[It has been more than 1 year since I have been using allintitle and allinurls to determine the competition of a particular keyword. I’m just wondering how you guys check the competition of a keyword on which you are going to make a brand new site?]
I don’t think either of those is particularly useful for sizing up your competition.
Please consider the following:
Generally speaking, a competition that is not in a top 10 SERP position is not much to be concerned with. You only need to beat the webpage listed at position 10 to make it to the first page of SERP. Anything below that will usually not generate enough traffic to justify your efforts. (excepting certain high search volume keywords).
Use Google Search to see which page is listed at position #10, then look at the allinanchor: for your keyword candidate. If the same page appears at a lower position than it did for regular search it’s relatively easy to rank a keyword. No more research necessary, add it to your easy list.
If the page that is listed at #10 is ranked the same or higher using the allinanchor: operator, then take a look at the backlinks for that page to see if the effort to equal that exceeds the estimated value of the possible search traffic, adjusted for CTR.
Once you have a suitable list of keywords that merit getting the first-page listing, repeat the above process on the page at position #1 for each keyword in your list to prioritize which keywords you should focus on first.
I was simply trying to say that you need to weigh the benefit of ranking for a particular keyword against the effort it takes to earn that ranking. The cost of ranking for a keyword is determined by the strength of your top competitors, not by the number of competitors.
If you are assessing the potential traffic of a position #10 listing you need to look at the search volume multiplied by the average CTR for position #10. If you are assessing the traffic for a position #1 ranking then you need to use the CTR for position #1. The point being, the average CTR is very different for those positions.
I think you need to look at your time and labor as an asset. You need to set values for your labor and determine the cost to do the work necessary to achieve a particular ranking and weigh the expected benefit against the cost.
The point of your keyword research is to select the best keyword candidates based on net gain after cost. It is essentially a cost-benefit analysis.
It seems that the larger the field of competition the greater the chance of having strong competitors. However, you may miss some of the very best candidates as they will often have one or two strong players that make up the bulk of those numbers while a 1st-page ranking is super easy.
Back in the days when very few webmasters did keyword research, you could use that as a way to find keywords that hadn’t been adequately covered. These days you will often find many competitors piling onto the bandwagon going after the exact same keyword. I find a more refined approach to be much more effective.
However, rankings aren’t based on backlink counts. Nor do I buy into the notion of website authority as a ranking factor. While they are indicators, there are too many variables in the value of individual backlinks to rely just on counts or relevant anchortext. That is where the allinanchor: ranking comes in as one of the most important tools for competitive analysis.