Lesson 2.2) How to do Competition Analysis for Keywords using PageRank

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In this lesson I will teach you how to determine if you can rank a keyword #1 in Google for a reasonable amount of work. In other words, how do you figure out if ranking a keyword #1 in Google is a realist goal?

This is done by checking the PageRank of the top 4 current ranking websites and making sure they all have a PageRank of less than 4. I will also give you your first homework assignment which is to find enough keywords to lay the groundwork for 10 new websites that you will begin building.

This will be the beginning of your passive income portfolio.

Note: There is also a much easier, faster, and more thorough way of doing this competition analysis process by using Market Samurai, that I teach you in the next video lesson: Lesson 2.3) How to use Market Samurai to do Competition Analysis for Keywords. I highly suggest watching both videos, since you can learn valuable tips from each of them, regardless of which method you choose.

I definitely recommend using Market Samurai and watching all their tutorials. Not only does their software provide all kinds of great information that’s useful for this kind of research, it’s the tool you want if you want to take this business seriously. Market Samurai also offers their own video training material to learn even more about the keyword research, competition analysis, as well as the later processes you will go through when expanding your online business. I only present this method because it is a free alternative for those that can’t afford Market Samurai at the moment.

To purchase Market Samurai, click here: Market Samurai

If you would like to try Market Samurai for a free one week trial before deciding if you want to purchase, click here: Market Samurai Trial

Note: This is a very simplistic method of doing competition analysis (there is much more that can be analyzed). So why are we doing it this way instead of in a more in-depth method? Mainly because we are doing a “blanket” approach, where we will put out lots of websites with lots of posts, and then let our traffic results guide the rest of the action plan (through what Google Adsense and Google Analytics tells us about our traffic).

Note: You will sometimes see results from Wikipedia or YouTube in the top four results. Pages from those websites ALWAYS have an extremely high PR. However, in a lot of cases, a YouTube video or Wikipedia page will not be something the searcher will be interested in based on the keyword he typed into Google (you need to use your own judgment here). If this is the case, you can ignore this result! An example would be something like the keyword “brass door knobs.” If a person is typing that into Google, he is most likely trying to find information on brass door knobs to eventually make a purchase, and that user wouldn’t be interested in a YouTube or Wikipedia result and would most likely skip it. That’s why those results can sometimes be ignored in our analysis.

Note: Every now and then we will have a keyword with really high potential monthly earnings that just barely doesn’t qualify (like if there was just one website with a PageRank of 4 in the top 4 results and the rest were lower). In cases like this, I would keep the keyword on my spreadsheet instead of deleting it (and come back to it in the future once my website is bigger and stronger).

Note: Most keywords will NOT qualify. Thorough keyword research is a long and difficult process, but finding high paying and easily rankable keywords in the beginning will make the entire rest of the process that much easier. Don’t give up, even when it seems like there are very few valuable, rankable keywords out there – there are LITERALLY millions!

Make sure you are logged into Udemy and signed up for the course before clicking the video below or you won’t be directed to the correct video (it’s completely free to register).

how to do keyword competition analysis

(Or click here: How to do Competition Analysis for Keywords using PageRank on Udemy).

Please leave comments or suggestions, and don’t forget to share the video if you liked the information!

Mike Omar

Next lesson: Lesson 2.3) How to use Market Samurai to do Competition Analysis for Keywords

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44 Responses to “Lesson 2.2) How to do Competition Analysis for Keywords using PageRank”

  1. I spent all day looking for keywords and all I find are PRs over 3. Do I start out broad and then narrow down based on keywords? I feel like giving up, but I can’t because I would love to quit my job in a year or two.

    • Hi Yolanda,

      Usually as you get to words with fewer monthly searches, there are more “blue” keywords to be found. I know this is a long and difficult process, but trust me that these “blue” keywords DO exist! They’re just difficult to find sometimes.

      Don’t give up…developing an online passive income isn’t easy, but it’s totally worth it!

      You may also consider using Market Samurai to make the keyword research part of the process easier. You can find a link to a free one-week trial to Market Samurai on my Lesson 2.3 page or on my Resources page.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!


  2. Hi Mike – I’m loving your “How to make money online” book. Quick question – I’m trying to find keywords, but everything I look for seems to have a Wikipedia entry. So when I try the SEO step, the first page always has a rank of 8. If all the other pages are less than 4 except the Wikipedia entry is the keyword worth going after?


