[Just recently, I was doing keyword research, in other words, searching for keyword competition. I found an odd thing while doing my research.
Normally when we place the double quotes on both ends of a keyword, you should see a change in the result. But, that is not the case anymore, now you don’t see a change, your results stay the same. what’s up with that, why is Google torturing me so much. Are you people having the same problem?
If not, what is the best solution to this? Is there a way of returning back to the old good Google? I am starting to hate this evil new Google.]
The allintitle: search operator only shows part of the competition, the part that included that keyword in the webpage title. And it is not showing you “how many sites that have the keyword in their title”, it is showing how many “pages” with the keyword in the title. You will often find hundreds or even thousands of pages from just a handful of websites.
I agree with you, the allintitle search operator results are not very important in analyzing the competition. Since the allintitle search operator does not show you all of competing pages and gives you no reliable indication of the strength of your competition, it isn’t all that useful.
I would suggest the allinanchor: search operator to be a much more useful technique for analyzing your competition. It shows your results sorted by how much promotional effort was implemented for each competing page. If you are a competent SEO practitioner then you know that you can at least equal the best on-page SEO, and that leaves off-page SEO on promotional link building efforts as the only significant metric for analyzing any serious competition for SERP ranking.
Technically speaking, there isn’t any such thing as “low PR sites”. PR isn’t assigned to “sites”, it is assigned to individual pages. Furthermore, SERP rankings aren’t based on PR, they are based on relevancy signals. Looking at the PR of pages in the SERP is not a reliable indicator of the strength of competition. PR is a useful metric when analyzing backlink strength, but not for SERP listings.
Both of those methods (intitle and inanchor) are inaccurate with the exception of keywords with a single word. Using those operators with keyword phrases (that contain more than one word) would be inaccurate since those operators will return pages that aren’t optimized for the term being searched. Using the allintitle: and the allinanchor: operators provide far more precise results for multi-word keywords.
Actually you can chain them using the OR operator. But you need to realize I did not mean to infer that they should be chained because they are showing very different information when chained. When you use those two operators together you are filtering for a very specific optimization technique, and while it is a useful metric, it is limited to pages that use that specific on-page optimization technique. It is really only useful when analyzing websites rather than individual page ranking.
While the allinanchor: operator, used without chaining, shows you pages sorted in order of off-page optimization efforts. When competing with other pages for rankings, your on-page optimization efforts should be a given, there is no great need to analyze what you know you can equal or beat. It is the off-page efforts that tend to be the costliest and that is where you should focus your analysis.
The allinanchor: The operator allows you to focus on off-page optimization efforts exclusively. You can then drill down into the stats for the individual pages that will be your primary competition. The main thing you need to know is how much is it going to cost you get a first-page listing. You need to understand how much promotional effort will be required to make it and for that you must focus on the off-page efforts of your competition.
In the famous words of Seth Godin:
Most searches by users are not phrase searches, therefore the keywords to optimize for are the regular searches (without quotes). While using exact keywords for anchor text is advisable, it isn’t absolutely necessary for ranking in SERP.
There are many top-ranked search results that do not have the exact keyword phrase in the page title and you can easily be outranked by pages that do not use the exact keyword term in page titles or anchor text of inbound links. If you do a series of random searches you may note that the top results include all of the words in your query, but not necessarily together in the exact phrase. Using the quotes will filter out all but the pages that use that exact phrase, with no word(s) between or in a different order.
So if you want to pull results that include all pages that will be returned by a regular search query (without quotes) you need to use the allintitle without quotes around your keyword, otherwise you are filtering many pages that will be in the top rankings for regular searches.
Knowing that, how do you discover where a page ranks based strictly on off-site optimization?
If it is a single word keyword the inanchor: operator will pull the correct data, however, if you are checking a multi-word keyword you must use the allinanchor: operator. That is because the inanchor: used with a multi-word keyword will pull results with the first word of the keyword in the anchor and the remaining words anywhere on the page. So the allinanchor must be used to pull the same results that SERPs are based on.
You cannot use the inanchor: with a muti-word keyword in quotes, to pull the same data that represents the rankings based on regular searches. Instead, it pulls data based strictly on phrase searches. If you want to see who has the best optimization for a regular search, you have to leave those quotes out, otherwise, you are filtering many of your toughest competitors and not getting a true picture.