Understanding low PBR

The question was asked:

The following seems like a natural phrase “Irish bread” (let’s assume it has a low PBR) it could be because few people search for a phrase with those two words together, more people search for “Irish potato bread” – you could confirm this by searching for “Irish bread” as a phrase or Exact – both should show low results.

This is actually an excellent example to help understand something that is often happening with low PBR phrases.

If the phrase is “Irish bread” then that means for broad match any web page with the word “Irish” AND any web page with the word “bread” will count as a match. That is obviously going to be a very big number, indeed.

But for phrase match, it has to be both words together in the same order. That is obviously going to be a much, much smaller number.

So the phrase “Irish bread” has a low PBR not because it is “unnatural” but because the individual terms are extremely common on their own yet are “naturally” uncommon (relatively speaking) together as a phrase.

Remember that Market Samurai always shows us the Phrase SEOC. If you go to Google, you’ll see the broad match SEOC is 35+ million. So 82K SEOC for phrase divided by 35 million for broad = low PBR and the “naturalness” of the phrase has nothing to do with it. (the actual math in this example doesn’t work out because of the way Google reports things, but you get the idea, I’m sure)

But first… always run the permutations in Market Samurai and make sure none of them has a PBR far above the others. If there is one that is the obvious winner in terms of PBR, then you have to shift your focus to it. If not, then it may be more likely that you’re dealing with the situation above. Use your good judgement.

At this point I go back to Market Samurai and run the keyword analysis with Phrase Match because this is really where you’re at. The reason I say this is where you’re really at is because you’re never going to broad rank for “Irish” or “bread” in any circumstances. That won’t necessarily be the case always with low PBR phrases, but it very often is. So for phrase match on “Irish bread” our SEOT drops to 50 which is more realistic than the 835 we see for broad. Then a quick look at the competition module and we see it is an easy rejection.

But let’s say the competition module gave us hope for this phrase and the phrase SEOT was still acceptable, then what?

Go to Google and do the broad search. Look at the top ten sites and ask yourself if you seriously think you can compete. In this case it is clear that you’re up against market level high authority sites that are going to rank well for almost any cooking related keywords. And if you look at the tightly focused “www.sodabread.us” ( you’d have to have a similar tight focus) they are coming in at PR4 with a whopping 400K+ backlinks, something you’re not going to be able to compete against.

In other words, “Irish bread” is a clear loser upon deeper analysis.

As a final thought… low PBR phrases are extremely risky no matter what. Extremely risky no matter what. Leave them for when you’re a hot-shot with a proven track record. The only problem with that is once you get to the point where you can deal with low PBR phrases, you won’t need to because you’ll be expert at finding better phrases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *