fbpx

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Contributed by Member: Corey Parker

Google’s John Mueller revealed that the search engine’s algorithms do not punish keyword stuffing too harshly.

In fact, keyword stuffing may be ignored altogether if the content is found to otherwise have value to searchers.

This information was provided on Twitter in response to users inquiring about keyword stuffing. More specifically, a user was concerned about a page ranking well in search results despite obvious signs of keyword repetition.

Prefacing his statement with the suggestion to focus on one’s own content rather than someone else’s, Mueller goes on to say that there are over 200 factors used to rank pages and “the nice part is that you don’t have to get them all perfect.”

When the excessive keyword repetition was further criticized by another user, Mueller said this practice shouldn’t result in a page being removed from search results, and “boring keyword stuffing” may be ignored altogether.

Official AdWords Campaign Templates
Select your industry. Download your campaign template. Custom built with exact match keywords and converting ad copy with high clickthrough rates.

“Yeah, but if we can ignore boring keyword stuffing (this was popular in the 90’s; search engines have a lot of practice here), there’s sometimes still enough value to be found elsewhere. I don’t know the page, but IMO keyword stuffing shouldn’t result in removal from the index.”

There are several takeaways from this exchange:

  • An SEO’s time is better spent improving their own content, rather than trying to figure out why other content is ranking higher.
  • Excessive keyword stuffing will not result in a page being removed from indexing.
  • Google may overlook keyword stuffing if the content has value otherwise.
  • Use of keywords is only one of over 200 ranking factors.

Overall, it’s probably not a good idea to overuse keywords because it arguably makes the content less enjoyable to read. However, keyword repetition will not hurt a piece of content when it comes to ranking in search results.

Categorized in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published forbes.com By Jayson DeMers - Contributed by Member: William A. Woods

Some search optimizers like to complain that “Google is always changing things.” In reality, that’s only a half-truth; Google is always coming out with new updates to improve its search results, but the fundamentals of SEO have remained the same for more than 15 years. Only some of those updates have truly “changed the game,” and for the most part, those updates are positive (even though they cause some major short-term headaches for optimizers).

Today, I’ll turn my attention to semantic search, a search engine improvement that came along in 2013 in the form of the Hummingbird update. At the time, it sent the SERPs into a somewhat chaotic frenzy of changes but introduced semantic search, which transformed SEO for the better—both for users and for marketers.

What Is Semantic Search?

I’ll start with a briefer on what semantic search actually is, in case you aren’t familiar. The so-called Hummingbird update came out back in 2013 and introduced a new way for Google to consider user-submitted queries. Up until that point, the search engine was built heavily on keyword interpretation; Google would look at specific sequences of words in a user’s query, then find matches for those keyword sequences in pages on the internet.

Search optimizers built their strategies around this tendency by targeting specific keyword sequences, and using them, verbatim, on as many pages as possible (while trying to seem relevant in accordance with Panda’s content requirements).

Hummingbird changed this. Now, instead of finding exact matches for keywords, Google looks at the language used by a searcher and analyzes the searcher’s intent. It then uses that intent to find the most relevant search results for that user’s intent. It’s a subtle distinction, but one that demanded a new approach to SEO; rather than focusing on specific, exact-match keywords, you had to start creating content that addressed a user’s needs, using more semantic phrases and synonyms for your primary targets.

Voice Search and Ongoing Improvements

Of course, since then, there’s been an explosion in voice search—driven by Google’s improved ability to recognize spoken words, its improved search results, and the increased need for voice searches with mobile devices. That, in turn, has fueled even more advances in semantic search sophistication.

One of the biggest advancements, an update called RankBrain, utilizes an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to better understand the complex queries that everyday searchers use, and provide more helpful search results.

Why It's Better for Searchers

So why is this approach better for searchers?

  • Intuitiveness. Most of us have already taken for granted how intuitive searching is these days; if you ask a question, Google will have an answer for you—and probably an accurate one, even if your question doesn’t use the right terminology, isn’t spelled correctly, or dances around the main thing you’re trying to ask. A decade ago, effective search required you to carefully calculate which search terms to use, and even then, you might not find what you were looking for.
  • High-quality results. SERPs are now loaded with high-quality content related to your original query—and oftentimes, a direct answer to your question. Rich answers are growing in frequency, in part to meet the rising utility of semantic search, and it’s giving users faster, more relevant answers (which encourages even more search use on a daily basis).
  • Content encouragement. The nature of semantic search forces searches optimizers and webmasters to spend more time researching topics to write about and developing high-quality content that’s going to serve search users’ needs. That means there’s a bigger pool of content developers than ever before, and they’re working harder to churn out readable, practical, and in-demand content for public consumption.

Why It's Better for Optimizers

The benefits aren’t just for searchers, though—I’d argue there are just as many benefits for those of us in the SEO community (even if it was an annoying update to adjust to at first):

  • Less pressure on keywords. Keyword research has been one of the most important parts of the SEO process since search first became popular, and it’s still important to gauge the popularity of various search queries—but it isn’t as make-or-break as it used to be. You no longer have to ensure you have exact-match keywords at exactly the right ratio in exactly the right number of pages (an outdated concept known as keyword density); in many cases, merely writing about the general topic is incidentally enough to make your page relevant for your target.
  • Value Optimization. Search optimizers now get to spend more time optimizing their content for user value, rather than keyword targeting. Semantic search makes it harder to accurately predict and track how keywords are specifically searched for (and ranked for), so we can, instead, spend that effort on making things better for our core users.
  • Wiggle room. Semantic search considers synonyms and alternative wordings just as much as it considers exact match text, which means we have far more flexibility in our content. We might even end up optimizing for long-tail phrases we hadn’t considered before.

The SEO community is better off focusing on semantic search optimization, rather than keyword-specific optimization. It’s forcing content producers to produce better, more user-serving content, and relieving some of the pressure of keyword research (which at times is downright annoying).

Take this time to revisit your keyword selection and content strategies, and see if you can’t capitalize on these contextual queries even further within your content marketing strategy.

Categorized in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By R Oakes - Contributed by Member: Deborah Tannen

Ever wondered how the results of some popular keyword research tools stack up against the information Google Search Console provides? This article looks at comparing data from Google Search Console (GSC) search analytics against notable keyword research tools and what you can extract from Google.

As a bonus, you can get related searches and people also search data results from Google search results by using the code at the end of this article.

This article is not meant to be a scientific analysis, as it only includes data from seven websites. To be sure, we were gathering somewhat comprehensive data: we selected websites from the US and the UK plus different verticals.

Procedure

1. Started by defining industries with respect to various website verticals

We used SimilarWeb’s top categories to define the groupings and selected the following categories:

  • Arts and entertainment.
  • Autos and vehicles.
  • Business and industry.
  • Home and garden.
  • Recreation and hobbies.
  • Shopping.
  • Reference.

We pulled anonymized data from a sample of our websites and were able to obtain unseen data from search engine optimization specialists (SEOs) Aaron Dicks and Daniel Dzhenev. Since this initial exploratory analysis involved quantitative and qualitative components, we wanted to spend time understanding the process and nuance rather than making the concessions required in scaling up an analysis. We do think this analysis can lead to a rough methodology for in-house SEOs to make a more informed decision on which tool may better fit their respective vertical.

2. Acquired GSC data from websites in each niche

Data was acquired from Google Search Console by programming and using a Jupyter notebook.

Jupyter notebooks are an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text to extract website-level data from the Search Analytics API daily, providing much greater granularity than is currently available in Google’s web interface.

3. Gathered ranking keywords of a single internal page for each website

Since home pages tend to gather many keywords that may or may not be topically relevant to the actual content of the page, we selected an established and performing internal page so the rankings are more likely to be relevant to the content of the page. This is also more realistic since users tend to do keyword research in the context of specific content ideas.

The image above is an example of the home page ranking for a variety of queries related to the business but not directly related to the content and intent of the page.

We removed brand terms and restricted the Google Search Console queries to first-page results.

Finally, we selected ahead term for each page. The phrase “head term” is generally used to denote a popular keyword with high search volume. We chose terms with relatively high search volume, though not the absolute highest search volume. Of the queries with the most impressions, we selected the one that best represented the page.

4. Did keyword research in various keyword tools and looked for the head term

We then used the head term selected in the previous step to perform keyword research in three major tools: Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush.

The “search suggestions” or “related searches” options were used, and all queries returned were kept, regardless of whether or not the tool specified a metric of how related the suggestions were to the head term.

Below we listed the number of results from each tool. In addition, we extracted the “people also search for” and “related searches” from Google searches for each head term (respective to country) and added the number of results to give a baseline of what Google gives for free.

**This result returned more than 5,000 results! It was truncated to 1,001, which is the max workable and sorted by descending volume.