    • Hi Joe,

      You actually bring up a great point. If there is a Wikipedia entry in the top 4, but the keyword is a buying keyword (i.e. – the searcher is probably looking to buy a product instead of information on it), I would ignore the Wikipedia entry. An example would be “toaster oven.” If someone is searching for “toaster oven”, they’re probably looking to buy that product instead of a Wikipedia entry on it, so they’d skip the Wikipedia search result.

      Hope this helps! Also, if you enjoyed the ebook, please leave a positive review for me on Amazon – that’s the best thank you I can receive!


  3. Hey Mike, I’m having an issue with Google while researching all of these keywords and I was wondering if you knew about it or have a solution. Basically what happens is after I search 20 or so of my keywords and check their page rank with the SEO for Chrome tool, Google stops me from searching and forces me to type in a Captcha because their system seems to think I’m a robot. I did some searching and found out that this can be caused by using software to find a pages PR( http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=86640 ). My question is, am I going to be in any trouble with Google for this? I’d like to keep going and finish researching my keywords but I’m afraid if they record my IP and see this is a regular thing I could have some problems later on. Have you ever seen this before?

    • Hi Jen,

      Yeah, the trend has been Google getting more and more strict with people doing keyword research. As far as Google recording your IP address or you getting in trouble or anything like that…don’t be concerned at all. We’re TINY fish in the eyes of the Google and the things they’re concerned about. The stuff we deal with is automated algorithm triggers designed to slow people down and discourage them, but nothing is going to happen. If you’d like to get around the annoying stops, you could always look into Market Samurai.

      Hope this helps.


      • Thanks so much for the quick reply! That’s very reassuring that you have also heard of the issue and that it’s not a big problem. If nothing else, it’s annoying having to type those stupid squiggly letters just to do a search. haha I think I’m going to give Market Samurai a try just to save myself this trouble, hopefully Google doesn’t get more strict in the future and limit the use of that too. Thank you again for replying and even more so for your ebook, newsletter, these videos and everything, I would love to be even half as successful as you seem to be! =)

        • Thank you for the compliment Jen! If you want to try out Market Samurai, you can go to the resources page of this website and click on “Keyword Research”, and there you can find a link to a free one week trial. Let me know how it goes!


  4. Does Google Pagerank rank an entire site or is it ranked page by page for each site. Like Wikipedia, if it is ranked 8 on one page does that mean that anytime I see Wikipedia for a keyword I should automatically cross it off the list?

    • Hi Jen,

      The PageRank is specific to each URL of a website (not the entire thing). Generally speaking though, almost any Wikipedia page you come across will have a high PageRank (their website is EXTREMELY powerful).


  5. I have a question…

    I may have wasted a lot of time on valueless research. I live in the uk and eventually I noticed google.com still retrieves addresses with a uk preference.

    I then found out you must type in &gl=US after your keyword(s) in the search engine.

    this segregation of the web does bring into question how global the internet really is.

    If I make a .com website, will it automatically compete in the us market?

    and does that mean if I make a co.uk website I will gain preference in all uk based searches?

    also what do you recommend I do here?

    * * *

    and another question I would really appreciate some insight from your experience. I failed to find a single green keyword in 200 searches (going down to 2900 global searches for a term) – not to mention those were uk based searches and theoretically should of been easier.

    to save me a lot of time, what point do you recommend I should start at for more realistic goals? i.e. keyword(s) with 3000, 2000,etc global searches? where should I begin because starting at the top and going down doesn’t seem very fruitful.

    thanks, I bought your ebook

    • I’m sorry to hear about your wasted time researching with the UK results – it’s honestly something I’d never thought about until just now.

      To answer your question, if you purchase your hosting and websites from American companies and get a .com ending (which I ALWAYS recommend regardless of your country of residence), your website will automatically rank in the US results (which I absolutely recommend, since the US is so big). The same is true for .co.uk ranking better in the UK (I can tell simply because I never see .co.uk in the US).

      Also, when I’m abroad (and I travel quite often), I see the results are always a mixture of the specific country domain ending and .coms.

      In other words, I’m answering the question based on experience, not because I truly understand how Google decides these things.


