Warriors Beware! The Google Keyword Tool Is Apparently Not So Good For SEO!

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  • SEO
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As a result of some people questioning my use of the SEO Book tool instead of the Google Keyword tool, I have done some research on it (because there is a huge discrepancy between both).

Apparently, while the Google Keyword tool is very useful for Adwords and PPC research, it is not so good for SEO purposes (which include article marketing).

Here is the case study I found on this today that analyzes the matter further: Why The Google Keyword Tool Is Useless For SEO, Even With Exact Numbers | Smackdown!

What are your thoughts on this? I don't want to jump to conclusions before seeing what some of the experts have to say. So far I have found this to be true.

Daniel

PS: Here is the thread that pushed me to investigate: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...one-place.html
#apparently #beware #google #keyword #seo #tool #useless #warriors
  • Profile picture of the author LeannaLuck
    Well that is something new that I haven't heard about, but then I pretty much use the micro niche finder for keyword research.

    Leanna
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  • Profile picture of the author Jakehyten
    I use seo book too. Keyword research is SUCH a pain in the A$$ cause EVERY site gives such different results. I really like the seo book cause just from experience it seems to be really accurate based on traffic i get from those results.

    Daniel do you exclusively use seo book?
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
      Originally Posted by Jakehyten View Post

      I use seo book too. Keyword research is SUCH a pain in the A$$ cause EVERY site gives such different results. I really like the seo book cause just from experience it seems to be really accurate based on traffic i get from those results.

      Daniel do you exclusively use seo book?
      Mostly yes, I also use wordtracker sometimes and keyword analyzer (software). The results of SEO Book and Keyword Analyzer have proven to be the most useful for me.

      And Don, that is exactly the idea of this thread, to warn warriors. I would've thought Google would be the best option as well, go figure.
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  • Profile picture of the author donlester
    This is going to save me a lot of confusion I am sure. By default I would have given google the authority. Just goes to show you.
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  • Profile picture of the author apatters
    How does WordTracker estimate search volumes, anyway? Where can they get data like that?
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
    Originally Posted by Rob Ferrall View Post

    I wouldn't say it's useless - far from it. However, you should never expect any such tool to be 100% accurate.

    While it makes complete sense that Google's keyword tool reflects PPC data, I never thought of the potential differences between the real, from the Google home page, search volume and a compilation of PPC statistics.

    However, there are still plenty of benefits that can be derived from this tool. Instead of using the tool to determine the exact search volume for a phrase, you can still use it as an indicator of the overall popularity of a certain phrase. Plus, you can still compare the data for one phrase against a similar phrase and determine which one of the two (or three, or four...) would be better to optimize for.

    This is good information to have, but I don't think it takes away from the benefits of using Google's keyword tool too much.
    Good point Rob, I will rephrase the thread, it's not useless, but you are better off using another one as your main tool, leaving the Google one for cross-reference.

    I still think it's great for Adwords and PPC research, just not for SEO (at least not as your main source).
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    • Profile picture of the author Barbara Eyre
      Definitely food for thought!

      I have Awstats in the hosting for 2 of my sites and was wondering I was seeing referral sites, that when I visit the site, my link isn't there ... rarely make sense. But after reading that above posted linked blog entry, I have a better understanding of why that was happening.

      Sorry for being slightly off-topic.
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi,

        I've been waiting for a thread like this since all of the other threads heralding the changes to google's keyword tool. Bear in mind that SE's (like google) don't like us to get an accurate idea about backlinks - why would they want us to have accurate keyword data?

        Also consider this - do they prefer a level playing field or one where the marketers/SEOers have a major advantage over the mom/pop site builders who don't really know what a keyword tool is and just build their sites out of a passion for their niche?

        If you're the average IMer who doesn't do everything by proxy then they have a lot of information about you - (puts tin hat on) - they could even be serving up 'special' results for the people who are trying too hard.

        Wordtracker are open about the fact that their results are totally estimated - they pull the data from from 'the major metacrawlers - Dogpile and Metacrawler.'

        See here -

        About Wordtracker

        Keyword analyzer used to grab it's results from overture - I stopped using it when overture stopped working, because it didn't work for me.

