Comment on The SEO Value of Private Blog Networks by SEO Gold Services.
You are generally right about the top 3 being your main competition, unless you have a top 10 HIGH traffic SERP the traffic is practically non-existent if you aren’t top 5 and it’s top 3 where the real traffic/money is. So no major arguments on that point.
You are also right if you ONLY used the exact match keyword search check to determine likely SEO competition for a SERP.
That’s why I said “This is ONE of many quick SEO checks to see how much SEO competition there MIGHT be for a search phrase” not “this is the only SEO analysis you need to do to determine competitiveness”.
If doing a full competitiveness SEO analysis I also check multiple domains in the top 10 for a phrase (in no particular order):
PR Analysis: Indication of backlink strength – would be nice if Google updated PR :-)
Alexa Ranking: Weak indication of popularity of site, you have to take the niche into account on this one.
Google AdWords Monthly Traffic Numbers: If advertisers are willing to pay for a SERP, probably competitive.
Age of Domains: New domains in a SERP suggests relatively easy – takes a year to pass full link benefit from new links, if domains listed are under a year old strong indication of an easy SERP. Because they are new, they can’t have a lot of off-page SEO, the implication is they have the SERP due to on-page SEO factors and on-page SEO is easier to beat than off-page SEO.
Are the top results homepages or deep content: Generally harder to gain SERPs using deep content (fewer backlinks).
Are the title tags generally using the phrase: If most title tags use the phrase suggests competitive.
Are brands like Amazon, Wikipedia etc… top 5 for multiple keyword SERPs with deep content pages: can indicate a niche without strong independent competition. Most brands on-site SEO is shit, if a SERP is dominated by brands with deep content indicates the rest of the competition is weak.
None of the above SEO analysis techniques alone give a clear cut “this is an easy SERP” vs “this is a competitive SERP”, but together they indicate competitiveness. There’s an art to determining competitiveness, only way to get good at it is lots of analysis practice.
The SERP examples I used in the other comment are piss easy and I expected good results with just an optimized comment and no backlink work because there’s no competition.
Currently my Stallion SEO Super Comment page is number one in Google for Private Network 2.0 Course (and number 10 for Private Network 2.0) because it’s an easy SERP with only one real competing page (yours) and my page is better optimized on-page SEO wise even though it’s just a comment.
I’ve no interest in the SERP, have added a dofollow link from the comment to your page (gives two backlinks, one from the main article and another from the indexed Stallion SEO Super Comment). So anyone finding their way to my comment looking for your PBN course will have an easy route to your course.