Sometimes when I'm doing niche/keyword research with the free Google Keywords tool, I come across a strange phenomenom which I attribute to inaccurate data and/or the imprecision of the tool. However, over the weekend I made a discovery that made me completely overhaul my thinking.
That discovery is the free Google Insights tool. I am sure many have heard with it, but please bear with me.
If I type in 'good ice cream' (without the quotes) into the tool and then click on the 'Get keyword ideas' button, the following data is returned:
Approx Search Volume: December = Not enough data
Approx Avg Search Volume = 8,100
Now my usual reaction was to think, 'hmm Google have messed up the data for December, so I'll go with the avg search volume'. Actually, to be more accurate, I usually don't bother with figures for the last month (December in this case). I just assume that I can safely extrapolate the average search volume (give or take a small percentage) to every month. I was wrong. Big time!
Google are most likely using a 12 month simle moving average for their avg search volume figures. The problem is that moving averages lag the data they represent by a significant margin. Weighted averages and exponetial averages are more sensitive, but still don't eradicate the problem. What we really need is an actual representation of the raw data. Enter Google Insights (and Google Trends)...
Google Insights (Google Insights for Search) provides a visual plot of the search volume for a keyword over time. The Y axis shows the search volume of a keyword (relative to the entire Google search volume), while the X axis shows the time in years.
The plot for 'good ice cream' (without the quotes) is an almost perfect cyclical plot. Search volume peaks in July and then falls away to a bottom in October which is maintained till the following April. In April, demand rises steadily to another peak in July, and then falls away. This cycle is repeated over and over again.
If I put on my thinking cap, I can easily rationalise the plot as follows: demand for ice cream is always going to be much greater in the spring and summer months than it is in the fall and winter. This is very accurately reflcted by the plot.
What this tells me is that the Google keywords tools was actually correct when it reported 'not enough data' for December.
Ice cream is a very obvious and simplistic example... but you will be amazed by how many keywords are affected by this cyclical phenomenom.
I am sure that smart Warriors can use this information to great advantage.