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Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide

Keyword research is the first step in the SEO copywriting process and an essential part of any SEO strategy. Before you write your website content, you need to think about which search terms you want to be found for and this means getting inside people’s heads to find out which words they use when searching. Then, you can use these exact terms in your content so that you start ranking for them. This is keyword research, and our ultimate guide will take you through the many steps involved.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading #7 of our best-read posts this year! Find out what steps you need to take to do proper keyword research. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another holiday countdown surprise!

What is keyword research?

Before we start explaining the process of keyword research, let’s look at the most important concepts behind it.

Keyword research can be defined as the work you do to come up with an extensive list of keywords you want to rank for.

Keyword strategy is about the decisions you make on the basis of that keyword research.

Keyphrases are keywords containing multiple words. We tend to use the word keyword all the time, but we don’t necessarily mean it’s only one word. [WordPress SEO] is a keyword, as is [The best Google Analytics plugin]. Keywords usually consist of multiple words! So, in this guide, when we talk about keywords, we usually mean a phrase, rather than a single word. As of Yoast SEO 9.0, we are using the term keyphrase in many more places, and have replaced the term focus keyword with focus keyphrase.

Long tail keywords are more specific and less common because they focus more on a niche. The longer (and more specific) search terms are, the easier it will be to rank for the term. Keywords that are more specific (and often longer) are usually referred to as long tail keywords.

Focus keyphrase is the word or phrase you most want your page to be found for. You should put your focus keyphrase into the meta box of the Yoast SEO plugin.

Search intent is all about discovering what a searcher actually wants. These are not just keywords, but the underlying goals of what a searcher wants to know, do or buy.

Read more: What is keyword research? »

Why is keyword research important?

Proper keyword research is important because it will make clear which search terms your audience uses. At Yoast, we frequently come across clients who use one set of words when describing their products, while their target audience uses a completely different set of words. As a result,  potential customers don’t find those websites, because of a mismatch in word use.

Sometimes a marketing department decides to give their products a certain name. And, that can be a smart marketing decision. It can be a way to make people remember your product. For example, you don’t rent out vacation homes, but [vacation cottages]. But: be aware that very few people search for [vacation cottages]. So, if you optimize your text for these terms, you’ll probably rank well on these specific terms. However, you won’t generate a lot of traffic with these terms and you’ll miss a large part of your potential audience.

So, you’ll understand that it doesn’t make any sense to optimize for words that people don’t use. Good keyword research makes sure that you use the same words as your target audience and this makes the whole effort of optimizing your website far more worthwhile. In addition, by looking at search intent, you find out which questions your customer has. Those questions should get an answer in the form of quality content.

Keep reading: The basis of keyword research »

How to do keyword research

For us, there are four steps to keyword research. First, you write down the mission of your business. Next, you make a list of all the keywords you want to be found for. Then you look at search intent and finally, create landing pages for each of those keywords. This ultimate guide takes you through these steps in much more detail.

Step by step, we’ll guide you through the entire keyword research process, and we’ll give you practical tips to easily start your own keyword research.

Things to consider: How competitive is your market?

The market you’re in determines whether your mission will prove genius enough to sell your products to people. Some markets are highly competitive, with large companies dominating the search results. These companies have huge budgets for marketing in general and SEO in particular. Competing in these markets is tough, so ranking in these markets is also going to be tough.

Perhaps you sell cruises to Hawaii. You offer great facilities for children, making the cruises especially suitable for young or single parents. Offering great cruises to Hawaii for young parents could very well be what makes your service unique. Look for the thing that makes your product stand out from the competition. This should be your mission, your niche – and this is what you have to offer your audience.

If you’re launching into in a competitive market, your best bet is to start out small. Once you ‘own’ a small part of that niche and become a big name in the business of cruises to Hawaii, you could try to go one level up and sell your cruises to a larger (more general) audience. Your mission will then become much more general as well.

Step 1: What is your mission?

Before starting anything, think about your mission. Think about questions like: Who are you? What is your website about? What makes you special? Who are you trying to reach? And what promises do you make on your website?

Read on: What is the mission of your website »

A lot of people can’t effectively answer these questions at first. You have to figure out what makes you stand out from the crowd. What’s more, you have to know what kind of audience you want to target. So take your time and literally write down your mission on a piece of paper, a computer or an iPad – anything will do, as long as you do it. Once you’re able to answer these questions in detail, you will have taken the first and most important step in your keyword strategy.

Step 2: Make a list of keywords

The second step of keyword research is creating a list of your keywords. With your mission in mind, try to get into the heads of your potential buyers. What will these people be looking for? What kind of search terms could they be using while looking for your amazing service or product? Ask yourself these questions and write down as many answers as possible.

If your mission is clear, you will have a pretty clear image of your niche and your unique selling points (the things that set your business apart from others). These are the terms you want to be found for.

Make sure the keywords fit your site

Be aware that you should be found for terms that match your site. If we went crazy and did our very best to make yoast.com rank for ballet shoes, people would be rather disappointed to find our site. They would probably instantly go back to Google. If we ranked for ballet shoes, we would have a massive bounce rate. And a high bounce rate tells Google that people are not finding what they are looking for based on their search term. This would inevitably lead to a lower ranking on ballet shoes for our site – and that would be completely justified because we know nothing about ballet, nor about shoes for that matter.

