Inner View: Google’s Keyword Research Tools

March 9, 2011
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

What’s search engine optimization without some keyword research mastery? Nothing, I say. And that’s why we’re here.  Up on stage speaking is Baris Gultekin who will hopefully school us on everything Google has to offer in terms of keyword research tools. I’m not sure what to expect in this one but I’m hoping for a good look at some of Google’s magic for webmasters. Grab your brain helmet and let’s go.

Baris is up.

Six months ago they launched a new version of the Google Keyword Research tool, from both the back end perspective and the user perspective. They got a lot of great feedback at their last SMX session and are excited to be back. WOOHOO!

There are billions of users and billions of searchers. Baris notes that users search in 1,000 different ways.  I would imagine most of them search in ways that completely suck.  People most people are Internet stupid.  I only moderately judge them.  As proof of the dumb, Baris shoes some amusing stats.

In August 2008, there were 7.5 million searches done for “britney spears”. 7.5 MILLION!  Google has counted more than 1,000 misspellings of “Britney Spears”. The top 10 misspellings of those 1,000 received an additional 915,100 searches.   That’s… a lot of searches.

With all those illiterate people, how do you ensure good coverage?

  • 44 percent of queries had more than three words
  • 64 percent of queries had no exact match keywords
  • 20 percent of queries Google sees in a given day have not been seen in the last 90 days.

There are many keyword research tools, which one do you use?  And he’s just talking about GOOGLE keyword tools. We won’t get into those other guys.

I was hoping we’d get a look at ALL Google’s different keyword tools, but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, which makes me sad. Instead, we’re going to get a demo of the new Google Keyword Tool.  It’s now the most popular tool in AdWords, receiving 15 million searches a month and more than 750+ ideas.  They’ve seen a 250 percent growth in the past 6 months, which is pretty ridiculous.  Once they launched the product 6-7 months ago they got a lot of good feedback.  They’ve been really busy listening to feedback and then implementing various features to improve the usability and the quality of results.  That’s nice.

He starts the demo of the new tool.  As much as I love you all, I can’t blog this.  Baris says it makes a big difference if you’re logged in or you’re logged out. If you’re not logged in, you only get 100 results. If you are logged in, you’ll get 800 results. Dude, that’s like 8x more!  Sorry.

Cool new feature – you can star keywords that you want to stick with you to help you build your product on a regular basis.  You can also ask Google to show you more “like” keywords.

You can specify what terms to include and exclude. They’ve added  be able to see stats not only for desktop and laptop, but for mobile.  It’s added transparency.

The Road Ahead

  • Improved bid estimates
  • Improved traffic estimates
  • Traffic from search engines
  • Group by similarity to search terms, common terms

Question & Answer

Does the tool use data from Google.com US even if you set the UK as a location?

We look at all queries that happen in all domains. The country selection only determines the stats we show.

Why is there such a difference between the search volume in Google Trends than the Keyword Tool? Which is more accurate?

They’re all accurate. It all boils down to the details.  If you search for “hotels” on Google Trends, it will give you ALL the terms with ‘hotel’ in them. If you search for [hotels] on the Google Keyword Tool then it was give you all the broad matches and anything that contains that word. It really boils down to your user case.

Are non-commercial terms being filtered out of the database?

We don’t explicitly filter out non-commercial terms. The set of queries that we look at are all queries that happen on Google.com + some that are filtered for privacy purposes.

How does Google view plural vs singular terms. Does it see “lawyers” as a subset of “lawyer”?

The default numbers on keyword tools are for broad match. Broad match will treat similar synonyms similarly. [Let’s try to be MORE redundant, if possible]

Are tablets mobile or desktop?

Tablets are put into one of the other bucket…but I’m not sure which bucket. Heh.

What’s your favorite keyword research tool?

He focuses very much on what the users want and all the features, not all the products. Danny calls that a very good Google answer.

How can we use geo-location?

If you’re interested in what are the keywords related to a geo-specific area, the best thing to do would be to specify that in your keywords.  We’ll understand that San Francisco is a geographic area and we’ll look for keyword related to that area.

Is competition based how many advertisers are bidding or how long they’ve been bidding?

The competition is how many ads are showing for that term.

Why is data from the tool sometimes different from the API?

It shouldn’t be. It’s a bug.

What’s the best way to use the Google Keyword Tool to target Google Finance?

There’s nothing specific for a Google property.  There’s no way to specify I only want queries done on Google Finance.

Is the estimated CPC based on a specific quality score?

It’s based on an estimated average quality score.

How should a new ecommerce site with a targeted product offering use this tool to structure its SEO campaign?

ecommerce sites have a difficult time picking keywords because they have a lot of different products, all searched on differently.  His recommendation would be to start with terms. When you have a Web page you have a lot of content on that Web page that we can extract. Start with that page  – maybe a category page of all your products. Start there and then drill in.

And that’s it.  Final session of the day coming up. Stay with us! :)

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