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News & Events SEO

Competing Against Giants Website, You Need To Know

You know the drill. You try to score on a particular keyword, but besides your usual good competitors, there is a giant site like Wikipedia or YouTube which you compete. It can be difficult to rank against these websites. We have conducted an investigation into the question of with what types of keywords these giant websites actually are good. Indeed, if it appears that you are trying to rank for keywords that the giant websites are well on, it may be necessary to respond to this. Before we describe what you can do if this happens to you, we will first look at the question of for which types of categories of searches you have lots of competition from these websites.

Search results depending on type of search

Different types of searches can supply different kinds of search results. A search in the form of a question produces a different result than if you search for the name of a product. This fact is related to the focus of our giant websites. So focus on Wikipedia entities. These include people, places, music bands, and definitions. Wikipedia will therefore be, in particular, in those areas of good references. Twitter will be found to be preferable for news and opinion related searches. Within the SEO field we distinguish three categories of searches: Navigational (20% -25% of all searches), Informative (39% -48% of all searches), and Transactional (30% -36% of all searches). We will first briefly explain these categories, and then to reach a much broader categorization of searches. This categorization has been extensive basis for our research into the question of for what types of searches the giant websites now score just right.

  • A navigational search is a search mission aimed at finding a specific site or a specific part within a website. Think of the search for “YouTube”. The search engine is as thus used as a navigation tool. The most common navigation commands are “Facebook” and “YouTube”.
  • An informational search is a search for information. Where there with navigational queries usually one or a few search results meet, there are now thousands of results (e.g. “Amsterdam” or “trucks”). When someone performs an informative search to not looking for a specific website or business. Then he / she just want to answer a question or learn something new.
  • A transactional search is a search that seeks to perform, such as ordering a product. This kind of searches often contain exact brand names and product names (e.g. “Samsung Galaxy S3″), or something more as “cheap coffee”. The transactional search often contains words such as buy or “compare prices”. In this type of search, we can assume that we are dealing with a potential customer.

Above categorization into three types of searches within SEO is much used, but there are also other possible categorizations. There is a comprehensive categorization in terms of 16 different categories we used as a starting point for our research into the giant websites:

  • Transactional: Queries involving other sources needed to be (e.g. “compare washing machines”) useful;
  • Navigational: Queries where the user is looking for a specific URL (e.g. “UtrechtUniversity”);
  • Informative: Queries where the user is looking for data or information (e.g. “recipe for apple pie.”
  • Offline: Queries that name the source from which users want (e.g. “NOS”) something;
  • Online: Queries that name the source that can be found online (e.g. “concert 013 Tilburg”);
  • Open: Queries that contain a broad topic to learn (e.g. “pet”) on that information;
  • Closed: Queries give specific information about a specific topic with the aim to get about (e.g. “HP Pavilion dv6″) information;
  • Interaction: Queries where users want to perform on a website (e.g. ” fill income tax return”) or to complete a process
  • Results page (SERP): Searches a question that can be answered already (e.g. “1 euro dollar”) in the SERP
  • Download: Queries where the user is looking for a file to download (e.g. “open source accounting system”);
  • Obtain: Queries where the user is looking for a source or object (e.g. “lyrics”);
  • Advice: Queries where the user is looking for advice, ideas, suggestions, or instructions (e.g. “How to tie a tie”);
  • Search: Searches where the user trying to find a particular product or service (e.g. “weight bench”);
  • Abstract: An abstract search where the user is looking at everything about a particular topic (e.g. “movies from the 80′s”);
  • Targeted: Searches a specific question (e.g. “how high is the EiffelTower”);
  • Other: Queries where the user is looking for a website, but to something else (e.g. spelling check).

Performance of giant websites

In this study we go from 6 giant websites and see how well they score right now. We look at the In addition, we examine the social media platform such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Finally, we also look at the video hosting service YouTube. We examined 48 searches (3 for each 16 categories) in Google. Using the table below, you can see how well each giant website ranks all these 48 queries.

It is directly on that Wikipedia, scores well on many keywords. Although Twitter is not very common, this one scores high on certain categories, as we shall see below. Also notice that hardly LinkedIn and Facebook actually are not so much shocking as the result comes up. Although the size of the test is limited, we will carefully draw conclusion that we have in our organic competition to deal with Wikipedia.

Competition analysis of large web sites by category

That question was central in our study was: In what categories the giant website ranks well? To answer that question we have made investigation of categories for each of the top three giant websites where these websites properly score. This can be found in the table below:

Best rank-income category One second best rank-income category Third best rank-income category
LinkedIn NL Navigational
Facebook Offline Navigational Online
Wikipedia AND Open Online Results page (SERP)
Wikipedia EN Open Abstract Targeted
Youtube Advice Navigational Abstract
Twitter Offline Navigational Online

As you can read in the table above, there are differences in the categories where the giant websites rank. So LinkedIn rank really in only a category, namely Navigational. We do not normally optimize navigational queries this website giant in practice so it is not competitor for us. But Facebook and Twitter prove to be broadly the same reason: they are typically displayed as well as the source already appointed (offline, online and navigational).YouTube appears to rely on “How to” questions (category “Opinion”) and Wikipedia on “Open” questions properly. On such questions we want our site normally also score well, and we therefore have to deal with competition from these giant websites here.

Competition with giant websites can be tricky, but is incalculable. It is especially important to see if there are certain categories where several giant website ranks well.


From this study we can conclude that giant websites on many different search categories are accounted tendrils, but certainly not will all. Moreover, there appear several topics especially to score categories in which we have no interest. If a giant website ranks well on a particular search, it will be difficult to pursue.

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