Thursday, November 29, 2007

11/29/07 - EU Court: Foods are not Drugs


1. Health Freedom Blog update
2. Health Freedom victory in the EU
3. Herbs at a glance… NCCAM listing

1. Vitamin Lawyer Health Freedom Blog
New Posting -
The Tiburon Statement: No Forced Vaccinations!

eAlerts – STOP FORCED VACCINATION! If you are on the Natural Solutions Foundation eAlert list you received an alert the day before yesterday about the emergency health freedom advocates’ meeting in Tiburon CA this past weekend I attended. If you want to stay current on health freedom issues, you really need to sign up to the eAlert list - please go to: and sign up today! Better, tell everyone on your elist to do the same! This list of several hundred thousand purveyors and consumers of natural products and remedies is having a powerful impact in Washington and internationally.

2. Victory for health freedom in the EU

As we’ve been saying for years, "Foods are not drugs..." Now says the European Court of Justice, about the German attempt to ban the importation of garlic capsules:

"Regarding the concept of a medicinal product by function, the Court stated that garlic capsules do not contain any substance other than natural garlic and have no additional effects, either positive or negative, compared to those derived from the consumption of garlic in its natural state. In contrast, a medicinal product must have the function of preventing or treating disease. Beneficial effects for health in general are not sufficient."

This rational and just decision, recognizing, as it does, that foods can have health benefits without that fact categorizing the food as a "medicine," is a major step toward more open and freer healthcare in Europe.

Congratulations to the Court of Justice!

3. Herbs at a Glance…

NACCAM – the National Center for Complementary and Alternative “Medicine” is publishing information about herbs, which can be found at:

You may find this a useful resource to suggest some claims support. WARNING: the site uses the word “treat” inappropriately, confusing normal nutrient effects with treatment of disease… Maybe a US court needs to tell NACCAM what the EU high court just told Germany: food health benefits are not drug claims!

Friday, November 16, 2007

11/16/07 - AER on Your Labels?

1. Health Freedom Blog Update, Factoid
2. Best Practices Alert: AER on the label??
3. Evidence based healthcare
4. FDA food safety initiative
5. Healthcare professionals take vitamins!

1. Vitamin Lawyer Health Freedom Blog
New Posting -

Supply Side West – Last week; industry association representative comments on the new AER law: “When questioned on the upcoming adverse events reporting (AER) bill, Seckman [NPA executive director] responded that when the legislation comes into effect at the end of the year, there will be an initial spike in incidences as reporting increases. However, he said this will then stabilize and eventually have a positive effect on the dietary supplement industry's image. "Then we will see that the baseline numbers will be low consistently," said Seckman. "We will then look to publicize this in industry."”

eAlerts - If you are on the Natural Solutions Foundation eAlert list you received an alert early this morning (I thinkwe sent it out about 6 AM…) about my foundation co-trustees, Dr. Laibow and Gen. Stubblebine at the Codex meeting. More about that meeting below. If you want to stay current on health freedom issues, you really need to sign up to the eAlert list - please go to: and sign up today! Better, tell everyone on your elist to do the same! This list of several hundred thousand purveyors and consumers of natural products and remedies is having a powerful impact in Washington and internationally. Imagine the impact if the list were One Million Health Freedom Warriors… ready to click their mousse for your right to sell and use high potency products!

2. Best Practices Alert: AER on the label?

I’ve recently seen a few draft labels with statements like “We report all serious adverse events to the FDA.”

Please remove such statements! Mentioning "Adverse Event" might give customers the wrong idea... that they might have an “adverse event” with your product! I have read both the new AER law and the FDA guidance regarding same very carefully (just reread them to be sure) there is NO requirement for any mention of AER on the label!

The law is very specific that filing a serious adverse event report is not an admission of responsibility, but, if you mention AERs on your label, aren’t you admitting that you are selling a product that might harm a customer?

All the law does require is that you to have your company name and an address or phone number on the label. If The Vitamin Lawyer Consultancy reviews your labels, you know they will comply. For more information about the new AER law that goes into effect on December 22, 2007, please see:


3. Evidence based healthcare

From -

Evidence based practice (EBP) is an approach to care wherein professionals use the best evidence possible, i.e. the most appropriate information available, to make clinical decisions for individual patients. EBP promotes the collection, interpretation, and integration of valid, important and applicable patient-reported, clinician-observed, and research-derived evidence. The best available evidence, moderated by patient circumstances and preferences, is applied to improve the quality of clinical judgments and facilitate cost-effective care.

This involves complex and conscientious decision-making based not only on the available evidence but also on patient characteristics, situations, and preferences. It recognizes that care is individualized and ever changing and involves uncertainties and probabilities. Ultimately EBP is the formalization of the care process that the best clinicians have practiced for generations – from the country “Doc” who knew his patients to the practitioner who knew his patients over decades.

Evidence-based practice (EBP) develops individualized guidelines of best practices to inform the improvement of whatever professional task is at hand. Evidence-based practice is a philosophical approach that is in opposition to rules of thumb, folklore, and tradition. Examples of a reliance on "the way it was always done" can be found in almost every profession, even when those practices are contradicted by new and better information.

Evidence-based design and development decisions are made after reviewing information from repeated rigorous data gathering instead of relying on rules, single observations, or custom. Evidence-based medicine and evidence-based nursing practice are the two largest fields employing this approach. In psychiatry and community mental health, evidence-based practice guides have been created by such organizations as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

This model of care has been studied for 30 year in universities and is gradually making its way into the public sector. It effectively moves away from the old “medical model” (You have a disease, take this pill.) to a “evidence presented model” using the patient as the starting point in diagnosis. EPBs are being employed in the fields of health care, juvenile justice, mental health and social services among others.

Key elements in using the best evidence to guide the practice of any professional include the development of questions using research-based evidence, the level and types of evidence to be used, and the assessment of effectiveness after completing the task or effort. One obvious problem with EBP in any field is the use of poor quality, contradictory, or incomplete evidence. Evidence-based practice continues to be a developing body of work for professions as diverse as education, psychology, economics, social work and architecture.

According to Norcross et al (2006) "the burgeoning evidence based practice movement in mental health attempts to identity, implement, and disseminate treatments that have been proven demonstrably effective according to the empirical evidence". However, Norcross et al (2006) also state that perhaps it is more useful to identify what does not work - discredited psychological treatments and tests, and has conducted survey research on discredited psychological treatments. Examples of discredited psychotherapies include: the use of pyramid structures, orgone therapy, crystal healing, past lives therapy, chiropractic manipulation, neurolinguistic programming and Erhard Seminars Training.

4. FDA food safety initiative

HHS Unveils Plan to Strengthen, Update Food Safety Efforts
Plan uses integrated collaborative approach to meet demands of a global economy to protect American consumers

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced a comprehensive initiative by the Food and Drug Administration designed to bolster efforts to better protect the nation's food supply. The Food Protection Plan proposes the use of science and a risk-based approach to ensure the safety of domestic and imported foods eaten by American consumers.

"America's food supply is among the safest in the world, and we enjoy unprecedented choice and convenience in filling the cupboard. Yet, we face new challenges to meet both the changing demands of a global economy and consumers' expectations," Secretary Leavitt said. "This Food Protection Plan will implement a strategy of prevention, intervention and response to build safety into every step of the food supply chain."

HHS Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy and FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., presented the Food Protection Plan at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

"FDA must keep pace with this transformation so that the safety of the nation's food supply remains second to none," said Commissioner von Eschenbach. "The Food Protection Plan calls for effective action before an outbreak occurs."

The Food Protection Plan, which focuses on both domestic and imported food, complements the Import Safety Action Plan delivered by Secretary Leavitt to the President earlier today that recommends how the U.S. can improve the safety of all imported products. This year, $2 trillion worth of goods will be imported into the U.S., and experts predict that amount will triple by 2015. The Import Safety Action Plan lays out a road map with short- and long-term recommendations to enhance product safety at every step of the import life cycle. Taken together, the two plans will improve efforts by the public and private sector to enhance the safety of a wide array of products used by American consumers.

Advances in food production technology, rapid methods of food distribution, and globalization have transformed supermarket shelves and restaurant menus, broadened the tastes of consumers, and challenged the existing food protection framework.

"Although our agency clearly needs to maintain and enhance its response capacity, the primary goal is to prevent contaminated food from ever reaching the consumer," said von Eschenbach.