We compiled the average number of keywords returned per tool:

5.  Processed the data

We then processed the queries for each source and website by using some language processing techniques to transform the words into their root forms (e.g., “running” to “run”), removed common words such as  “a,” “the” and “and,” expanded contractions and then sorted the words.

For example, this process would transform “SEO agencies in Raleigh” to “agency Raleigh SEO.”  This generally keeps the important words and puts them in order so that we can compare and remove similar queries.

We then created a percentage by dividing the number of unique terms by the total number of terms returned by the tool. This should tell us how much redundancy there are in the tools.

Unfortunately, it does not account for misspellings, which can also be problematic in keyword research tools because they add extra cruft (unnecessary, unwanted queries) to the results. Many years ago, it was possible to target common misspellings of terms on website pages. Today, search engines do a really good job of understanding what you typed, even if it’s misspelled.

In the table below, SEMrush had the highest percentage of unique queries in their search suggestions.

This is important because, if 1,000 keywords are only 70 percent unique, that means 300 keywords basically have no unique value for the task you are performing.

Next, we wanted to see how well the various tools found queries used to find these performing pages. We took the previously unique, normalized query phrases and looked at the percentage of GSC queries the tools had in their results.

In the chart below, note the average GSC coverage for each tool and that Moz is higher here, most likely because it returned 1,000 results for most head terms. All tools performed better than related queries scraped from Google (Use the code at the end of the article to do the same).

Getting into the vector space

After performing the previous analysis, we decided to convert the normalized query phrases into vector space to visually explore the variations in various tools.

Assigning to vector space uses something called pre-trained word vectors that are reduced in dimensionality (x and y coordinates) using a Python library called t-distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding (TSNE). Don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with this; generally, word vectors are words converted into numbers in such a way that the numbers represent the inherent semantics of the keywords.

Converting the words to numbers helps us process, analyze and plot the words. When the semantic values are plotted on a coordinate plane, we get a clear understanding of how the various keywords are related. Points grouped together will be more semantically related, while points distant from one another will be less related.

Shopping

This is an example where Moz returns 1,000 results, yet the search volume and searcher keyword variations are very low.  This is likely caused by Moz semantically matching particular words instead of trying to match more to the meaning of the phrase. We asked Moz’s Russ Jones to better understand how Moz finds related phrases:

“Moz uses many different methods to find related terms. We use one algorithm that finds keywords with similar pages ranking for them, we use another ML algorithm that breaks up the phrase into constituent words and finds combinations of related words producing related phrases, etc. Each of these can be useful for different purposes, depending on whether you want very close or tangential topics. Are you looking to improve your rankings for a keyword or find sufficiently distinct keywords to write about that are still related? The results returned by Moz Explorer is our attempt to strike that balance.”

Moz does include a nice relevancy measure, as well as a filter for fine-tuning the keyword matches. For this analysis, we just used the default settings:

In the image below, the plot of the queries shows what is returned by each keyword vendor converted into the coordinate plane. The position and groupings impart some understanding of how keywords are related.

In this example, Moz (orange) produces a significant volume of various keywords, while other tools picked far fewer (Ahrefs in green) but more related to the initial topic:

Autos and vehicles

This is a fun one. You can see that Moz and Ahrefs had pretty good coverage of this high-volume term. Moz won by matching 34 percent of the actual terms from Google Search Console. Moz had double the number of results (almost by default) that Ahrefs had.

SEMrush lagged here with 35 queries for a topic with a broad amount of useful variety.

The larger gray points represent more “ground truth” queries from Google Search Console. Other colors are the various tools used. Gray points with no overlaid color are queries that various tools did not match.

Internet and telecom

This plot is interesting in that SEMrush jumped to nearly 5,000 results, from the 50-200 range in other results. You can also see (toward the bottom) that there were many terms outside of what this page tended to rank for or that were superfluous to what would be needed to understand user queries for a new page:

Most tools grouped somewhat close to the head term, while you can see that SEMrush (in purplish-pink) produced a large number of potentially more unrelated points, even though Google People Also Search were found in certain groupings.

General merchandise   

Here is an example of a keyword tool finding an interesting grouping of terms (groupings indicated by black circles) that the page currently doesn’t rank for. In reviewing the data, we found the grouping to the right makes sense for this page:

The two black circles help to visualize the ability to find groupings of related queries when plotting the text in this manner.

Analysis

Search engine optimization specialists with experience in keyword research know there is no one tool to rule them all.  Depending on the data you need, you may need to consult a few tools to get what you are after.

Below are my general impressions from each tool after reviewing, qualitatively:

  • The query data and numbers from our analysis of the uniqueness of results.
  • The likelihood of finding terms that real users use to find performing pages.

Moz     

Moz seems to have impressive numbers in terms of raw results, but we found that the overall quality and relevance of results was lacking in several cases.

Even when playing with the relevancy scores, it quickly went off on tangents, providing queries that were in no way related to my head term (see Moz suggestions for “Nacho Libre” in the image above).

With that said, Moz is very useful due to its comprehensive coverage, especially for SEOs working in smaller or newer verticals. In many cases, it is exceedingly difficult to find keywords for newer trending topics, so more keywords are definitely better here.

An average of 64 percent coverage for real user data from GSC for selected domains was very impressive  This also tells you that while Moz’s results can tend to go down rabbit holes, they tend to get a lot right as well. They have traded off a loss of fidelity for comprehensiveness.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs was my favorite in terms of quality due to their nice marriage of comprehensive results with the minimal amount of clearly unrelated queries.

It had the lowest number of average reported keyword results per vendor, but this is actually misleading due to the large outlier from SEMrush. Across the various searches, it tended to return a nice array of terms without a lot of clutter to wade through.

Most impressive to me was a specific type of niche grill that shared a name with a popular location. The results from Ahrefs stayed right on point, while SEMrush returned nothing, and Moz went off on tangents with many keywords related to the popular location.

A representative of Ahrefs clarified with me that their tool “search suggestions” uses data from Google Autosuggest.  They currently do not have a true recommendation engine the way Moz does. Using “Also ranks for” and “Having same terms” data from Ahrefs would put them more on par with the number of keywords returned by other tools.

 SEMrush   

SEMrush overall offered great quality, with 90 percent of the keywords being unique It was also on par with Ahrefs in terms of matching queries from GSC.

It was, however, the most inconsistent in terms of the number of results returned. It yielded 1,000+ keywords (actually 5,000) for Internet and Telecom > Telecommunications yet only covered 22 percent of the queries in GSC. For another result, it was the only one not to return related keywords. This is a very small dataset, so there is clearly an argument that these were anomalies.

Google: People Also Search For/Related Searches 

These results were extremely interesting because they tended to more closely match the types of searches users would make while in a particular buying state, as opposed to those specifically related to a particular phrase. 

For example, looking up “[term] shower curtains” returned “[term] toilet seats.”

These are unrelated from a semantic standpoint, but they are both relevant for someone redoing their bathroom, suggesting the similarities are based on user intent and not necessarily the keywords themselves.

Also, since data from “people also search” are tied to the individual results in Google search engine result pages (SERPs), it is hard to say whether the terms are related to the search query or operate more like site links, which are more relevant to the individual page.

Code used

When entered into the Javascript Console of Google Chrome on a Google search results page, the following will output the “People also search for” and “Related searches” data in the page, if they exist.

1    var data = {};
2    var out = [];
3    data.relatedsearches = [].map.call(document.querySelectorAll(".brs_col p"), e => ({ query: e.textContent }));
4    
5    data.peoplesearchfor = [].map.call(document.querySelectorAll(".rc > div:nth-child(3) > div > div > div:not([class])"), e => {
6    if (e && !e.className) {
7    return { query: e.textContent };
8     }
9     });
10   
11    for (d in data){
12
13    for (i in data[d]){
14    out.push(data[d][i]['query'])
15     }
16
17    }
18    console.log(out.join(' '))

In addition, there is a Chrome add-on called Keywords Everywhere which will expose these terms in search results, as shown in several SERP screenshots throughout the article. 

Conclusion

Especially for in-house marketers, it is important to understand which tools tend to have data most aligned to your vertical. In this analysis, we showed some benefits and drawbacks of a few popular tools across a small sample of topics. We hoped to provide an approach that could form the underpinnings of your own analysis or for further improvement and to give SEOs a more practical way of choosing a research tool.

Keyword research tools are constantly evolving and adding newly found queries through the use of clickstream data and other data sources. The utility in these tools rests squarely on their ability to help us understand more succinctly how to better position our content to fit real user interest and not on the raw number of keywords returned. Don’t just use what has always been used. Test various tools and gauge their usefulness for yourself.

Categorized in Online Research

 Source: This article was published themarketingagents.com By Rich Brooks - Contributed by Member: Robert Hensonw

A keyword analysis (or keyword research) is the art and science of uncovering which keyword phrases your prospects are likely to use at Google or other search engines. 

