their titles, but these other three are about Labrador Retriever, Dog Breed in general. How come they rank between perfectly relevant pages that because they have too many links to ignore them? And if you were attentive, you might have also noticed that these three pages with a ton of Bucklings ranked for a ton of keywords and generate a ton of search traffic. We didn’t study this at scale yet, but I’m pretty sure that the number of links to a page and its total search traffic are well connected. That is why I always look at the total number of the linking websites to the pages that they want to replicate on my own blog. I remember my document with content ideas. I always put the number of linking websites next to each URL. My goal is to then cherry pick the content ideas that get the most search traffic with the list back links. So why advise you to pause this video and review the content ideas that you have short listed so far? Put the URLs of the articles that you want to replicate into a tourist site explorer tool and no down the number of referring domains in your document. Hopefully they don’t have a lot of websites linking to them. So you’ll easily get your own article to the top of Google with just a few links. But that was a very simplified look at the concept of keyword difficulty.

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