Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Google Keyword Planner — A More Accurate Reflection of Global Keyword Searches?

If you're familiar with the Google Keyword tool, you'll notice it's gone and has been replaced with the Google Keyword Planner


If you're interested in the details of the changes to this tool, I recommend this article from Andre Alpar's Search Engine Watch blog which goes into depth on the topic. 

The most noticeable thing about the Keyword Planner is how many fewer global searches any phrase will get.  For example, right before the Google Keyword Tool was taken down, the keyword phrase "cash back" and "back-cash" both produced identical monthly search results of over one million searches per month.

The Google Keyword Planner produces a much lower number of 22,000 for "cash back" and the phrase "back-cash" gets 70 global searches. 

Which tool was producing more accurate results?  Nothing useful is showing up in the rumor mill, however, in the past, the Keyword Tool was criticized for producing bloated global monthly search figures. It's more likely Google is trying to reduce the number of people seeking to "game" the system using longtail URL phrases with transposed words. In all likelihood, the new Keyword Planner is producing more realistic numbers.  To produce more accurate search results for their users, Google needs to discourage people from choosing URLs only for the purpose of attaining page rank. To do this, both the Google algorithm and Keyword Planner need to work in sync. Since "back-cash" now shows significantly lower global monthly search results than "cash back", it probably means the Keyword Planner is delivering more accurate numbers for global monthly searches and is a more accurate reflection in how the Google algorithm is working and how keyword searches are being conducted.

The false sense of elation we've been feeling when we've found a URL with high keyword traffic in the past, will now be replaced with a more realistic sense of frustration as domains which get legitimate keyword searches will be harder to find using the new tool. Sometimes the truth is hard to take.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Niche Selection

Late this spring, I helped a friend create a web page within a very competitive area. We grabbed the domain a longtail URL using the old Google Keyword Tool (yes, it's gone, I noticed this just today) showed a significant monthly volume, but with high competition. We launched the page without any video and to this day, our URL has not shown up on the front page of Google.

In contrast, our smaller niche business, Cinema 4D Models (c4d3dmodels.com) is doing exceptionally well. I attribute this to the fact that the C4D site is a smaller niche with far less competition. Additionally, we have used many videos to promote each URL we own with targeted landing pages and video.

My conclusion is this: achieving good page rank inside competitive categories is not only difficult and time consuming, but without a persistent and well-rounded marketing effort, may prove to be more frustrating than profitable.  If you're trying to rank in a competitive category and don't have time to create videos and perform all the due diligence I've written about in this blog, you may be better off buying your traffic by launching a press release.  I've never done this, so I can't vouch for it, but for $300, it may do more for your page rank than spending thirty hours of your time trying to build traffic in your off hours.