        Sometimes I think you're better off just putting yourself in the shoes of the searcher and using your loaf to work out the best terms to optimize for. The trouble with data is that you get what you pay for...
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  • Profile picture of the author TimS
    I use the Google keyword tool more than any other but I do use wordtracker or some other tools from time to time. I have a considerable amount of traffic from the results from the Google tool so I can't say that it is useless for SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author writergirlk
    I started a blog a few weeks ago and did all my research with the google tool. I literally wrote the three posts and forgot about the blog - I did nothing else to promote it. At this point - three weeks or so into the blog and only three posts, I would have expected the search engines, especially google, to pretty much be ignoring the site. It's getting 29 unique visitors a day and I looked at the list of keywords people are using and it's quite impressive. Makes me think - if I had more posts with more of the keywords I found from the google tool, my traffic would be excellent right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Monty
    Good find, Daniel. Thanks for pointing it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author edpudol1973
    I am also doubtful with the keyword tool result, that is the reason I am not using the result to.

    I used Peter Drew Gold Tracker and seobook keyword tool they are both good keyword research tool
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    • Profile picture of the author W.P. Allen
      Google's tool, at least for me, seems to be more accurate than others I have tried. For instance: I am researching keywords for a type of diet that is very hot online. For a specific keyword phrase relating to this diet Google showed an estimated 3,600 searches per month. With the Wordtracker Keyword Tool I got an estimated 240 searches per month. Which seems more believable for a hot weight loss topic keyphrase?
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
    No keyword tool is accurate. They are just guides.

    That said, the best source of keywords I've found is the stats from my own websites - take the keywords people have used to find my sites to create new pages or websites, and they fly...

    Another good source of keywords is Amazon... You'll find related phrases in the indexes and previews of books no keyword tool will find...
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    • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
      I can honestly say that without a shadow of a doubt.. my top performing keywords never came from a tool..

      They came from my brain and forum research.

      Travis Sago said something to me once that really was spot on

      The best keyword tool is YOUR BRAIN!!!

      There is no tool that can think like the customer... have neurotic fears like the customer, and have impulsive thoughts like the customer... why do you think blogs can generate such good traffic?... because they usually cover a niche naturally, rather than directly keyword focused, which leaves more room for natural selection of keywords and impulse search traffic..

      I would never pay for a tool when I can get all the longtail keywords I need from a niche forum that is free to join....

      how many warrior threads do you think could be used for longtail keywords?... I'll tell you.. LOTS!!... because these threads are the thoughts, needs and desires of this niche...

      And that is what you need for traffic, the searches that come as a result of the thoughts, wants, needs and desires of your target market...

      Peace

      Jay
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      • Profile picture of the author Brad Fisher
        I agree that the biggest tool in your arsenal is your brain.
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  • As far as organic local search (as opposed to worldwide or national searches), practically all keyword tools are useless for all but the broadest search terms. As others have observed here, you have to use your head. The best I've been able to do has been to use as many semantically related terms, in as many different word orders as is natural, not "search engine" oriented.

    Strangely, "drilling UP" (if that's the right metaphor) can get you better rankings in some niches. The broadest term has less competition, like podunk malpractice, than podunk malpractice insurance or podunk malpractice lawyer.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

      Strangely, "drilling UP" (if that's the right metaphor) can get you better rankings in some niches. The broadest term has less competition, like podunk malpractice, than podunk malpractice insurance or podunk malpractice lawyer.
      That can be very true for geographical search terms but also keep in mind that most of these geographical search terms don't get much volume in traffic.

      The quality of traffic is very high though.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
    Very interesting points guys.

    My conclusion is not to depend on one single tool for SEO, none of them are perfect.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Nicholson
    Hey Daniel,

    Yeah, I try to use a mixture of a few, like Google's and SEOBook and then mix and match with my own ideas!

