In response to Q and A: Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing, Joe asked “Doesn’t Google Adwords keyword tool give you the same info regarding number of searches as wordtracker? What’s wordtracker’s advantage that you don’t get with Google?”
Those are good questions to ask, especially when you might be thinking about buying a subscription to Wordtracker, so I’ll do my best to answer them.
First of all, what you’ll notice when you do keyword searches using Google’s Keyword Tool and Wordtracker, is that you see wildly different numbers.
Here’s an example. The screenshots below show search results for the keyword phrase “weight training” using both services.
As you can see, Google Global Monthly Search Volume returned 550,000 searches versus Wordtracker’s Count of 434.
OK, so what we first have to realize is that Google is reporting monthly figures and Wordtracker is reporting daily figures.
More importantly, the default search on Google returns Broad match results whereas Wordtracker returns an Exact match. (See below for more definitions of Google’s Global Monthly Search Volume, Broad Match and Wordtracker’s Count and Predicted Count returns.)
Below are the results of a refined Google search, set to “Exact Match”.
Note how the Local search volume decreased from over half a million to 49,500 and the Global results amounted to 74,000 — both of which still amount to much more than Wordtracker’s 434 x 31 = 13,454 total results for the month.
Why the big difference?
Wordtracker is open about the fact that they extract and extrapolate their data from two metacrawlers, Dogpile.com and Metacrawler.com – services that query all the main search engines simultaneously. Their results represent approximately just under 1% of daily searches across all search engines.
However, only Google knows the size of the sample that they use to extrapolate their information, although it is known that Content Network search results are included.
Too, you must consider the fact that Google has a vested interest in making their numbers appear large – as primary users of the Google Keyword Tool are either current or potential Adwords customers.
Wordtracker, on the other hand, has no reason to inflate numbers. They simply provide a keyword research service.
Now, here’s one reason I’ve maintained my Wordtracker account for many years…
If you look back above at the results for “weight training routines”, you’ll see that Google reported “Not Enough Data”.
However, Wordtracker shows a daily count of 146 for the exact same phrase. (see screenshot below).
Furthermore, Google will only allow you to download 200 results, while Wordtracker allows up to 1000.
In overall terms, I prefer the Wordtracker interface which I think displays related results in a more intuitive manner and is faster to use. For example, the first 10 related keywords to “weight training” in Wordtracker were:
- weight lifting
- strength training
You can click on any of those results and immediately get their Count and Predicted Count, whereas with Google, you have to type the word in again. Too, Google’s system logs you out after a short period of inactivity, and I usually find myself clicking on “Get Keyword Ideas” several times before the Captcha form comes up again.
Ultimately, I use both Google’s Keyword Tool and Wordtracker. I use Google for quick and dirty searching and Wordtracker for fine-tuning. To me, that “fine-tuning” is worth the price of maintaining a subscription year after year.
These definitions are taken directly from Google and Wordtracker.
Google’s Global Monthly Search Volume shows the approximate average monthly number of search queries matching each keyword result. This statistic applies to searches performed on Google and the search network over a recent 12-month period. It includes traffic in all countries and languages and is specific to your selection from the Match Type drop-down menu. If we don’t have sufficient data for a particular keyword, you’ll see not enough data.
Broad Match – This is the default option. If you include general keyword or keyword phrases (such as tennis shoes) in your keyword list, your ads may appear when users search for tennis and shoes, in any order, and possibly along with other terms. For example, your ad may appear for the queries buy tennis shoes and tennis sneakers but not tennis players. Your ads may also be displayed on relevant variations of your keyword phrases and plurals, as well as some related keywords and phrases via our expanded keyword matching technology.
Count shows the number of times a particular keyword has appeared in our database.
E.g. Our database currently holds 312,095,827 words. A count of 147 tells us that this particular word has appeared 147 times in (this is over 160 days).
Our keywords are taken from major metacrawlers (a service that queries all the main search engines simultaneously).
Our main sources are Metacrawler and Dogpile, the two largest Metacrawlers on the net. Metacrawlers have the major advantage of matching the search profile of the search engines very closely. But are not subject to the same kind of skew from software robots that continually check web site and pay per bid positions.
Predicted Count is the maximum total predicted traffic for all of the major search engines/pay per bids and directories today.
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