Respecting the Legitimacy of Competition in the SERP

May 4th

A friend of mine was writing a page of content for a query where the answer to the problem was to send people to a related idea. But my friend ended up focusing heavily on that related idea and never really emphasized structuring the article to be relevant to the original idea I proposed. He should have though. Here's why...

The original idea I proposed was not covered well because it didn't really exist, but much like how search engines correct spelling errors you can create pages targeted around flawed searches that lead people to a more legitimate and potentially more profitable related idea.

A nice thing about targeting content at fail queries is that most competing sites are going to be trash or bogus scams, so in a sense you make the web a better place by being less scammy than the other top ranked options. Because many of the other top ranked sites for flawed queries may be scammy in nature few of them may have legitimate linkage data. If you have decent link reputation your site that might not have enough authority to compete for the end goal may be able to dominate relevant related flawed search queries.

Don't measure competition in the number of competing pages, see how many of the top 10 results look like legitimate resources. If you see lots of .gov and .edu sites or other legitimate sites at the top the query is competitive. If you see ranking it should be a joke to compete.

This idea sorta ties in with my recent post about starting from an edge.

Published: May 4, 2006

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