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Well, that is disappointing although it makes perfect sense. I would KILL for a tool that really, accurately, told you how many searches are done a month for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnsamuels
    the thing you forget is that the adwords tool allows for geotargeted keyword research. do any other free tools have that capability?

    moreover no-one who is serious about SEO needs exact results on a keyword or keyword phrase, because we choose our markets by potential profit, rather than a lack of competition.

    the adwords external tool is perfect for finding out which keyword is searched more than others, and great for finding related keywords. it is a very useful tool, even more so because it is free.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stephen Crooks
      That article ends with an affiliate link to wordtracker which kind of means it loses a lot of credibility for me. The best advice has to be, do your own testing and as Jay mentioned, the best keyword tool is your brain.

      In my personal opinion, google's keyword tool is as accurate as you can get for a keyword tool.
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      • Profile picture of the author CyndiHester
        I am loving Market Samurai for keyword research and every other kind of research. This tool just keeps getting better!
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      • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
        Originally Posted by Steve Crooks View Post

        That article ends with an affiliate link to wordtracker which kind of means it loses a lot of credibility for me. The best advice has to be, do your own testing and as Jay mentioned, the best keyword tool is your brain.

        In my personal opinion, google's keyword tool is as accurate as you can get for a keyword tool.
        what i am saying. I read the article, first though...hmmmm..interesting. Until i saw the affiliate links.

        Yes, ALL the tools only give rough averages...but its good to get an overview about approx. volumes w/o having the EXACT numbers.
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        • Profile picture of the author Wakunahum
          I guess I don't see what the problem is.

          If the number given in the tool are different than reality, why does that matter so much?

          If you rank #1 for that phrase you get X traffic per day/week/month/year on average for that set of keywords. You can't change what you would get for a #1 position regardless of what the tool says or not.

          I use keyword tools to get keyword phrase ideas and to get an approximate search count. These numbers could be multiplied by 1000 or divided by 353 and it wouldn't make a difference because you can still get an approximation on which ones are search for on average more than others.

          I know wordtrackers numbers are off for the most part, but that doesn't stop me from using it either cause you get some good ideas from that tool as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author ManAbout
    Linkbait.

    And the second point about the traffic coming from different geographical sources is outdated. Because now in the Adwords tool you can specify the country and see how many specific searches from that country. I don't think the Google Adwords tool is 100% accurate, but I don't think it is any less so than other third party tools.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
    Through even more trial and error I have come to a conclusion.

    There is not ONE entirely accurate keyword research tool.

    In fact, both types have their pros and cons. So I use them both in cross reference.

    I suggest you do the same.
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    • Profile picture of the author askloz
      Well, I believe those numbers that google provide are accurate.

      SEO in google, is still easy to rank for... but recent changes made to their algorithm have reduce the amount of traffic a person gets. So we have to do more geo-keyword research now.

      Before it used to be server based traffic, which server of the geolocation you're in... now it's even more refined, I'm now lead to believe it's now not only geolocation (allocated a server to get results from google), but more tweaked to a specific IP address.
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  • Profile picture of the author dome28
    works fine to me !!!
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    • Profile picture of the author 32paul52
      I have used both wordtracker and Google adwords tool- and prefer the adwords tool, bute really there is no 100% answer.....The part about the brain is a start
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondower
    i use ppc web spy its a great bit of kit and i see what keywords the people on page 1 of google are using so its easy to chalenge that spot but i like to be no. 4 - 6 on the front page
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  • Profile picture of the author JaradN
    You can always test your keyword search volume accuracy by running an adwords ad with unrelated ad text (so you don't get clicks) and then compare the number of impressions you get to your keyword tools SV.
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  • Profile picture of the author smackdown
    Hey there everyone!

    I'm new to the forum, and I know that I'm in the wrong place to be introducing myself etc.. But I couldnt help but notice this topic. I have used them all as well and to be honest, there really isnt one research tool thats ever going to "fit the bill" for anyone that is looking to gain page rank, indexing etc... regardless of how you market, be it PPC/organic marketing.

    But I can say in all confidense that there is nothing on the planet that can remotely comapare to ThemeZoom as its so in depth that even the most seasonded marketer will be kirked out by the results it pulls. And then I also really like Market Samuri, its a great tool too! But no matter what you use, at the end of the day you are still going to get "creative" and do some grunt work to tap into the keywords that will bring you gobs of traffic.