The plan is premised on preventing harm before it can occur, intervening at key points in the food production system, and responding immediately when problems are identified. Within these three overarching areas of protection, the plan contains a number of action steps as well as a set of legislative proposals. Taken together, these efforts will provide a food protection framework that ensures that the U.S. food supply remains safe.

To strengthen its efforts to prevent contamination, FDA plans to strengthen support of food industry efforts to build safety into products manufactured either domestically or imported. The FDA will work with industry, state, local, and foreign governments to identify vulnerabilities and will look to industry to mitigate those vulnerabilities, using effective methods such as preventive controls.

The plan's intervention element emphasizes focusing inspections and sampling based on risk at the manufacturer and processor level, for both domestic and imported products, that will help verify the preventive controls. This approach is complemented by targeted, risk-based inspections at the points where foreign food products enter the United States, including ports.

The plan calls for enhancing FDA's information systems related to both domestic and imported foods to better respond to food safety threats and communicate during an emergency.

The Food Protection Plan's three core elements--prevention, intervention, and response--incorporate four cross-cutting principles for comprehensive food protection along the entire production chain:

* Focus on risks over a product's life cycle from production to consumption;
* Target resources to achieve greatest risk reduction;
* Use interventions that address both food safety (unintentional contamination) and food defense (deliberate contamination); and
* Use science and employ modern technology, including enhanced information technology systems.

The Food Protection Plan is available at

5. Healthcare professionals take vitamins!

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has announced as part of the initial results from its survey of healthcare professionals that, contrary to industry belief, the sector is in fact both using and recommending dietary supplements.

"It reconfirms what we know: that supplements are very mainstream in the US," CRN vice president of communications Judy Blatman told NutraIngredients-USA. Industry repeatedly claims there is a perceived divide between its products and so-called mainstream medicine - but Blatman says this may not even be as prevalent as once thought and that the key now is to get healthcare professionals to talk more to their patients about the potential benefits of these products.

"We need to make sure that we as an industry are communicating with healthcare professionals and that they are communicating with their patients and getting accurate information," said Blatman… Perhaps even more surprising is that not only did the survey reveal that 72 percent of physicians use supplements… 85 percent recommend them to their patients…”

Friday, November 9, 2007

11/09/07 - Codex Meets; eMail Blasts


1. Health Freedom Blog Update, Factoid
2. Codex about to meet on health claims
3. How to improve your email blasts

1. Vitamin Lawyer Health Freedom Blog –
New Posting -

If you are on the Natural Solutions Foundation eAlert list you received an alert early this morning (I think I sent it out about 2 AM…) about my foundation co-trustees, Dr. Laibow and Gen. Stubblebine on their way to the Codex meeting. More about that meeting below. If you want to stay current on health freedom issues, you really need to sign up to the eAlert list - please go to: and sign up today! Better, tell everyone on your elist to do the same. This list of several hundred thousand purveyors and consumers of natural products and remedies is having a powerful impact in Washington and internationally. Imagine the impact if the list were One Million Health Freedom Warriors… ready to click their mousse for your right to sell and use high potency products.

2. Codex about to meet on health claims

By: Alex McNally - Nov. 9, 2007 - Codex members are due to sit down and vote on a series of far reaching rules governing nutrient compounds in foods - and crucially discuss whether health claims should be based only on clinical studies. Although Codex is not a regulatory body, its decisions are used as a benchmark of discussion should trade disputes arise in the future, and while Codex does not have the same force of law as an EU directive or national legislation, it is used as a reference point for countries that are looking at revising or creating legislation.

In Europe, the EU has already unveiled its own health claims regulation - which says claims about foods should be supported by science - and has caused uncertainty for the industry since coming into force in July. The Codex meeting… will vote upon whether scientific evidence should be based solely on clinical studies. This suggestion has come under fire from trade groups who say this would be "unfeasible."

3. Better email blasts for your business

Entireweb always has good advice -- here is the entire article on email blasts

Entireweb Newsletter * November 6, 2007 * ISSUE #385 *

2 Dozen Ways to Improve Your E-Mail Marketing Results

I suppose I can title this article "25 Email Marketing Mistakes I've Made." But rather than focus on the negative, below I've outlined the best practices I’ve come to adopt over the years. Hope you find something here useful.