      A lot of times this happens because people have chosen a niche that is much too difficult. For example, trying to rank for anything related to “website hosting” is near impossible. You need to try some different niches (and also, be patient…this is a tough part of the method, but also extremely important).

      You may also want to try using Market Samurai to speed up the process. You can try it out for a free one week trial to see if you like it (you can get the free trial on my resources page). Using Market Samurai does make this process much easier.

      Hope these answers help!

      • Very much thanks. I did skip your market samurai section, with the intention to try your system out a bit first. however after my ridiculous failed attempts to find green words and your advice I see now how valuable that application might be.

        I plan to construct my master list of keywords so that I can really make use of the trial.

        I also want to say I really thought I hit a brick wall with keyword ideas because I found myself stuck in a loop.

        1) I should think of something lots of people want

        2) something that lots of people want will have strong competition

        3) I should think of something with less competition

        4) something with less competition is something people don’t want

        5) I should thing of something people want

        lol… supply and demand really seem to be wall sometimes

        but I think I broke through that now I have some ideas

        • Don’t let any “brick walls” stop you! Just keep moving forward.

          The best way I’ve found success in this business is variety within my website portfolio (much like a stock portfolio).

          I have some websites in competitive niches, some that are in really easy niches, some high traffic and low CPC, some low traffic and high CPC, etc. All these websites have advantages and disadvantages, but they’ve all taught me new things.

          And because all my websites are scattered across different industries, it keeps my overall portfolio safe, regardless of what Google algorithm updates may come out.

          • I’m using market samurai now and I’ve made an observation. market samurai does not retrieve the same results as your google search.

            Let me expain.

            I had a keyword and put it into market samurai and looked at the results. I then went to google to make sure it wasn’t using my uk settings – it wasn’t, the results were different.

            but then I used an american search, adding “&gl=US”, and got another set of results which were *not* the ones given by market samurai.

            my guess is when you use google even in the US you are using some local settings just like my uk results but market samurai is maybe using some global settings?

            this means using market samurai and seo for chrome will not achieve the same results.

            what are your thoughts on this, did I do something wrong or is this the case?

          • I personally prefer to use Market Samurai results because their results are not influenced by your location, past search history, Google +1s you’ve left, etc., the way regular Google search results are. Market Samurai gives more of an “average” of search results.

            Google has been making results more personalized based on these factors to give searchers a better experience, but unfortunately that has made accurate keyword research and analysis a little bit more difficult on our end.

            My best advice is to not look at this business as black or white and continue to move forward. If a keyword is on the fence in terms of rankability, mark it as a blue keyword and continue. More keyword targeted content will always mean more traffic which will always mean more money.

            This is why at the beginning I recommend making so many websites with so many keywords each. This is because we want to produce a ton of content and see what sticks. Once all the websites are made and backlinked and have been around for a while, you’ll start to get a clear idea of what is producing the most money in your website portfolio. Then you can go to your Google Analytics data and continue to build your websites from there. It’s at that point that your potential for making money starts to skyrocket.

            Remember that no matter what, Google will always need a website that ranks at spot #1 for any keyword, and as long as you can make a website or post that provides incredible value to the searcher for that keyword (and you can do this repeatedly), your likelihood of being successful in this business increases dramatically.

            Phew…sorry for being so long winded on that response haha! Hope this helps clarify what is going on and how to move forward though.


          • I see then I’ll continue to use market samurai.

            hate to keep bringing stuff up like this but there is one more problem.

            what does the link that sometimes comes before #1 indicate on the list generated?

            it looks like a picture icon before the link, I am guessing this represents the ‘go to google images’ that sometimes comes up on a web search but it doesn’t say and I’m not completely sure.

            I’ve done hundreds of searches and only just noticed this please tell me my research hasn’t been completely corrupted by including this data as #1.

            I have been recording the data for the first 5 results (where I am unsure if the first is #1 or this other link that sometimes comes first)

            is my data still usable?

            thanks so much for being quick to reply on all my other concerns

          • Hi,

            No worries about asking questions at all!

            I’m actually not sure what picture icon you’re referring to when you ask me that. I just opened up Market Samurai and searched for 10 different keywords (including some that had the word “pictures” in it), and I didn’t see anything like what you’re describing.

            If you’d like, perhaps you can send me a screenshot through my email? Or tell me a keyword you’ve searched for where it comes up?


