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How Trustworthy Is Google Keyword Tool?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 suzstephens

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 11:04 AM

Google results for "city/name real estate" and "city/name homes" tend to run up against common wisdom. All the other keyword tools I've tried over the years typically show "city/name real estate" as the most used keyphrase, by a large percentage. Google tends to show "city name homes" as the most popular search.

Based on Google research, I recently optimized a real estate site for a MAJOR metropolitan area and have now gotten it to appear at the bottom of page 1 for "city name homes". (It's on page 5 for "city name real estate". )While I was proud of this accomplishment, I'm disappointed that there has been little significant increase in traffic for this site. Based on its search results position, I would expect it to get at least 100 visitors per day, but it is only getting about 60, a slight increase from when I began working on the site. Only a tiny percentage are coming via searches on "city/name homes".

The Google tool shows search volume for April at 301,000 for "city/name homes", only 5400 for "city state real estate" and 271000 for "city real estate".

Have I placed too much faith in Google's keyword tool, or is #10 position on Google not a great place to be?

#2 Randy

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 11:35 AM

My guess is it's probably more of a placement in the SERP page issue than anything else Suzanne. Though I personally put little stock in those keyword traffic estimate numbers from any of the suppliers.

What I mean by placement is that I've seen numerous times in the past where an 11 or 12 ranking (top of page 2) will often outperform a bottom of Page 1 listing. Meaning it's usually better either to be a place or two lower or ideally 5 or 6 places higher. Dunno why, but people often seem to skip right over those last few listings on a SERP page.

#3 suzstephens

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 11:40 AM

Thanks Randy; that makes sense. I imagine that for a lot of people, the #10 listing "hangs off" the bottom of their monitor.


#4 Randy

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 11:46 AM

Yeah, but I've even seen it even with 7, 8 and 9 rankings too. Empirical evidence only, noticed in passing as my sites move up. I've yet to figure out a way to keep 'em there long enough to actually test it.

#5 suzstephens

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 12:12 PM

I have another real estate site, for a tiny resort town, that's been holding at #4 for "city homes" for a few weeks, and it's getting almost as much traffic as the major metro real estate site. Perhaps that another indicator that the bottom -- or near bottom -- of page 1 isn't such a hot spot.

The good news is that the major metro site has so much content that it's coming in at #1 for dozens of less predictable keyphrases.


#6 Jill

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 12:14 PM

Have you set the Google Keyword Tool to "Exact Match" rather than "Broad"?

That will make a difference in the numbers.



#7 suzstephens

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ May 26 2009, 01:14 PM) View Post
Have you set the Google Keyword Tool to "Exact Match" rather than "Broad"?

That will make a difference in the numbers.



Jill, I'm feeling sorta dumb here. I'd seen your similar response to another post, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to change matching options. Are we talking about the same tool?

https://adwords.goog...ect/KeywordTool
https://adwords.goog...ordToolExternal

Or are you referring to the "search based keyword tool"?
http://www.google.com/sktool/#



#8 Jill

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:59 PM

We are talking the same tool. You can't do it on that first screen. Once you get your results, look for a "dropdown" menu that says "Broad Match" and click it. You'll be able to change it to Exact from there.

#9 suzstephens

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:07 PM

Thanks Jill. That completely changes the results to something I didn't expect: huge numbers for 'city state homes for sale'.


#10 Jill

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:08 PM

Sounds like that helps answer your question?

#11 suzstephens

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:23 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ May 26 2009, 04:08 PM) View Post
Sounds like that helps answer your question?


Yes, thanks so much! And fortunately, the site on which I'm working is on page 2 for "city state homes for sale", so it shouldn't take much work to adjust it so that it gets more traffic.

#12 JJChavez

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 03:54 PM

Not sure if this needs a new post but my question is the same but with a different bent... I'm using Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker & Google Keywords Tool looking at the same search keywords. Here is an example of what I'm seeing for two terms using Phrase Match (For the Google results I'm showing local search volume for April)


Google WordTracker KeywordDiscovery
1) RF Software 590 n/a n/a
2) RF Analysis 320 n/a n/a
3) RF Cad Insuf data n/a n/a


I understand the 3rd one being consistent since there is insufficient data for Google that tells me there probably isn't much in the way of search volumes, but the first two have me stumped. There are other variations when looking at broad match, but even when small values show in Wordtracker & KW Discovery the Google results are 100x-1000x.

Any ideas on why the huge discrepencies?

Thanks

#13 Jill

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 03:57 PM

Because the different services have completely different database. You can't and shouldn't compare them.

#14 mal4mac

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:12 AM

QUOTE(Randy @ May 26 2009, 12:35 PM) View Post
My guess is it's probably more of a placement in the SERP page issue than anything else Suzanne. Though I personally put little stock in those keyword traffic estimate numbers from any of the suppliers.

What I mean by placement is that I've seen numerous times in the past where an 11 or 12 ranking (top of page 2) will often outperform a bottom of Page 1 listing. Meaning it's usually better either to be a place or two lower or ideally 5 or 6 places higher. Dunno why, but people often seem to skip right over those last few listings on a SERP page.


Any evidence for positions 6 7 being the worst?

My very woolly evidence is that page I mentioned recently. It slipped from 2 to about 6 or 7, and started to do really badly.

Other evidence -- if someone looks at the first five SERPs and then scrolls down to the bottom of the page then they may never see 6 or 7!

Also, if they do scroll right down the Gooooooooooooogle image is centre stage and maybe draws them to page 2.

I've a page on the top of page 2 at the moment that's doing quite well for traffic. I just altered it to try and get to the bottom of page 1 :-(

P.S. Jacob Nielsen and gang do thorough tests on this kind of thing. There's a great experiment they did showing web-user eye movements tend to follow along the top of the page, focus top centre, and then down the left side. (Now you know here to put those Google ads!) Anyone know of serious experiments on SERP scanning that would back Randy's observations?

P.P.S. Maybe Nielsen's experiment explains the results! Maybe users read the top of page 1 throughly, then blast down the page just glancing at the left hand side, then on to page 2, scan the top of page 2 thoroughly, then... (page 3?)




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