1. Diversify your Content: If your entire email focuses on one product, service, or topic, you risk alienating all but the few people who will be interested. Unless you have segmented your database based on previous behavior, do not send an email on only 1 topic. I consistently find that the click through rate increases in proportion with varied content.

2. Don't Stress about Spam Words: Many experts will tell you to avoid words like "free" or "sale". In my opinion, ISPs tend to be moving away from content based spam filtering in favor of reputation based filtering. In other words, your sending IP address and from email are more important than whether or not
your email contains certain words. Personally, I've used words like "free" in the subject line without any affect on delivery rates.

3. Make it Readable with Images Disabled: Always take into account the appearance of your email with images disabled. For email clients such as Outlook, this is now the default feature. Even popular web mails like Hotmail now disable images unless the sender is in the address book of the recipient.
The best tactic to create readable emails with images block as an alt description.

4. Create an Online Version: Always provide an online version of your email for users having trouble viewing images. I've calculated from emails I've sent in the past that around 5% of users will use this feature.

5. Remove Inactive Subscribers: Inactive subscribers are the most likely to get you in trouble by clicking the spam button. Consider automatically removing a subscriber that hasn't opened an email in several months.

6. Proofreading: Always have every email proofread by at least 2 detail oriented people. There's nothing more embarrassing than a typo in an email blast.

7. Monitor Replies: When you send out thousands of emails, you're bound to get a few replies. Occasionally, you'll get some good feedback from your subscribers. In addition, some people reply with unsubscribe requests.

8. Unsubscribe at Top: I know what you're thinking, "At the TOP!?" Yes, at the top. Lazy unsubscribers have a tendency to click the spam button instead scrolling down to find the unsubscribe link. By placing the link at the top, you might increase your unsubscribe rate, but that's better than an inflated spam complaint count.

9. Don't Over or Under Mail: If you send too much, you'll get deleted or marked as spam. Oddly enough, if you send once every 3 months you may have the same problem. Keep your brand top of mind for your customers by finding the perfect balance between over and under mailing.

10. Forward to Friend Feature: Many users automatically do this, but it doesn't hurt to ask. First time potential customers can be very open to a company when it is introduced by a friend or colleague.

11. Subscribe Feature for Forwards: Make it easy for potential new subscribers to subscribe if they receive your email as a forward. Include somewhere in the body a subscribe link.

12. White List Reminder: If you want your subscribers to add you to their white list or address book, you need to ask. Sure, not everyone will add you. However, those who do are likely the people who care most about receiving your emails and, therefore, you have the most to lose if your emails get flagged as spam.

13. Single Click Unsubscribe: I generally recommend keeping the unsubscribe as simple as possible. However, you may want to confirm the action if you place your unsubscribe at the top of every email in case users click the link on accident.

14. Privacy Policy: Always place your privacy policy at the bottom of every email. Assure customers that you obtained their email address in a legitimate fashion, and you will not sell their personal info.

15. Don't Rent Lists: Some may disagree on this, but I've never seen anything good come from a rented list. Don't risk your sender reputation with emails from questionable sources. If you want to reach a new audience, consider a joint venture with another firm in a similar but non-competing industry.

16. Develop your Brand: Remember that your emails will slowly build your brand in the minds of your subscribers. Even if they never click-through and make a purchase, be sure to keep a consistent and accurate corporate image with your email content.

17. Call to Action: Each section must contain a specific call to action that avoids vague phrases like "click here." You'll be surprised how an effective call to action button or link can improve your click through rate.

18. Mix Freebies with Products: Too much selling can burn people out. Engage your subscribers with useful, free content. For example, if you sell home theater equipment, send out an article on the explaining the benefits of newer technologies. When you provide additional value to your customers with
learning resources, they are sometimes even willing to pay more for your merchandise. In addition, strategies like this keep your brand top of mind.

19. Find Your "Tuesday": For the eCommerce sites I've worked with, Tuesday morning has always resulted in the best open, click-through, and conversion rates. However, every company is different.

20. Same Day, Same Time: Be consistent in the time you send your emails for two reasons. First, the ISPs see inconsistency as a possible spam flag. Spammers can care less when they send out mass emails. Second, your customers will begin to anticipate your emails at a certain time each week, possibly
increasing the likely hood of them opening and clicking through.