          • I don’t believe it, I think the update that came today got rid of it. Honestly I’m telling the truth.

            I did 200 searches today none of them had a ‘picture icon’ address appear, but since I’ve saved the first 5 results and whether they had a picture icon in my spreadsheet I decided to retest one of my searches

            chocolate cake I recorded
            4, 3, 0, 5, 3, p

            my retest shows
            3, 0, 5, 3, 2

            the address with an icon preceding the rank 1 had a pr of 4 and it’s completely gone when I retested it.

            hence the shift above I guess.

            I did lots of searches, many of them p’s so I’m a little annoyed now I’m not really sure what the p did indicate in the first place and it means my research isn’t consistent now.

            One more thing, I found an address listing number one for a few valuable keywords. it had a domain age of 0 and a pr of 0 and it beat sites with a pr of 6 and 5 that are decades old!

            I couldnt believe it came first, given the value of those keywords and the competition.

            is this an example of a black hat ceo site? (If you want to see it I can email)

            I checked the site, it was just a page with links for products ranked by category.

          • That’s so odd about the “p” results. I guess just ignore them!

            As far as the pr0 beating the pr5 and pr6, that could be for a number of reasons. It could be black hat SEO (which means in most likelihood those rankings won’t last). It could also mean that the pr0 is simply a lot more relevant to that keyword than the pr5 and pr6 are.

            But also don’t forget that Google’s system isn’t perfect. For some keywords, they simply don’t come up with the best results for what the searcher is looking for.

  6. Mike I just want to make sure I have this right..

    1. Use exact match in the tool. Get GLOBAL keywords from google keyword tool and export to spread sheet.
    2. Put those keywords into market samurai and check for top four websites for pr4 and below.. if match make a blue keyword. Do this for each and every global key word.
    3. Then using SEO for chrome check the blue keyword against the first 4 websites in google search for PR3 and below for all the websites.

    Question: why am I doing two PR queries?

    Thanks for providing all this wealth of information for free.. !

    • Hi Denny,

      You almost got it! You are checking the top four websites for anything PR3 and below (and if it qualifies, make it a blue keyword).

      You can do this using either research tool. I just show both methods since SEO for Chrome is free and Market Samurai is easier and faster to use, but it is a paid tool.

      As an added note, these rules are not 100% strict. If you see a keyword that is worth a lot of money, but doesn’t make the cutoff (like there is one PR4 in there), I’d mark it as blue and go for it anyway.

      Mike Omar

      • Thanks for your help so far.

        I think you will pleased to know I have created a site followed your videos. so I guess I’ll be moving on from competition analysis (waiting for acceptance for google adsense now)

        I find writing articles quite hard. I know I can outsource it but I’d rather not before I get some sort of return.

        I do have one question, you probably wont be surprised to know as I do love my questions.

        If I take a while to post content (a few days before first post and some time between) will that be ok? or will google see that I have nothing in the early stage and demote it in some way – and that will effect me when I do have content later on.

        Is there a reason to rush content? or is google cool enough to re-evaluate everytime I publish something and not remember any ghost town state it might have once been.

        • Sorry I need your advise.

          I tried to sign up to amazon affiliates but it wouldn’t accept my number. I did add the country code but it wouldn’t work.

          I went to amazon.co.uk and they have a amazon associates program. the sign up was identical except without the verification call needed.

          I need to know, is this exactly the same thing or do I need to sign up for amazon affiliates?

          • If you reside in the US, I’d imagine you have to sign up with the American version of Amazon Affiliates. Try getting in touch directly with Amazon to figure out what’s going on.

          • I am in the UK but ideally I want to link to US amazon.

            It’s only showing me the UK catalogue. Unless I have missed some option I think I have to create the other account. You make an obvious point I should contact them.

          • Let me know what the say!

          • Hey G, I noticed your comment and thought I could offer my help because I ran into the same problem. I’m in Canada and wanted to link to US products. Originally I singed up under the Canadian Amazon Affiliates account but then I realized I can only link to Canadian products, so I inquired and they said that you are free to sign up under any locale you’d like, so I now have both a US account and a Canadian one. Good luck!

        • Hi G,

          I’m glad to hear you’ve completed your first website! Making it in this business is all about maintaining forward momentum.

