What is Google Keyword Competition? – High & Low Competition Explained

Keyword competition in Google Keyword Planner is a measure to determine ranking difficulty for a keyword or long tail keywords. In other words, keywords competition represents the number of advertisers who are using Google for their PPC advertisement campaign strictly. 

If you are using Google Keyword Planner for your keyword research, you have got to wonder what does it mean when you see Low, Medium, or High Competition in results.

In the words of Google:

The level of competition – low, medium or high – is determined by the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google.

People who are bidding for keywords on Google have to use this piece of information to inspect how many advertisers are competing for the selected keyword. It helps them to decide on various aspects of their advertisement campaign. The most important one is the CPC (Cost Per Click) strategy.

  • High competition means that the advertiser has to bid more than suggested to reach the top of Google’s first page.
  • Medium means that the competition is not so high. Therefore, CPC will be cheaper for the selected keyword compared to one with top competition.
  • Low competition means that the advertiser has found a keyword with little or no competition. The cost of their campaign will be only a few cents per click.

However, if you are aiming at results in organic search, this information has little or no value to you.

Many website owners make a mistake trying to use Google Keyword Planner to find low competition keywords thinking that the information will help them to reach the top of the search results.

If that is your case understand that you can use the information only to determine is keyword profitable or not.

The level of competition in Google Keyword Planner won’t help you to determine organic ranking difficulty.

What is the Alternative to Google Keyword Planner?

There are many alternative keyword research tools online that can help you with search the competition level in organic results and one of the best tools that I have been able to find is Jaaxy.

Jaaxy is not oriented towards advertisement. Its purpose is keyword research for SEO.

For my keyword research, I have been using Jaaxy for some time and one of the best features of this keyword research tool is its simplicity when it comes to analyzing the keyword competition.

Similarly to Keyword Planner, Jaaxy shows you how competitive is a particular variation you want to rank on Google.

Jaaxy is oriented strictly to organic results.

How to Check Keyword Competition With Jaaxy?

This procedure is straightforward. There are a couple of metrics to read in Jaaxy to see how competitive is a particular keyword.

To show you how to do so, I will give you a short analysis right away.

For this demonstration, I will use this post as an example of my research and analysis.

There are two metrics that we are going to inspect to see how competitive your keywords are.

1.) OSR

First, we will take a look at QSR metric.

This number tells you how many websites are already ranking on Google for your keyword. It comes in handy whenever you are in search of a low competition topic.

QSR Results in Jaaxy Screen Capture

Low competition = 0-50 websites. 

Whenever you hit results that show you less than 50 websites in a competition that means that you have found a low competitive keyword.

Medium competition = 50-100 websites. 

If you see that the number of sites is somewhere between 50 and 100 you are good to go. It means that your competition in Google is medium and you won’t have too much difficulty to rank your content.

High competition = 100 and more websites

Whenever you read a QSR that is 100 or higher that means that your selected keyword is pretty competitive. If you don’t have a high DA, you should try to find a long tail keyword with less competition. 

2.) SEO 

This metric is easy to read as well. Jaaxy gives you a number between 1-100 to determine how likely you are going to rank for your keywords after you write and publish your material.

The closer you get to 100, the less difficult it will be to get ranked high in Google.

SEO Results in Jaaxy Screen Capture


Remember, the orientation of the Google Keyword Planner is toward the paid advertisement.

So, If you want to look at keyword competition in organic results, it’s better to use one of the alternative keyword tools.

My best recommendation is Jaaxy

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I wish you a successful online marketing journey!

If you need any help or you have a question feel free to contact me!

All the best,


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4 thoughts on “What is Google Keyword Competition? – High & Low Competition Explained”

  1. Hey interesting post. I use jaxy though find it a little confusing, I understand the premis though it never seems to add up to when you search for your keyword in Google. One of my posts was called ‘skateboarding and health’ Jaxy says this has avg. 24 traffic 5 and QSR 24. When I typed the same thing into Google it came up with 10 results using quotation marks and 64, 000,000 without. Sometimes it’s been the opposite to so you think you’ve found a low competition keyword type it into Google and thousands of results come up. Yeah good informative post might have to look into some of the other ways to get ranked one day!

    • Hi Dom, none of the keyword research tools are 100% accurate. All of them are working on estimation principle. I recommend you to take metrics from Jaaxy and other tools just as a starting point to getting good ideas. Your content is what counts and the formula is simple. The more you can deliver, the more of it will get ranked.

      Just recently, I saw Neil Patel’s blog insights on Google. The guys have 900 published posts. Out of those 900, only 200 are ranked on Google’s top page, around 250 are ranked between spots 20 and 40. The rest may never get ranked.

      You can see what’s his formula and it’s not keyword research. It plays a role but it’s not the most important part of success in search engines. It’s creativity what counts the most!

      Keep delivering content within your niche and that’s all to it. 🙂 Keyword tools help to get ideas but don’t count on those numbers. 😉


  2. Hey Ivan

    Thank you for talking about and analyzing google keywords. I have tried using it but I feel it is very limited when it comes to seeing the actual competition and proper search numbers.
    This is the reason I have used other platforms for my keyword research over the years

    • Hi Thabo, yes, you are right Google Keyword Planner is very limited when it comes to keyword research for SEO. Its primary purpose is paid advertising campaigns, but people still tend to use it for their free source of keywords.

      I can recommend you to try doing your keyword research with Jaaxy. It’s my favorite tool for growing my business, and I’m happy to recommend it to everyone. Here is my Jaaxy Review if you want to learn more.



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