21. Keep the Good Stuff above the Fold: Remember that many email clients will obscure a large portion of your email unless the user scrolls down. Make sure the top 400 pixels are as engaging as possible. I can't tell you how many times I've had to send artwork back to the design department because the top
of the email failed to grab your attention.

22. A/B Test 1 Variable at a Time: It took me far too long to learn this. For years, I would change several factors in each successive email blast, but never could find that perfect mix. If you really want to find out what works, you can only change 1 variable. For example, should the subject line be short or long? Keep the same content and split your list in 2, sending half a longer subject and the other half a shorter one. Do not change any other variables!

23. 600 Pixel Width: Due to the limitations of many email clients, stick with a width somewhere between 500 to 600 pixels wide.

24. Experiment with Subject Lines: I wish there was a magic principle I can share with you about subject lines. Unfortunately, there isn't. The best we can do is test, test, and test again. Sometimes short subjects are better, sometimes long, sometimes intriguing, sometimes urgent, whatever works best for you. Here's a great article on email subject lines.

25. Begin Segmentation & Personalization Now: In a few years, email marketers that don't practice segmentation and personalization will be left in the dust. There are an endless number of ways to segment your email list. Some popular ways are by purchase behavior, geography, or ordering frequency.

As a long term strategy, I would also greatly encourage researching transactional and trigger based email marketing, as they tend to product much better open, click-through, and conversion rates. To learn more about eCommerce Email marketing, please visit the Palmer Ecommerce Marketing Blog.

Justin Palmer offers expert eCommerce consulting services and Do It Yourself search engine optimization lessons. In addition, Justin is the eCommerce director for, which sells Spiritual t-shirts and Witness wear.

Friday, November 2, 2007

11/02/07 - FDA Commissioner Warns Industry


Lots of ground to cover in this memo… important information…

1. Health Freedom Blog Update, Factoid & Client GMP Warning
2. Raising the RDA
3. Taking vitamins is good for you
4. Organic is better…
5. Warning from new FDA Commissioner to DS industry
6. SEO for small businesses

1. Vitamin Lawyer Health Freedom Blog –
New Posting -

“In the past, over-conservative government-sponsored [maximum level] standards have encouraged dietary complacency…” - Vitamin Safety Review Panel

Client GMP Warning: This just in: one of the Vitamin Lawyer clients reports receiving a request from his production people: “In the very near future we are going to need a copy of your stability study which substantiates your Exp [expiration] date. FDA requires that this be on file and available for review.” This particular client is wisely having his contract manufacturer laboratory retain samples to test every six months so he will have the data.

Please note that the FDA does not currently require the use of “expiration” or “best if used by” dates.

The new GMP Rule comments state: “if you use an expiration date on a product, you should have data to support that date... We recommended that you have a written testing program designed to assess the stability characteristics of the dietary supplement, and that you use the results of the stability testing to determine appropriate storage conditions and expiration dates… the final rule does not require that you establish an expiration date, we decline to offer guidance on the type of data that are acceptable to support an expiration date, other than to repeat that any expiration date that you place on a product label (including a ‘best if used by’ date) should be supported by data.”

To get on to the Global Health Freedom eblast list, please go to:

2. Raising the RDA

“The US Recommended Daily Allowance/Daily Reference Intakes are too low and most should be raised immediately, says an independent panel of physicians, academics and researchers. In a statement this week, the Independent Vitamin Safety Review Panel said: “Government-sponsored nutrient recommendations, such as the US RDA/DRIs, are not keeping pace with recent progress in nutrition research… In the past, over-conservative government-sponsored standards have encouraged dietary complacency. People have been led to believe that they can get all the nutrients they need from a 'balanced diet' of processed foods. That is not true. For adequate vitamin and mineral intake, a diet of unprocessed, whole foods, along with the intelligent use of nutritional supplements, is more than just a good idea: it is essential.”