Why is this important?

Because search engines are looking to return relevant results when someone performs a search. The closer the words on your web page, blog post or online video are to the search that was just performed, the more likely you are to rank higher for that search. 

Higher rankings mean more qualified traffic. In fact, a recent study showed that the number one result averaged a 36.4% click-through rate (CTR.) The second place result only managed 12.1% CTR, and the CTR declined with every subsequent result. 

Although using the right keywords isn’t the only reason why your page ranks well or poorly–the quality and quantity of inbound links is important, too–it’s one of the easiest variables for you to affect.

How do you perform a keyword analysis?

Keyword research is a three-step process:

  1. Brainstorm: Whether by yourself, with team members, or trusted customers and clients, you should start by brainstorming a list of your best keywords. These would be the words you think your ideal customer would use when searching for a product or service like yours, or phrases you’d like to rank well for. Anything from “Boston tax accountant” to “how do I write off a business expense?” I talk about using five perspectives to generate the best keyword phrases.
  2. Test: After you generate your keywords, you’ll want to determine if they actually will bring you enough traffic. Often, we’ve been in our industry for so long we use jargon that our prospects don’t use. Or, we are missing out on new, related phrases that could attract new customers. Using a tool like Google Adwords Keyword Tool will help you determine which words and phrases are most likely to attract the most qualified traffic. By entering your phrases into this free online tool, you can discover how much competition you would have from other sites to rank well for a phrase, as well as how many people are actually searching for that phrase. In addition, GAKT will provide a lot of related phrases that may perform better than your original list.
  3. Rewrite: Once you have your list of your best keywords, get to work putting them in strategic places on each page of your site, including the page title, any headers or subheaders, early and often in the body copy, as well as in the intrasite links from one page to another.

How do you know if it’s working?

Improved search engine visibility rarely happens overnight. Continually adding new, keyword rich content to your blog or website over time will improve your search engine ranking and attract more qualified traffic to your site. 

Two reports in Google Analytics can help determine if this is happening. The first can be found at Traffic Sources > Search Engine Optimization > Queries. This report shows your site’s average ranking for any keyword that “resulted in impressions, clicks, and click-throughs.” You can see if you’re moving up or down over time.

 The second report can be found at Traffic Sources > Search Engine Optimization > Landing Pages. This will show you how your individual pages are fairing from a search engine standpoint. 

Finally, take a look at your overall search traffic and the number of leads you’re generating from your website. If the number of leads you’re getting a month is increasing, your work is making a difference.

Categorized in Online Research

 Source: This article was published bloggingwizard.com By David Hartshorne - Contributed by Member: Carol R. Venuti

Mention the term Keyword Research Tools to any blogger, and they’ll most likely think of the Google Keyword Planner.

It has Google on the label, so it must be good, right?

Well, it’s worth checking and using for initial keyword research, but remember that the tool is, and always was, intended for Google Adwords campaigns.

So, while some of the data is useful, most is irrelevant.

And since Google made it even harder to get accurate data by introducing search volume ranges and grouping keywords with similar meaning, you should consider looking elsewhere.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at five other Keyword Research Tools. Some are lightweight and budget-friendly, while others are heavy-weight and more expensive. So wherever you are on your blogging journey, you’ll find a tool that suits you.

Before we look at the tools, let’s cover a few essentials:

The two methods of keyword research

The primary objective of keyword research is to find keywords that you can rank for in the SERPs; i.e. the Top 10 search results for your term. Why? Because if you’re in the Top 10 search results for your target keyword, then you’ve got more chance of getting the right traffic to your site.

There are two methods of keyword research used in the tools:

Traditional keyword research tools let you enter a ‘seed’ keyword, and then they return a load of keywords. From there you evaluate how difficult it will be to rank for each suggestion.

Competitor-based keyword research tools use reverse-engineering. They assess what keywords your competitors are already ranking for and evaluate if you could do better.

Each method has its benefits, and if possible, you should consider using both when researching your keywords.

Keyword difficulty rating explained

Most keyword research tools now include a keyword difficulty rating. The idea behind this metric is to let you spot low-competition keywords that you can out-rank.

The problem is that most vendors don’t always explain what their rating means in understandable terms. And each vendor calculates their keyword difficulty score differently.

As you check the five keyword research tools below, you’ll see that they returned different scores for our test keyword. We’ve included some notes along the way to help explain the scores.

5 powerful keyword research tools (Google Keyword Planner alternatives)

There’s been plenty written about how to use the GKP for keyword research. Most times it involves downloading data into a spreadsheet, and then sifting and sorting until you have some meaningful outcome.

But with these five keyword research tools, you can do all your searching and filtering inside the tool and then save or download your results as you wish.

Note: Each tool lets you search data from different countries, but to keep things consistent I’m using the google.com US data and the keyword: herbal remedies.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Answer The Public

Answer The Public is a handy tool for those looking to get started without spending anything.

The idea behind the tool is to compliment the auto suggest results you see in Google and Bing with some relevant words.

Appending a search term with words like “for” or “with” gives a much richer starting point for content ideas.

Let’s take a look.

When you arrive on the homepage, you’re greeted by the Seeker. He’s a bald, white-bearded, impatient-looking bloke who’s waiting for you to enter your keyword idea and your location:

1a AnswerThePublic Seeker

When you enter your keyword, the Seeker returns with some content ideas, divided into three categories:

  • Questions – what, where, why, which, how.
  • Prepositions – with, to, for, like.
  • Alphabetical – a, b, c, etc.

For example, I entered “herbal remedies” and got these results – Questions (42), Prepositions (48), Alphabetical (101):

1b AnswerThePublic Results

You can download the complete results in a CSV file, using the button in the top-right corner. But if you scroll down the page, then you’ll see the results presented in two easier-to-read formats.

The first one is a one-page visualization of the results:

1c AnswerThePublic Question Visualisation

Or you can switch to Data to see the results listed in sections:

1d AnswerThePublic Preposition Data

Pros

  • Free tool
  • Excellent visualization of content ideas

Cons

  • No keyword difficulty score

Go To Answer The Public

Serpstat

Serpstat is an all-around SEO tool with some great features and affordable entry-level pricing.

The all-in-one platform started in 2013 as a Keyword Research Tool. Now it contains four more modules covering Competitor Analysis, Site Audit, Backlink Analysis and Rank Tracking.

Keyword research

When you enter your keyword into the search bar in Serpstat you’re presented with the Overview report:

2a Serpstat Keyword Research Overview

The Overview provides a taste of what’s contained in the four categories listed in the left-hand menu:

  • SEO Research – Includes Keyword Selection (matched keywords), Related Keywords (LSI keywords), Search Suggestions, Top Pages, and Competitors for the keyword.
  • PPC Research – Includes Keywords, Competitors, Ad Examples, and Ad Research reports.
  • Content Marketing – Shows Search Questions (interrogative questions like Ask The Public)
  • SERP Analysis – Shows you the Top 100 Google Results in organic and paid search for the keyword.

For this review, we’ll focus on the organic results from the SEO Research section.

  1.  Keyword Selection returns all the keywords related to your query.

2b Serpstat Keyword Selection

The key metric in this report is Keyword Difficulty. Serpstat grades your chances of your keyword getting in the Top 10 (Page 1) of Google as follows:

  • 0-20 – easy
  • 21-40 – medium
  • 41-60 – difficult
  • 61-100 – very difficult

So, in our example, herbal remedies is rated at 16.55, meaning it should be easy to rank in the Top 10.

Other metrics on this screen include:

  • Volume Google – The average monthly search volume for the keyword over the previous 12 months
  • Volume (last month) – The number of searches for the keyword over the past month
  • Results – The number of documents returned by the search engine for the query
  • Social domains – Social media domains that come up in search results for the keyword

The small icons to the right of the keyword show that the search results contain some rich answers like images, videos, maps, knowledge graphs, etc. For example, if you search for “herbal remedies” in Google you may see this in the results:

2c Serpstat Keyword Rich Image Results

Note:You may see something different due to personalization and a bunch of other factors.
  1.  Related Keywords returns a list of all keywords semantically related to your query.

2d Serpstat Keyword Related Keywords

Here you can see related keywords like herbal therapy and herb remedies. For each related keyword, Serpstat provides the average monthly search volume, plus some other PPC data.

  1.  Search Suggestions are the popular search queries that you see under the search bar as you start typing a query in Google.

2e Serpstat Keyword Search Suggestions

At the top of the screen, you can see the most popular words. When you click on one of these buttons, Serpstat does another search. For example, if you select the ‘anxiety’ button, Serpstat now searches for the keyword: herbal remedies anxiety.

To the right, there’s another option: Only Questions. The Only Questions filter will return the interrogative forms of search suggestions like what, where, how, etc.