    Thanks for hearing me out ;-) , I'm Jazzed to be newblet Warrior!

    Cheers!

    Aaron
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  • Profile picture of the author Canonical
    The tool works exactly as I would have expected... including search counts not only from Google proper but also from their content network where AdSense ads are displayed.

    I find it hard to believe the 'expert' who wrote the article didn't even know that MOST of the ads that appear on Ask.com are actually Google PPC ads. They make more money off Google PPC ad clicks on Ask.com than they make on their own PPC ads.

    It goes to show you NOT to blindly trust data, regardless of the source. You have to always understand where the data came from, how it was gathered, how it is transformed into information that is then displayed in a tool like this.

    It's a useful tool. Is it the end-all-be-all of keyword research? No. But I challenge you to find a single tool anywhere that can answer every keyword related question you might have. It's just another tool in your bag of tricks that lets you view keywords from a different angle. The more such tools you have, the better your picture of reality.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by Canonical View Post

      The tool works exactly as I would have expected... including search counts not only from Google proper but also from their content network where AdSense ads are displayed.
      Hi Canonical,

      Another great post, I agree, except for one minor error in your post. The Tool displays data from their Search Network not the Content Network. Google's search engine powers the search results for a number of other sites which all make up the Search Network.

      The point is that this is "keyword search" data, not contextually targeted impressions. That's just another incorrect myth with no supporting evidence.

      I find the data more useful for SEO purposes because it gives you the largest possible swath of empirical data. The article's author seems to lack the fundamentals of statistical analysis ands treats the larger data set as if it were a bad thing. :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author Oling
    Great article you have. Thanks for the info into the comparisons but I think I will stick to those Google keyword tools and my wordtracker and make the best possible combinations of keywords that I can muster.

    Thanks
    Oling
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I use both the google keyword tool and SEOBook - the google tool is good for finding long tail keyword phrases but to make it effective you have to also check competition carefully. It's a matter of ratios for those.

      SEOBook offers loads of info and I've done well with some articles that didn't have "info" but were trending straight up when I wrote them.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author COBSolutions
    Keyword research is a combination of efforts

    You just cannot rely on one software or tool

    I generally use google keywords tool, cpc estimator, google trends and one more independent tool before deciding on the niche. Generally i have seen all the tools give almost same results with minor variations here and there
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  • Profile picture of the author irving
    I have been using google adwords tool for a long time. In fact, its my favorite. Apart from that i use wordtracker. Now i am confused. Is there some other tool that is reliable. Anu suggestions anyone??
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    • Profile picture of the author Sipboy3000
      This is the very reason I preach that you should be doing market research rather than targeting keywords for volume.

      Once you know and understand your market for whatever niche you are in, creating compelling offers and finding the right keywords gets a helluva lot easier.

      Market research will also help you determine what triggers your market to take action. This is where the money is made!

      Relying on keyword tools and targeting high volume keywords is not the most effective strategy.

      Learn how to master market research for your keywords and you will make a mint in any market you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jenie0109
    interesting criticism but are there people can prove that this information is accurate?
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  • Profile picture of the author joeljonathan
    I just read your entire article and you do make some interesting points however the tool is far from useless. The value of the Google keyword tool is that is can be used for relative judgments on the value of different keyword phrases and it doesn't necessarily have to be relied upon for exact numbers.
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  • Profile picture of the author dadaas
    Micro niche finder is also not accurate, it gives too big searches per month and i dont think thats too accurate, tested it on few car keywords.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Ashbrook
      Originally Posted by dadaas View Post

      Micro niche finder is also not accurate, it gives too big searches per month and i dont think thats too accurate, tested it on few car keywords.
      Are you using the latest update of MNF? I thought exactley the same as you. I even went as far to email support about my concerns about getting global results when I had selected local search results.

      But with the latest update this has been fixed. The results are exactly the same as Google tool.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dima Kritchevski
    I've found google keyword tool really awful for some product keywords for ppc searches... definetely another strike against google keyword tool right there...

    will have to check out the SEO book tool for sure
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    The KW tool is useful if you know how to use it.
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