3. Taking vitamins is good for you…

Knowledge of Heath, Inc. -
Special Report: Dietary Supplement Fanatics Healthiest Of All - By Bill Sardi © 2007

“They may not be laughing at vitamin supplement fanatics much longer. According to an authoritative study just published in The Nutrition Journal, avid dietary supplement users who, on average, take 17 different supplements daily, were judged to be far healthier than adults who just take a single supplement such as a common multivitamin, or who don't take dietary supplements at all.…While more than half of U.S. adults take dietary supplements, nearly
half of these supplement consumers take only one type of supplement, most commonly an inexpensive multivitamin…Risk for disease was far lower among the multi-supplement users compared to non-users. Risk for diabetes was 73% less, coronary heart disease 52% less, and self-determined health status (report health status was rated as "good or excellent") 74% more often, compared to non-supplement users.

This study may dispel a common belief that a low-dose multivitamin may be sufficient to address essential nutrient shortages. Source: Gladys Block, et al, Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study. The Nutrition Journal, 6: 30, 2007

4. Organic is better…

“The biggest study into organic food has found that it is more nutritious than ordinary produce and may help to lengthen people's lives. The evidence from the £12m four-year project will end years of debate and is likely to overturn government advice that eating organic food is no more than a lifestyle choice. The study found that organic fruit and vegetables contained as much as 40% more antioxidants, which scientists believe can cut the risk of cancer and heart disease, Britain’s biggest killers. They also had higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc.”

5. Warning from new FDA Commissioner to DS industry

Speaking before the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) and the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), outlined what the agency claims is its science-based approach to regulating dietary supplements

"FDA is absolutely committed to protecting consumers from misleading claims and unsafe products," said Dr. Crawford. "Unlike most foods, some dietary supplements are pharmacologically active. And we have
seen over the last 10 years a huge growth in the dietary supplements industry, including the introduction of products that seem far removed from the vitamins and minerals of the pre-DSHEA days. We have become increasingly aware of the potential health problems some of these products pose."

In the last 6 months, FDA has inspected 180 domestic dietary supplement manufacturers; sent 119 warning letters to dietary supplement distributors; refused entry to 1,171 foreign shipments of dietary supplements; and seized or supervised voluntary destruction of almost $18 million worth of mislabeled or adulterated products. "We will continue to aggressively enforce DSHEA against unsafe or mislabeled products," Crawford said.

The article continues: When DSHEA was passed a decade ago, there were about 4,000 supplements on the market, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs and other botanicals. Congress determined that these products were more like foods than drugs, which cannot be put on the market unless a high threshold of evidence about their safety and efficacy is met, and that, like foods, such dietary supplements should in general be given the benefit of the doubt as to safety. A recent Institute of Medicine report, sponsored by FDA, estimated that American consumers spend $18 billion annually on dietary supplements and that there are about 29,000 such products on the market, with another 1,000 new products introduced each year.

Are your papers in order?

6. Search Engine Optimization for Small Business Owners

Entireweb Newsletter * November 1, 2007 * ISSUE #384

Small business owners are often limited by small marketing budgets and manpower. But that doesn't mean they can't compete against larger businesses or websites when focused on search engine optimization. SEO is a basic marketing tool that everyone should use regardless of size...

What makes a keyword competitive? One way to determine the competitiveness of a search term is to simply type that search term into Google and notice the number of web pages that contain that search term. This number appears in the upper right-hand corner of the search results page and appears as, "Results 1 - 10 of about 228,000,000 for [your search term here]." ...From my perspective, when this number is less than 3 or 4 million, the particular search term would not be all that competitive in and of itself.

Determining just how competitive the search term is. There are a variety of methods to determine true keyword effectiveness (KEI, etc.)... In addition to the number of sites that contain your keyword, how well optimized are the top 3 sites that appear on the search result. You can determine this by:

1. Visiting the site and determining the Google PR of the page. This information is available by downloading the Google toolbar and looking in your browser. You will see a green bar and ranking (ex: PR5), which tells you how Google ranks this page/website with regard to popularity. Any site with a Google PR6 or better is well established and will be difficult to outrank in the near term.

2. Visit Google and type , "". Be sure to replace 'competitorwebsite' with the website name you are researching... This will tell you how many sites are linking to this particular website. The larger the number the more difficult it will be to outrank.

3. Look at the website code. Simply visit the competitor's website and go to "View", "View Source". Look for the meta tags of "Title", "Description", and "Keywords"...

Using the above will give you a good sense of whether of not you can compete for given keywords...

About the Author: Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert with more than 12 years of marketing experience...