2f Serpstat Keyword Search Questions Only

  1.  Top Pages gives a list of all pages ranking for at least one keyword related to your query.

2g Serpstat Keyword Top Pages

For each page, Serpstat provides the number of organic keywords. In the first line of our example, if you click on ‘101’ in the organic keywords column, you’re directed to the page analysis listing all the keywords:

2h Serpstat Keyword URL Analysis Position

This is a great way to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for.

As well as the organic keywords, Serpstat displays the number of social shares each page has received. So, like Buzzsumo, you’re able to get an idea of how popular a piece of content is.

  1.  Competitors is a list of the domains that are ranking for a large number of keywords related to your query.

2i Serpstat Keyword Competitors

So, as you might expect, you can see webmd.com at the top of our Competitors list as it’s a well-established medical site.

For each competitor’s page, Serpstat lists:

  • Common Keywords – The number of keywords related to the researched query.
  • All Keywords – The total number of the domain’s keywords
  • Visibility  – The domain visibility score

Serpstat also allows you to filter your queries and download your data.

Other Serpstat features

  • Competitor Analysis – Automatically identify and research your top competitors
  • Backlink Analysis – Monitor the backlinks of your and your competitors’ websites
  • Rank Tracking – Monitor your and your competitors’ webpage rankings
  • Site Audit – Perform an in-depth analysis of your web pages

Pricing

You can use Serpstat for free. The Freemium model allows you to research keywords and analyze competitors but is limited to 30 searches per month.

The Premium subscription plans start at $19 per month, but you can get an excellent discount by switching to the yearly subscriptions; e.g. 1-year (-20%),  3-year (-40%).

  • Prices start from $29/month or $182/year

Pros

  • Free starter plan
  • Affordable monthly subscription
  • Easy to navigate
  • Includes a keyword difficulty score
  • Provides additional insights in the SERPs like rich data and social shares

Cons

  • The Keyword Difficulty score is a new metric in Serpstat and seems slightly skewed compared to other tools.

Get Serpstat

KWFinder

KWFinder is part of the ‘juicy’ Mangools SEO suite, which also includes SERPWatcher, SERPChecker, and LinkMiner.

KWFinder is a keyword research tool to find you hundreds of long-tail keywords with high search volume and low SEO difficulty. It’s really easy to use, with a user-friendly interface, and most importantly, with metrics to provide an instant help to your SEO efforts.

Let’s get started.

Keyword research

When you log into your account you’ll see a simple search bar waiting for you to input your keyword:

3a KWFinder Search

There are three keyword research options:

  • Suggestions is the primary keyword research method that we’ll take a look at in a minute.

3b KWFinder Suggestions

  • Autocomplete uses the Google Suggest feature to prepend and append your keyword with different letters or words. For example, herbal remedieslooks like this:

3c KWFinder Autocomplete

  • Questions is similar to Autocomplete and will prepend the main seed keyword with question words. For example, with herbal remedies, you get questions like how much herbal medicine, what herbal remedies are good for anxiety,

3d KWFinder Questions

Metrics

The screenshots above are from the left-hand panel of the screen only. Here’s the full picture to give you an idea of the overall data in KWFinder:

3e KWFinder Metrics

Let’s look at the metrics in detail.

On the left panel, you can see the list of suggestions based on your main keyword. Next to each suggestion are the following metrics:

  • Trend – The trend of search in the last 12 months
  • Search – The average monthly search volume (exact match) in the last 12 months
  • CPC – The average cost per click of the listed keyword
  • PPC – The level of competition in PPC advertising (min = 0; max = 100)
  • DIFF – The SEO difficulty of a keyword, based on SEO stats from Moz (DA, PA, MR, MT) of the URLs on the first Google SERP (min = 0; max = 100)

On the upper-right panel, you can see an enlarged SEO difficulty score and a trend graph of search volumes during the last 12 months.

Underneath you can see the Google SERP statistics and other important metrics calculated by Moz.

  • Google SERP – These are the top results from Google search for your selected keyword
  • DA – Domain Authority predicts how well a website will rank on search engines
  • PA – Page Authority predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines
  • MR – MozRank of the URL represents a link popularity score
  • MT – MozTrust of the URL measures trustworthiness of the link
  • Links – The number of external authority-passing links to the URL
  • FB – The number of Facebook shares for the URL
  • G+ – The number of Google+ shares for the URL
  • Rank – SEO competitiveness rank – the higher it is, the harder it is to compete. (min = 0; max = 100)
  •  Visits – The estimated visits per month on this SERP position

Note: You can get more detailed information about your competitors’ SEO metrics in the Google SERP using the SERPChecker Tool.

The Keyword Difficulty metric is the first one to check as it gives an early indication of whether you stand a chance to rank for your keyword. Here’s the full range of the KWFinder Difficulty Score:

3f KWFinder SEO Difficulty Range

In our example, herbal remedies is rated at 52, meaning it’s possible to rank on Page 1.

But it’s important to remember that keyword difficulty is not the only factor, and you should weigh up the other metrics too.

Other features in KWFinder

There are three other features inside KWFinder worth mentioning.

  1.  Keyword lists management

Lists allow you to keep and categorize the data you find from your keyword research. You can check each suggestion you want to keep and add it to a new or an existing list.

  1.  Import your own keywords

You can import your own lists of keywords into KWFinder in various ways:

  • Write the keywords as separate tags
  • Upload your TXT or CSV file
  • Drag-and-drop your file
  1.  Export your results

You can also export your keywords from either the “Suggestions” table or your keyword lists. You have the option to export to a CSV file (with or without metrics) or copy to the clipboard.

Other tools in the Mangools Suite

Mangools also includes three more SEO tools that integrate with KWFinder and are included in the price (see below).

SERPChecker is a Google SERP and SEO analysis tool. It includes a choice of 49+ SEO metrics and Social metrics. The tool lets you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors to help you rank higher.

SERPWatcher is a rank tracking tool, and like KWFinder, it’s easy to use. You can track keyword positions on a daily basis. If you head over to the demo page you can see app tracking some domains and keywords.

LinkMiner is a backlink analysis tool. Use this tool to discover which links are pointing to your website. Metrics are given for each link and you can see a snapshot preview of the website on the right hand side. Great for auditing backlink profiles and competitor research.

Pricing

The Mangools freemium model includes a limited free plan and a choice of monthly subscription plans. There’s also a healthy 50% discount when you opt for the annual subscription.

  • Prices start from $49/month or $349/year

Pros

  • Free starter plan
  • Affordable monthly subscription or discounted annual plans
  • Superb user interface
  • Includes a well-explained keyword difficulty score
  • Integrates well with other tools in the Mangools suite

Cons

  • If you need to gather a lot of data on a daily basis, the Agency plan is expensive compared to the Premium and Basic plans.

Get KWFinder*

SEMrush

SEMrush* is another great all-around SEO tool that supports both traditional keyword research and competitor-based research methods. SEMrush caused a stir in the market when it launched in 2008 as it was the first competitor-based SEO tool.

Lewis from Authority Hacker explains competitor-based research with this analogy:

Instead of looking for the needle in a haystack, it allowed you to find the right haystacks with the right needles.

Competitor research

Because SEMrush is primarily a competitor-based research tool, we can’t follow our example of entering our trial keyword herbal remedies. Instead, we have to flip things around and search our competitors to see what keywords they are ranking for.

For this example, I’m using healthline.com as our competitor.

Note: If you’re not sure who your competitors are then you can always enter your own domain first:

4a semrush organic competitors

And from there, you can click each domain to start checking their keywords.

When you enter your competition domain, SEMrush returns a load of data. For instance, this is just the top part of the Domain Overview screen:

4b semrush Domain Overview

Remember this is an all-around SEO tool, so we’ll ignore most of the information now and focus on the Organic Search Positions feature.

Here you can see that SEMrush has found 4,863,217 keywords that our competition domain (healthline.com) is ranking for:

4c semrush Organic Search Positions

SEMrush automatically sorts the results by Traffic% as these are the keywords that are likely to attract the most organic traffic. From here you can start to reverse-engineer your competitor’s best-performing keywords.

Here are the other metrics for each keyword:

  • Position – Where the URL currently ranks in the SERP, and their position from the previous update.
  • Volume – The estimated monthly traffic generated from these keywords (i.e. how many times people search for them).
  • KD – Keyword Difficulty – the higher the number, the harder it is to rank for these keywords.
  • CPC – The average Cost-Per-Click if someone advertised based on this keyword.
  • URL – The web page generating the traffic.
  • Traffic % – The average percentage of all traffic the website is getting from this keyword.
  • Costs % – The share of total traffic cost driven to the website from the keyword over the specific time frame.
  • Competitive Density of advertisers using the given term for their ads.
  • Results – Number of search results in the database.
  • Trend – The changes in interest for the given keyword over 12 months.
  • SERP – A snapshot of the SERP source where SEMrush found the result.
  • Last Update – The time when the given keyword was last updated in our database.

Filters

Using the filter, you can enter your keyword; e.g. herbal remedies, and narrow the search further:

4d semrush Organic Search Filter

Traditional research

If you don’t like the look of competitor-based research, then SEMrush also has a traditional research tool. This is how it works:

4e semrush Keyword Magic Works

Keyword Magic Tool

Start by entering your keyword into the Keyword Magic Tool search bar:

4f semrush Keyword Magic Tool

SEMrush returns the results.

In the top half of the screen is an overview of your ‘seed’ keyword:

4g semrush Keyword Magic Tool Top

Below, SEMrush gives you a massive list of related keywords that you can break into groups by topic:

4h semrush Keyword Magic Bottom

For example, you could pick ‘pain‘ from the left-hand panel and get results like herbal remedies for back pain.

You can filter these keywords by metrics like search volume, CPC, competitive density, and keyword difficulty to get your perfect list.

Keyword Analyzer

After filtering, you can send your more focused list to the Keyword Analyzer to refresh metrics on demand. In this example, I exported our pain group and refreshed the first keyword:

4i semrush Keyword Analyzer

From here you can identify metrics like Keyword Difficulty, Click Potential and, unsurprisingly, the Top Competitors that appear on each keyword’s results page.

Other SEMrush features

  • Advertising Research – Discover your competitors’ Adwords budget and keywords
  • Backlinks – Monitor the quantity and quality of backlinks to your domain
  • Video Advertising Research – Discover the top advertisers so you can create an effective ad campaign
  • Site Audit – Find and fix your On-Page issues and boost SEO-optimization

Pricing

The SEMrush free plan limits you to a handful of searches a day. If you know what you’re looking for you can find some excellent keywords, but the results are limited. The premium plans are expensive if you’re on a tight budget and more suited to experienced bloggers.

  • Prices start from $99/month or $999/year

Pros

  • Limited free plan
  • Combines traditional and competitor-based keyword research methods
  • Excellent competitor-based research tool

Cons

  • Cluttered user interface
  • The Keyword Magic Tool is in Beta phase and still catching up with other traditional research tools.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs* is an all-in-one SEO platform that supports both traditional and competitor-based keyword research. Its background lies in backlink analysis, but it now offers a full suite of SEO tools.

Keyword research

Ahrefs released a brand new version of their keyword research tool – Keywords Explorer 2.0 – in November 2016, and they claim it’s the best:

We knew that adding a few cool features here and there wouldn’t really make a difference. The only option was to start from scratch and take a shot at creating the very best keyword research tool in the industry.

You start by entering your seed keyword:

5a Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

At the top of the results screen is the Overview panel with common metrics like Keyword Difficulty and Search Volume, plus advanced metrics like Return rate, Clicks, and Clicks / Search:

5b Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Overview

Keyword Difficulty estimates how hard it would be to rank on the first page of search results for your given keyword, using the number of backlinks that current top search results have.

In our example, the rating is 37 and suggests, “You’ll need backlinks from ~49 websites to rank in top 10 for this keyword.” Ahrefs is built around the SEO value of backlinks, so it’s no surprise that their KD metric should include this.

Search Volume shows how many searches your target keyword gets per month in a given country (average for last 12 months). Ahrefs calculates this metric by processing large amounts of clickstream data.

Return Rate is a relative value that illustrates how often people search for this keyword again. It doesn’t show the exact number of “returns” and is only useful when comparing keywords with each other.

Clicks is the total number of clicks (organic and paid) on the search results that people perform per month while searching for that keyword. Some searches result in clicks on multiple results, while others might not lead to any clicks at all. As Tim Soulo puts it:

For example, people search a lot for “donald trump age”, but they don’t click on any results because they see the answer right away.

Clicks Per Search (or CPS) shows how many different search results people click on average after performing a search for this keyword.

In the next section, underneath the Overview panel, you get access to thousands of relevant keyword ideas:

5c Ahrefs Keyword Ideas

Ahrefs estimates the Traffic potential by looking at the organic search traffic of the current #1 ranking result for that keyword.

So, in our example, they estimate that if you’re in #1 position for the keyword herbal remedies, then you’d get 1000 visits out of the total 6000 searches per month.

Like we’ve seen with other tools the keyword suggestions are split into three groups:

  • Having same terms – Shows you all keywords that contain all of the terms of a target keyword in them (in any order).
  • Also rank for – Shows you all keywords that the Top10 ranking pages for your target keyword also rank for.
  • Search suggestions – Shows you all search queries suggested via “Autocomplete” when searching for your target keyword.

You need to click the View full report button to see the full extent of the keyword ideas. Here’s an example of the ‘Having same terms’ report:

5d Ahrefs Keyword Ideas Full

Along the top are the different filters you can use to narrow your selection. For example, only show keywords with a KD score from 0 to 40.

You may have noticed that some keyword ideas have a ‘Get Metrics’ button. This means Ahrefs has the data cached and you can access it instantly.

With such a huge database of keywords, you could be hanging around a while for all the results to load, so this option means you can access the data you want when you want. It takes a few seconds for the chosen keyword data to load.

One thing we’ve not seen yet is the SERP data for the keyword. If you press the SERP button of the keyword you want, you get a drop-down display of the current Top 10 results like this:

5e Ahrefs Keyword Serp

Competitor-based research

Ahrefs, like SEMrush, also offers you competitor-based keyword research via its Site Explorer Tool.

Here you can enter your competitor and find what keywords they are ranking for. Then you can find the low-competition keywords by using the filters.

5f Ahrefs Site Explorer Example

In this example, I’ve used the healthline.com domain and added the following filters:

  • Search Position 1-10
  • Search Volume greater than 500
  • Keyword Difficulty up to 40

Like we saw on the Keyword Explorer, you can expand each line to see the full SERP analysis.

Other Ahrefs features

  • Alerts – Get notified of new and lost backlinks, web mentions and rankings
  • Content Explorer – Discover the most popular content for any topic
  • Rank Tracker – Monitor your desktop and mobile rankings for any location
  • Backlink Checker – Analyze backlink profiles and discover link opportunities
  • Link Intersect – Find the sites linking to your competitors but not to you
  • Broken Link Checker – Keep your website free from dead links

Pricing

Ahrefs offers a 7 day trial for $7. The premium plans are expensive if you’re on a tight budget and more suited to experienced bloggers.

  • Prices start at $99/month or $990/year

Note: If you can’t justify using Ahrefs on a monthly basis, you could sign up for a month, do your KW research and cancel. That said, if you can justify the monthly pricing it’s well worth keeping because you’ll get access to the ongoing functionality such as rank tracking and web monitoring. It also means there’s no need to use any other tools to track rankings or monitor mentions on the web.

Pros

  • Limited free trial
  • Reliable keyword difficulty metric
  • Largest database of backlinks and keywords
  • Greater accuracy by processing large amounts of clickstream data
  • Combines traditional and competitor-based keyword research methods

Cons

  • It’s expensive, but they claim to be the best.

Final thoughts

Now you’ve seen each of the keyword research tools in action, you should have an idea of what each one can do.

Remember, at the beginning of this article I mentioned how each tool had different results? If you’ve been taking notes you’ll have spotted some variances in the results.

The bottom line is that each vendor gets its data from different sources and calculates its metrics differently. It’s difficult to compare like-for-like. Once you’ve decided on a tool, you’ll become more familiar with how its metrics are calculated.

Our verdict

Each of these keyword research tools is useful in its own right. You need to choose the best one for your circumstances. Here are our thoughts:

Answer The Public is more of a content generator or keyword suggestion tool. It’s a free tool that you can use to see what people are searching for, but there’s no keyword difficulty rating included. Use it to get broader topic ideas or seed keywords, rather than specific keywords.

If you’re an up-and-coming blogger and you have a small budget, then choose the KWFinder Tool. The user interface is superb, and the keyword data seems quite accurate.

If you’re a professional blogger, like Adam, then you’ll want to invest in the best premium tool – Ahrefs*. Yes, it’s pricey, but the volume and accuracy of the data mean you’ll get a solid return on your investment.

Categorized in Online Research

Keywords are used in online marketing to set up pay-per-click (PPC) ads, create meta descriptions and improve search engine optimization (SEO). Determining the most popular keywords can increase the effectiveness of your online marketing. Discover how to find the most searched keywords by using several free Internet-based sites and programs.

Method-1 Google Auto-Complete

Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 1

1-Pick several topics on which you want to find the best keywords. To start keyword research, you can go to the most used search engine, Google.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 2
2-Go to Google.com. Type the subject into the search bar.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 3
3-Look for the drop down section underneath the search bar that shows search terms that are popular. Depending upon the subject, there can be a few or more than 10 keywords.
  • Look for "head" keywords. These are the terms that are the most popular. They are fairly general, and they are the most expensive terms to bid on for PPC ads.
  • Also look for long-tail keywords. These are the longer groups of 3 to 5 terms and phrases. They are the terms people use to search for a very specific item. They are less expensive in PPC ads, result in fewer searches, but generally, result in the best-targeted marketing.

Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 4

4-Write down all the terms on the Google auto-complete that seem like they apply to your site or products.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 5
5-Delete the original search term from the Google search bar and try again with a new subject.
Method 2-Google Trends
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 6
1-Go to Google.com/trends. Google Trends pulls together information on Google's most popular searches. You can use several tools to find popular keywords.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 7
2-Find general popular keywords with Google Trends' Hot Searches. Look for the 2 phrases: "Explore trends" and "Hot Searches." They should be located in the upper left area of the screen.
  • You will need to sign into your Google account in order to access all of these features.

Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 8

3-Click on "Hot searches" first.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 9
4-Choose your country on the left-hand side of the page, to target your searches to your country of origin.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 10
5-Read through the list of most-searched topics in the country of your choice.These are Google's most popular search terms, and they are usually an indication of popular pop culture, political news, and other trending subjects.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 11
6-Use these search terms, if you have online content that applies to them. By staying on top of trending search engine topics, you can give your website new relevance.
  • Keep in mind that it will be difficult to use these trending keywords with PPC advertising. The best way to use them is to provide quality content that refers to trending topics. Use these keywords in your title, sub-title, URL, image names and articles to produce backlinks that Google gathers and uses to rank your website.

Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 12

7-Return to the Google.com/trends website. This time, click on "Explore Trends."
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 13
8-Type in a search term/phrase that you have gathered through Google Auto-complete research or other methods. This box is located in the "Search Terms" section on the left side of the page.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 14
9-Press "Enter" and type in up to 4 more keywords. Click "Add Term" to add another term to your research.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 15
10-Compare the terms using the graphs and other data provided by Google. You can rank your popular keywords through this method.
  • There are also similar sites for other search engines, such as search.aol.com/aol/trends, clues.yahoo.com, and bing.com/toolbox/keywords. When you are using Google Trends' "Explore Trends" section, you can also specify it be used with YouTube or another of Google's products

Method 3-WordStream Suggestion Tool

Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 16

1-Target your long-tail keyword search using WordStream's free keyword suggestion tool. This service can help you establish the most effective phrases you can use.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 17
2-Go to wordstream.com/keywords.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 18
3-Enter a keyword phrase that you want to check for popularity. Click "Enter."
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 19
4-Peruse the list of keywords that are similar to the 1 you just entered. This tool can help you find popular long-tail keywords and help you target your marketing more successfully.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 20
5-Do up to 30 keyword searches for free. Write down the new long-tail keywords to use with PPC ads and SEO.
  • This WordStream tool is especially valuable for PPC ads, because it allows you to bid on terms that will actually be used by people to find and buy products. Once you are able to determine popular, specific keyword phrases, you can improve the value of your PPC marketing.

Method 4-Website Analytics

Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 21

1-Talk to your web programmer to find out what analytics program your business website is using.
  • If you are using WordPress, there is an automated Analytics tool through the "Jetpack" program. Find out how to access it through your dashboard.
  • If you do not have a website analytics program to analyze your web traffic, start it now. You can sign up for a free account with Google Analytics, postcode onto your website and start tracking traffic within 24 hours.

Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 22

2-Find the section of your analytics program that discusses search terms. Most programs will list the most popular terms that were used to reach your website.
Image titled Find The Most Searched Keywords Step 23
3-Make a list of these popular keywords, so that you can continue to include them in your SEO and PPC marketing. As you improve your SEO through the use of popular keywords, you can also see how these terms change or searches decrease or increase in popularity.
  • Your research into popular terms may change the search term listed in this area week by week. As you use hot topic keywords, launch marketing campaigns and use long-tail keywords in your PPC ads, your popular search terms are likely to change.
  • If the search terms listed in this area are extremely general, you can deduce that you have more competition for clicks with that search term. Targeting other keywords or producing higher quality content can improve your search engine ranking.

 Source: This article was published wikihow.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Billions of searches are conducted each day on popular search engines and social networking websites by people all around the world. But what exactly do these people search for? A number of major search engines provide a way to glimpse into the web’s query stream to discover the most popular search trends, keywords, and topics.

google-trends-keywords

  • Google Trends: Allows you to tap into Google’s database of searches, to determine which keywords are most popular. View the volume of search queries over time (since 2004) worldwide or by regions and subregions, by languages, categories, and in Google properties such as news, image, or product search. Compare multiple terms, as well. Offers a list of what is trending now in Hot Searches.
  • Google Autocomplete: Google’s Autocomplete is a tool that can help round out your research by providing keywords as seen through the searcher's experience. When a searcher begins to type into the search box on Google.com, additional keywords are offered for searches that could be similar to what is typed. Google’s algorithm works to predict search queries in real-time based on indexed web pages, personalized search history, other users’ search activity, and Google+ (for person’s name). Since the results are personalized, you may wish for more control over the Autocomplete feature. This can be accomplished by logging out of Google, turning off customizations, deleting web history, and Google+ settings.
  • Yahoo Buzz Log: Shows top overall keyword searches by Yahoo users with rank, buzz score, and how the search volume has moved in rank. There are additional options to narrow the buzz log by categories such as actors, movies, music, etc.
  • Bing Trends: More of a report, the Bing Community Search Blog breaks down billions of search queries from the previous year and offers insights by popular interests.
  • Bing Webmaster Keyword Research Beta: Find query volumes for phrases and keywords by country and language. This keyword research tool shows data show from organic searches on Bing. It also provides the number of impressions for a time period with Average Bid and Average CPC for ad placements on the top and sides of search results. A comprehensive description of this tool can be found in Bing Keyword Research Tool: Highlights & Limitations.
  • AOL Search Trends: Lists the top 50 search trends both hourly and daily on AOL. Data in AOL contains web and image searches (powered by Google), video (powered by Blinkx), News, Shopping, Maps, and Yellow Pages (powered by various providers).

twitter-search-image2

  • Twitter Search: Allows you to see what people are talking about on Twitter by keyword, hashtag, or username. Advanced search has many features, notable is the use of emoticons to find tweets with a specific attitude, for example, sad emoticon represents negative attitude.
  • YouTube Keyword Tool: Keyword suggestions for terms you enter with monthly search volume on YouTube. As one of the largest search engines, this keyword list will reveal valuable insights as to how people search when they are looking for video media specifically, rather than general search engine queries.
  • YouTube Trends: Provides insights into popular videos based on keywords and video views. Trending Topics are algorithmically-generated topics from keywords in the title, tags, and description of the video within sets of videos that are currently rising in popularity. Trending videos are based on embedded video views and views on YouTube.
  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Enter a term or terms, to see search volume and keyword competition. Advanced options and filters allow you to refine by locations and languages and by desktop or mobile.

Top Searches, Questions, Topics, Memes & More

The major search engines and social networks also put out yearly recaps of the top trends of the year. Check out these past articles to get a glimpse of the top keywords, questions, topics, and trends people searched for each year:

2012

2011

2010

Source: This article was published searchenginewatch.com By Lisa Raehsler

Categorized in Search Engine

Doing research for your next content marketing campaign? Using Google search operators helps speed up your research, and makes your job a lot easier. In this cheat sheet, we’ll share 13 useful search operators for content marketers.

Before we dive into the Google search operators, let’s briefly go over what is a search operator.

What is a Search Operator?

A search operator is a character, or set of characters, used to narrow down the focus of a search engine query.

Savvy content marketers use search operators when researching keywords, competitors, blog post headlines, or when checking SEO health.

Now that you know what a search operator is, let’s take a look at the 13 useful search operators for content marketers.

Exclusive Bonus: Download the Google Search Operators Cheat Sheet to make content marketing research a breeze.

Google Search Operators Cheat Sheet

Here is the Google search operators full list at a glance. We will go into each operator in depth below this cheat sheet.

Feel free to click on each of the search operators below to skip to that section:

Search Operator What it Does Example Query
Quotes (“”) Return only results with a specific phrase “conversion optimization tips”
Minus (-) Exclude a specific keyword from the search results conversion optimization -tips
site: Return results from a particular site site:optinmonster.com
Asterisk (*) Replace this with anything “* content upgrade ideas”
inurl: Return results within URL inurl:conversion
intitle: Return results within title intitle:conversion
inurl:.extension Return results for particular country inurl:.ca
OR Return results for one query or the other query conversion OR optimization
allinpostauthor: Return results from a particular author allinpostauthor:Syed Balkhi
define: Return definitions define:lead magnet
Date/time range Return results from a particular date or time range. any query (must enter your date/time range into Google’s search tools filter)
filetype: Return specific filetypes filetype:PDF
info: Return information about a specific domain info:optinmonster.com

That’s the bird’s eye view. Now let’s take a deep dive into each of these Google search operators…

1. Quotes (“”)

Want to narrow down your search to return only results including a specific phrase? Put that phrase in quotes.

searchoperators-1

This search operator is useful for removing any irrelevant results, particularly with longer search queries.

Use Case: Check for scraped content

Let’s say I want to check and see if anyone has been stealing my content. Maybe I want to make sure that our content isn’t getting filtered out of the search results as duplicate content because someone scraped our post.

To do that, I would want to copy a long string of text from my post.

searchoperators-20

Next, I’ll paste it into Google and put quotes around it.

searchoperators-20

As we can see, Google is only showing our content, so we don’t have anything to be concerned about here.

However, if we really wanted to, we could click on the link to “repeat the search with the omitted results included”. Then, we would see this:

searchoperators-19

The second result is an earlier version of our blog post, so that’s fine. But sure enough, as the third result shows, someone has scraped our post.

Again, I’m not concerned because we have done our on-page SEO properly, and Google is only showing our latest post in the search results, which is exactly what we want.

However, if you think that duplicate content may be negatively affecting your search rankings (or you simply want to rule it out as a possibility), then you may want to perform this check.

2. Minus (-)

Want to exclude a specific keyword from the search results? Put a minus sign in front of it.

searchoperators-2

This is useful when your query has more than one meaning.

Use Case: Research jaguars (the animal, not the car)

Let’s say I need to research jaguars. When I do an initial query, I get the following results.

searchoperators-21

Most of these results are about the car, which is not what I want to see. But let’s see what happens if I add “-car” to the query.

searchoperators-22

Well, the top three results are still about cars (can’t do anything about that). However, the first organic result is “Jaguar | Basic Facts About Jaguars | Defenders of Wildlife”. Now that is the kind of jaguar I want to research!

Scrolling down, the rest of the results also do not appear to be in regard to the automobile. So the minus search operator just saved me a ton of time sifting through results that I don’t want.

3. Site:

Want to search one particular site? Use “site:” in front of the URL for the domain you want to search.

searchoperators-4

This is useful for researching your competitors or checking your own website for indexed pages.

Use Case: Check your site for indexing issues

Let’s say I want to check and make sure that our site doesn’t have any problems being indexed by Google.

To see the indexed pages, I would simply type in “site:optinmonster.com” and look at the number of results.

searchoperators-23

It is showing about 665 results, which seems pretty reasonable to me for the current size of our site. I’m also seeing our homepage coming up first (right after the “Google promotion”), which is good. And if I browse through the pages and look deeper into the search results, I’m seeing that the indexed pages look high quality.

However, if it returned a much lower amount than what I was expecting, then we may have an indexing problem which needs to be addressed.

And on the flip side, if it returned a much higher amount of indexed pages than what I was expecting, then that is also a potential problem because someone may have hacked our site and injected a bunch of spammy pages.

4. Asterisk (*)

Not sure what word(s) you need in your search query? In place of unknown keywords, add an asterisk (*) and Google will replace the asterisk with anything.

searchoperators-12

This is useful for finding list posts by a specific title, but you don’t know the exact number of the list. For example, if I wanted to find all posts entitled, “Top X Free WordPress Themes”, I could do a search for “Top * Free WordPress Themes”.

5. Inurl:

Want to see results that include your keyword in the URL? Add “inurl:” before your keyword in your query.

searchoperators-5

This is useful when you are looking for specific pages on a site.

Use Case: Find guest posting guidelines

Let’s say I want to submit a guest post for Lifehacker, but their guidelines for guest authors is really hard to find. (Many popular publishers will actually hide their guidelines page because they are already swamped with submissions.)

What I would do is search the Lifehacker site (using the “site:” search operator) and add the “inurl” operator to search for keywords that I am guessing might be in the URL, like “guidelines”, “contribute”, “submit”, etc.

searchoperators-25

Bingo! Now I’ve found the page that explains how I can become a Lifehacker contributor.

6. Intitle:

Want to see only pages that have your keyword in their title? Use the “intitle:” search operator just before the keyword.

searchoperators-6

This is useful for competitor research, or researching a blog where you want to get published.

Use Case: Research a target blog

Continuing with the previous use case, let’s say I want to research Lifehacker because I want to write for them. I know I want to write something about email, but I want to make sure that I pitch them with a unique angle that they haven’t covered before.

What I would do is search Lifehacker (using the “site:” operator) and use the “intitle:” operator with the keyword “email”. Then I’d take a look at what headlines come up.

searchoperators-26

The first couple of results aren’t blog posts, but then I can see a whole list of headlines that Lifehacker has used in the past about email.

This is really helpful, because now I can send them a pitch along the lines of, “I see you’ve published a post about the Three-Email Rule, but you haven’t yet covered…”

7. Inurl:.extension

Looking for results from a specific country? Add that country’s domain extension to the “inurl:” search operator.

searchoperators-15

This is useful for checking brand mentions outside your own country.

8. OR

Want to see results for one keyword or another keyword? Place “OR” in between each keyword.

searchoperators-8

This is useful when you aren’t exactly sure which keyword will give you the desired result.

Use Case #1: Make multiple guesses at once

Remember when I wanted to find the guest posting guidelines for Lifehacker using the “inurl:” operator? I wasn’t sure exactly which keyword would reveal the guidelines page, but I had a few educated guesses.

So far, I’ve only been able to make one guess at a time. So unless I make a lucky guess right off the bat, this can be time consuming.

To streamline the process, I could use the “OR” operator and make multiple guesses all in one search query. For example, “site:lifehacker.com inurl:guidelines OR inurl:contribute OR inurl:submit”.

This will return the results for any of these guesses, and hopefully one of these keywords will hit the mark!

Use Case #2: Discover brand mentions

Want to find people who have mentioned your brand? It’s a good idea to know who is mentioning and/or linking to your site, so that you can build relationships with those people and get even more mentions and links in the future.

First, you’ll want to add any different names for your brand into your query (with all possible spellings or misspellings), using the “OR” operator in between each. For example, “OptinMonster OR “Optin Monster””.

Then, you’ll need to use the minus sign to exclude your own properties from the search results. For example, “-site:optinmonster.com -site:wpbeginner.com”. You may also want to exclude social sites, such as, “-site:twitter.com -site:facebook.com -site:youtube.com”

All put together, here’s what that query looks like: “OptinMonster OR “Optin Monster” -site:OptinMonster.com -site:wpbeginner.com -site:twitter.com -site:facebook.com -site:youtube.com”.

And here are our results.

searchoperators-27

We still had a couple of results at the top that were irrelevant (that’s because we didn’t eliminate WordPress.org), however the rest of the results are actual brand mentions for OptinMonster.

Now we can create an alert with this search result, so we can receive emails about new brand mentions!

To create an alert, first go to google.com/alerts. Then, type in your search query.

searchoperators-28

Next, click on “Show Options”, and under Sources select “Web”.

Enter your email and click on the blue button to create your alert.

searchoperators-29

That’s it! Now you’ll be notified of any new brand mentions by email, so you can build valuable relationships and backlinks.

9. Allinpostauthor:

Need to find articles by one particular author? Use the “allinpostauthor:” operator just before the author’s full name.

searchoperators-10

This is useful if you want to study someone else’s content, or if you want to see a particular writer’s work before hiring them.

10. Define:

Want to find the definition of something? Simply use the “define:” search operator.

searchoperators-14

This is useful for doing research on a specific topic for a blog post. Or, you may use it for competitor research to see who comes up in the results for a specific definition that you want to rank for.

11. Date/Time Range

Need to narrow down your search results by a specific date or time range? There used to be a search operator for that (“daterange:”). However, it was a bit difficult to use because it required using the Julian calendar. Now, Google has a filter you can use instead.

searchoperators-11

This filter is useful if your initial query is only showing recent results and you want to see older results, or if you want to see recent results and your initial query is only showing older results.

To access this filter, click on the “Search tools” link directly below the search box. Then, select “Any time” to open up a dropdown menu with a few options.

searchoperators-30

If you don’t like any of the suggestions, click on “Custom range…”. From there, you’ll be able to choose any range of dates that you like.

searchoperators-31

12. Filetype:

Want to find a specific filetype with your keyword? Use the “filetype:” operator, followed by the type of file you are looking for (e.g. “PDF”).

searchoperators-16

This is useful if you want to discover ideas for lead magnets.

13. Info:

There is a lot of general information that you can get from Google on your own domain, or your competitor’s domain, with the “info:” search operator.

searchoperators-17

This is useful for many things, such as finding competitors, finding sites that link to you, or finding sites that link to your competitors.

