So you’ve gotten your website all set up. It’s time to get those visitors, right? The thing is, getting them all depends on your keywords. Good luck getting on page one of Google with the Fortune 500 companies all targeting your keywords. To win on page one, you’d need to compete, using the right metric. So, what’s this metric?

Page Authority (PA)

A page’s authority is the value a search engine assigns to that particular web page. It determines how well a page would rank in search for a keyword or a set of keywords. PA was actually developed by Moz and does a good job scoring tons of pages on the web.
So let’s say you start an affiliate niche site and go for the buyer long tail keyword, “best handheld cordless vacuum.”

SEM Rush Keyword

SEM Rush Keyword Overview

That’s a keyword with 390 monthly searches. But what do the PA stats say?
Head over here and get MozBar.
Sign up for Moz Toolbar

Sign up for Moz Toolbar

When next you do that search, you should see this:
Mozbar Search Results

Mozbar Search Results

PA is influenced largely by the quality of backlinks a page has. So you can see that the highest ranking page has a PA of 43 with 435 links. 435 links!!! Why isn’t PA 97? Remember, I said quality and not number of links. The average PA for the top three pages is 42. With a 193 link average, that keyword would be too difficult to rank for.
If you modify that and try targeting “best cordless handheld vacuum for pet hair,” with just 50 monthly searches, there’s a different result.
SEM Rush Keyword Overview

SEM Rush Keyword Overview

Let’s look at the PA stats:
Mozbar Results

Mozbar Results

The average PA for the top three ranking pages sits at 23. The links also are nothing to go “oh shit” over.
Now that’s a golden keyword. You can actually compete and have an easy win on this keyword than you would on the first.
And that’s not all there is to this tactic. Even without the guide, (cause you won’t see the MozBar on a mobile device) you can determine keywords with low average PAs by looking out for SERPs with user generated content. That’s content from  Yahoo, HubPages, Quora and forums. Content from these sites are usually not of high-quality and hardly go viral so they only appear on the SERPs when search engines are starved for content at that level. Translation? There’s an opening, go feed those bots!
The MozBar also displays DA, short for Domain Authority. It’s the value assigned by a search engine to a domain or a website. But PA is King on SERPs. That’s because if search engines placed DA over PA, newer sites with top-quality content would find it difficult to rank. Search engines want to serve users the best “pages,” not the best domains or websites.
Content is served on your web pages. If you’re going to win at analyzing the competition of a keyword, look at the ranking pages for a keyword on the SERPs and see how they stack up.

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