          The writing of the articles is definitely a pain in the neck…no doubt about it. I’ve been there and there are specific websites in my portfolio where I write all the content myself.

          No worries about the pace in which you post articles. A website with only one post can rank for a specific keyword (or several) if it is the most relevant and best back-linked piece of content on the Internet for that topic. Even though this is unlikely, since bigger websites generally tend to have more authority, it is certainly possible.

          Even so, I would recommend maintaining a regular schedule of some sort, just to make sure you are always growing.


  7. Hi Mike,
    When doing competitive analysis, shall keywords be searched from:
    – local Google (i.e. google.fr)
    – global Google (google.com/ncr, not to be redirected)
    – or it doesn’t matter?

    because search results will be different, and so the pageranks.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Clem,

      When doing competition analysis, you want it to be in all countries that use the language your keywords and website are in.


      • Hi Mike,

        Thanks for your reply.

        Google search page redirects to specific country URL, except if you use google.com/ncr (No Country Redirect).

        My keywords are in English.

        If I use google.com/ncr Or google.ca , search results will be different.

        Which Google URL should I use?

        Thanks, Clem

        • Hi Clem,

          For English, I would do ncr (because you want the results to be as unbiased as possible). I guess I’ve never had to worry about this since I live in the US.



  8. Another question, if you don’t mind. Let’s say your topic is cement, for which you find several related blue keywords with the top 4 websites related to those key words having very low page ranks. If you check the page ranks of the topic (cement) and the first 4 pages have very high page ranks, that’s ok, right? In other words, if your topic has high page ranks, it’s more important to find related key words with very low page ranks, right? Thank you.

    • Hi Tim,

      Yes, if the related keywords have low competition PageRank, that’s fine. Then once your website is built up and backlinked, you may eventually be able to rank for the main topic keyword (even with high competition, because now your website is more powerful). And usually ranking for the topic keyword means A LOT more money because of so many searches- so that should definitely be your eventual goal.


  9. When doing competition analysis, the Market Samurai videos suggest using the Majestic Title and Anchor comp number as one of the basis for determining strength of competition, ruling out anything over 30. My question is, which is more of a determining factor, page rank or Majestic T&A Comp? As an example, there are several keywords with a PR of say 4,0,0,2 (which should be easier to rank) but have a Maj.T&A Comp of 1041(which is way over 30 and supposed to be very difficult to rank). I want to go after the easier keywords obviously , but the two methods seem to be a bit conflicting. I know you’re method is tried and true, but your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Chris,

      No method is 100% accurate (and SEO is never guaranteed). When doing these types of analyses, we are making educated guesses. I follow my methods and they’ve worked for me, but I always suggest people try and test other things as well (the way I consistently do). Running tests and experimenting is exactly how I’ve been able to grow in this business and stay ahead of the curve. It’s the best advice I can give!


  10. Hi Mike,

    When you are doing research and see some youtube links showing in the top 4, do you still mark them red? I ask because basically all youtube videos get a pr of 9.


    • Hi Phil,

      If I think the YouTube video will grab a majority of that traffic because it is a good match for the keyword, I’ll mark it “red”. However, if I think most users would skip the YouTube result for that specific keyword, I won’t worry about the YouTube ranking.


  11. Stacey S. says:

    Hello 🙂

    Well, I have looked trough all the questions on this page and I’am not finding this… with some keywords, the top 4 web results are all the same site which usually are very low page ranks. But usually the following sites are higher ranking after you look at those 4. So, do I mark it blue.. I’am thinking yes, but feeling like it’s to good to be true haha. Thanks!

    • Hi Stacey,

      If the high PageRank URLs are not in the top four search results, it means their pages are strong, but just not strong for that keyword (due to backlink keywords, page optimization, etc.). That is why we only look at the top four results. 🙂


  12. Hi Mike,

    I was wondering if youtube videos and wikihow pages with a higher page rank (above 3) should still be counted as low competition? I have found certain niches with no quality websites dedicated to that niche but they have a lot of youtube videos that rank high on the search results. Please help me mike!

    • Hi Beck,

      Good question! This really depends on the keyword. If a Wikihow or YouTube page would likely satisfy the searcher’s query, then skip it. However, if you don’t think either of them would, then those search results can be ignored as if they weren’t there (since the searcher will likely skip then). 🙂



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