Use Case: Find sites that link to your domain

To find sites that link to our domain, I’ll first enter the “info:optinmonster.com” query into Google. Then, I’ll see a number of choices. Let’s select “Find web pages that link to optinmonster.com”.

searchoperators-17

This will return the websites that most frequently link to OptinMonster.

searchoperators-33

That’s it. Now it’s your turn.

Go ahead and pick one of the Google search operators above to start with. Play around with it as you conduct your research. Then, as you become familiar with each of these operators, try combining them to get even more focused results.

 Source: This article was published optinmonster.com By Mary Fernandez

Categorized in Search Engine

Keyword research is important when you want to find new areas of growth and increase traffic to your site, but deciding which terms to focus your efforts on can be a complicated task. Before you start to target a new keyword, it’s crucial to estimate how much time and effort it will take to achieve high rankings for each search term, along with how much value each keyword has.  Knowing this will help you prioritize your list and only go after terms that will yield the best possible outcome.

You can accomplish this by looking at two things, competition (difficulty to rank), and potential value (search volume).  Potential value is easy to measure using the Google Keyword Planner tool, but difficulty to rank is more complex to calculate.

The easiest way to measure difficulty to rank is to perform a Google search and see how many pages are indexed for each of your keywords:

Google Search Keywords - Education

But this is extremely broad and usually returns several millions results, making it next to impossible to truly assess keyword difficulty. In order to get a more realistic idea of the competition, you want to focus only on pages that have been optimized for the search engines.

To get a more accurate number you can use two of Google’s advanced search operators to return more targeted results:

Google Search Operator - allintitle: education

allintitle:keyword – returns only pages where the keyword is used in the title tag

Google Search Operator - allinurl: Education

allinurl:keyword – returns only pages where the keyword is used in the URL

This information is much more useful than a basic Google search because it removes the noise and lets you see only websites that have optimized their titles & urls, giving us a clearer picture of the competition.

Now that you’ve focused on a keyword’s competition based on title & url, the next step is to prioritize your list of keywords and target the ones that have a combination of high search volume and low competition. I started with a list of 20 keywords and narrowed the list down to the top 5.

Keyword Research - 20 top education keywords - nursing

Avg. Monthly Searches = Keyword’s search volume from Google Keyword Planner

URL Competition = Number of results returned for an allinurl: search

Title Tag Competition = Number of results returned for an allintitle: search

In order to find the keywords that have the highest search volume and the lowest competition calculate the “opportunity” for both title & url. Keywords with the highest “opportunity” have the greatest chance of getting on page one of Google, relative to search volume. Opportunity provides a balance between search volume and competitiveness.

Keyword Competition - 20 top education keywords opportunity - nursing

URL Opportunity = Avg. Monthly Searches divided by URL Competition

Title Tag Opportunity = Avg. Monthly Searches divided by Title Tag Competition

As an added step, you can add extra weight to either URL or Title Tag Opportunity by multiplying by a given percentage, if you think one gives off a stronger ranking signal than the other.

Once you have URL Opportunity & Title Tag Opportunity, calculate the Full Opportunity by adding the two together.

20 top education keywords full opportunity - nursing

Full Opportunity = URL Opportunity + Title Tag Opportunity

Full Opportunity shows the big picture in regard to difficulty to rank for a term based on title tag & url optimization, while maximizing the potential for traffic based on monthly search volume.

To prioritize your list and select the top 5 keywords, just sort Full Opportunity from High to Low.

Top 5 education keywords ranked - nursing

Please keep in mind this is just one method for determining keyword difficulty; there are several other factors to consider when trying to assess the competition for a given term, such as:

  • Quality of the page content
  • Moz Page Authority
  • Moz Domain Authority
  • Number of external links pointing to each ranking page
  • Number of domains linking to each ranking page
  • Social metrics (Facebook & Twitter shares)

Using this method, I provide clients with keywords to develop new content around, whether blog posts or new pages within their websites. I also use this method when suggesting reoptimization for existing pages that are performing poorly.

Source: This article was published leverinteractive.com By Kevin DalPorto

Categorized in Search Engine

Incorporating Pinterest into your online marketing strategy is good -- getting that content to rank in Google search is better. Columnist Thomas Stern explains how to increase the search visibility of your Pinterest content.

In mid-2014, Pinterest introduced Guided Search, a feature that greatly expanded the information available to marketers by providing insight to popular keyword phrases for boards and Pins. Unfortunately, this feature requires inputting keywords on a per-board or per-Pin basis, which can be incredibly time-consuming for most marketers.

In early 2015, our team received access to the Pinterest advertising beta program. This granted our team further insight into keyword targeting opportunities around our clients’ products. While this was a great step toward ensuring visibility on the platform, the targeting and keyword insights were considerably limited, undoubtedly something that Pinterest is working to improve.

We decided to take matters into our own hands. After all, we’ve seen the tremendous performance with Pinterest when utilized correctly for clients. Similar performance has also been validated by numerous case studies, most recently by Marketing Sherpa earlier this year.

Google + Pinterest = 

After Pinterest took off in popularity a few years ago, our SEO team noticed more and more page-one Google results that included Pinterest. Most recently, we’ve come across indexed boards and Pins in image results, along with a unique mobile result that displays multiple Pin images underneath a link to the board.

SEL 2 pinterest google

Clearly, Google considers Pinterest content to be authoritative, so we decided to see exactly how Pinterest compares to other websites in terms of a unique number of keyword rankings on page one.

Pinterest Keyword Ranking

Using SEMRush’s extensive database of organic listings, we see that Pinterest ranks #8 among all websites for a number of keywords ranking in Google’s top 20 results — just ahead of eBay, Yellow Pages and TripAdvisor. With nearly five million ranked keywords to evaluate, we’ve put together a method to identify the commonalities between keywords and categories.

Step 1: Identify Commonly Occurring Keywords

Considering the sheer volume of keywords, an initial filtering process is required to make sense of the data. We felt that it was easiest to identify the most commonly occurring keywords to create initial groupings. The following example includes the most frequently occurring keywords with adjectives and pronouns omitted (cool, cheap, her, him, etc.).

Pinterest Google Keywords

Step 2: Build & Prioritize Keyword Phrases

Outside of branded search, Pinterest results on Google are primarily long-tail, descriptive phrases. To help identify these phrases, an additional round of keyword insight is needed. The following example takes the “home & home furnishings” keywords from step one and aligns them with the most searched pairings that Pinterest ranks on Google.

Pinterest Keyword Combinations

When reviewing these combinations, it’s immediately clear that a theme exists across the reviewed home and furniture category: Pinterest users are interested in smaller homes and furniture that accommodates a smaller space.

Putting this into a marketing context, brands like West Elm, Ikea and CB2 could greatly benefit from creating Pinterest boards around space-saving furniture offerings. All three brands reference small spaces on a dedicated Pinterest board, but none seem to quite capture the varied intent (room type, furniture type) of Pinterest searchers.

Step 3: Optimize With Pinterest Ranking Factors In Mind

While researching ways to utilize Google data to inform Pinterest keyword strategies, we identified some slight differences between boards and Pins that rank at the top of each search engine (Pinterest vs. Google). On Google specifically, it seemed that boards and Pins with a high degree of interaction (repins) were favored. On Pinterest, it’s a bit more difficult to pin down in entirety (no pun intended), but Google’s ranking factors in addition to others are certainly in place. Regardless of search engine, it’s important to keep the following optimization principles in mind:

  • Conduct Keyword Research. As is evident in the aforementioned furniture example, there is an abundance of keyword combinations that can help brands align with how users search.
  • Be Descriptive. Authentic and utilitarian content must coincide with keyword strategies. On Pinterest, this means creating boards that are common in theme but also provide enough specificity to align with users’ needs (e.g., “Small Living Room Ideas” or “Small Space Living”). It also means Pins should have well-written descriptions that thoroughly describe what the image is about.
  • Use Markup. One of the simplest ways to ensure the content from your website and/or blog is optimized for Pinterest is to use Rich Pins in conjunction with the appropriate markup (different types of markup are supported for recipes, movies, articles, products or places). We highly recommend identifying which relevant content types are on your website and implementing markup ASAP.
  • Be Active. Just like Facebook, the level of engagement of content on Pinterest helps algorithms on the platform determine which boards and pins should rank. Brands often overlook the fact that pinning other users’ and websites’ content is common practice on the platform, and brands can be rewarded for participating.

 Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Thomas Stern

Categorized in Search Engine
Page 2 of 4

AOFIRS

World's leading professional association of Internet Research Specialists - We deliver Knowledge, Education, Training, and Certification in the field of Professional Online Research. The AOFIRS is considered a major contributor in improving Web Search Skills and recognizes Online Research work as a full-time occupation for those that use the Internet as their primary source of information.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.