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Search Volume Tools to Predict Organic Search Volumes
Monday, January 08, 2007
How Can We Predict Accurate Organic Search Volumes?
One of my greatest frustrations in the search engine marketing world is the amount of time we spend researching keyword search volumes. I have yet to come across an accurate tool for predicting organic search volumes of key phrases. The search volume numbers that most tools or equations provide are just estimates. How can we really be sure that this is what people are searching for? What gets me is that as a search user, my top search queries will almost always be different than others. Don't even get me started on semantic mapping, that is another topic for another time.

Search Volume, Search Volume, Search Volume Where Art Thou?

A colleague of mine, Manoj Jasra, and I have had countless discussions on building an accurate search volume tool. The end goal is simple... we just want to accurately be able to forecast and predict organic search volumes. There is a lot to predicting search volumes and website traffic, as there are many variables that come into play. Check out one of Manoj's recent posts on his blog over at Web Analytics World for some of these variables for predicting website traffic.

Let's look at an example. How do we know if the phrase "soda vending machine" is more popular than "pop machine"? Sure there are tools that provide us with estimates. Looking at the results in Google we see that "pop machine" is much more competitive than "soda vending machine". Does that mean it has a higher search volume? Well no, not necessarily. According to Google Trends, only "pop machine" generated enough search volume to display any trending information. So that tells me that the phrase "pop machine" has a higher search volume right? Wait just a minute though.... According to the Overture Search Suggestion Tool, there were 2,268 searches done for "soda vending machine" in November 2006. Using the same tool revealed that "pop machine" was searched for 1,748 times during the same period. So then "soda vending machine" has a higher search volume.

While this may be a simple example, you get the picture. Can you see my frustration with trying to determine accurate search volume counts? Estimated search volume really is only an estimation. I think that it's time for some accurate search volume counts to be produced. The question is, who or what will provide this data?
posted by Jody @ 11:11 PM  
  • At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Susan said…

    KeywordSpy.com a try for a keyword research tool, with results actually reflecting what advertisers are using at the current time.

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