Tools you can use

Making a list of possible search terms is hard. Up until a few years ago you could just check Google Analytics and see the terms people used to find your website, but unfortunately, that’s no longer possible. So you’ll have pretty much no idea which terms people use in search engines to end up at your website. Luckily, there are still some other tools which make your keyword research a bit easier. Read our post about tools you can use in your keyword research for more tips and tricks.

Step 3: Look at search intent

Today’s SEO strategies should, for the most part, revolve around answering the questions people have. Whenever someone enters a search query into a search engine, they are on a quest for something. Every type of question needs a specific answer. In my SEO basics article on search intent, I said:

“Search intent has to do with the reason why people conduct a specific search. Why are they searching? Are they searching because they have a question and want an answer to that question? Are they searching for a specific website? Or, are they searching because they want to buy something?”

When planning your content, always ask yourself these questions. There are four types of intents:

  • Informational intent: Just like it says on the tin, people are trying to find information on a specific topic.
  • Navigational intent: People want to access a specific website by entering the term in a search engine.
  • Commercial intent: People want to buy something sometime soon and are doing research before making a purchase.
  • Transactional intent: People are looking to buy something after doing their commercial intent searches.

Find out which kinds of intent apply to you and try to match these search intents, literally giving people what they want.

Step 4: Construct landing pages

The next step towards a long-term keyword strategy is to create awesome landing pages. In the past, each of the keywords you wanted to be found for, got its own landing page. Today, however, search engines are so smart that they mostly use search intent to give searchers the best answer to their questions. The page that answers those questions best will rank on top. Search engines also understand subtle differences between keywords so you don’t have to create landing pages for all subtle variations of a keyword. You can just optimize a page for multiple keyphrases, synonyms, and related keyphrases.

Create an overview

We would advise you to build your page structure in a well-structured way – using a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Docs/Sheets is a great way to do this. Create a table then add your list of keywords. Using a table forces you to set up a structure and to make relevant landing pages. Put the search terms in the first column and add columns for the different levels of your site’s structure.

Create landing pages

Then, you’ll need to build a landing page for your search terms, but you don’t have to create all these pages immediately – it can be a long-term thing. The more specific your search term is, the further down into your site structure the term’s landing page belongs. The most important keywords will lead to your cornerstone content articles. These are the keywords you definitely want to rank for. To do this, you create the best possible content about that keyword – authoritative and all-encompassing, just like the ultimate guide you are reading right now. All your supporting articles will link to this cornerstone content. This should be part of your internal linking strategy, which Yoast SEO Premium can help you implement.

After completing your keyword research for SEO, you should have a clear overview of the terms people use and the terms you want the pages on your site to be found for. This overview should guide you in writing content for your website.

Long-term keyword strategy

No website should rely on one single keyword or one keyphrase for its traffic. You should use your mission as a starting point, then take our steps in carrying out proper keyword research and work towards a solid base: a keyword strategy. This section of our ultimate guide explains why it’s important to have a long-term keyword strategy.

How many keywords?

We can’t tell you the exact number of keywords you should have, but we can tell you that you need a lot of them – as many as you can think of. However, more than 1000 keywords is probably too many!

Even if you’re a reasonably small business, you’ll probably end up with a couple of hundred keywords. But there’s no need to create pages for all of these straight away. The great thing about having a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress is that you can add content bit by bit. Think about what keywords you want to rank for now, and which ones aren’t as important right away. Understand your priorities and plan the creation of your content.

Keep on reading: Managing a growing blog: content planning »

The importance of long-tail keyword strategy

Focusing on long-tail keywords should be an important part of a long-term keyword research strategy. Long-tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific (and usually longer) than more common keywords, often called ‘head’ keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they focus more on a specific product or topic. Read our post about the importance of long-tail keywords if you want to know why you should focus on long-tail keywords when optimizing your site.

Read more: Make friends with the long tail »

What is the competition doing?

Always keep an eye on the competition. Whether you should go after long-tail keywords, which are specific and consist of multiple words, or after head terms, largely depends on your competition. If the competition in your niche is high, you’ll have a hard time ranking on competitive head terms. If you have little competition, you’ll even be able to rank for head terms. So how do you determine your competition? What should you be looking for? There are two steps to take to properly assess how you compare to your competition:

1. Google and analyze your competition

2. Try, evaluate and try again.

1. Google and analyze your competition

Google the keywords that came out of your keyword research. Start with your most ‘head’ term. The most general one. Check out the search engine result page (SERP). These are the websites you’ll be competing against once you optimize your content for such a keyword. To check whether or not you’ll be able to compete with the websites on that result page, analyze the following things:

  • Are the websites professional websites? Are they company websites? Ask yourself whether or not you are an ‘equal’ to these companies. Does your website belong among these sites? Is your company of similar size and does it have as much influence in your niche?
  • Does the SERP show well-known brands? It’s harder to rank when you’re competing against sites with strong brand-names. If brands are known from TV or radio commercials, your chances to rank will become even smaller.
  • What about the content of these websites? Is the content well written and well optimized? How long are the articles on the sites? If your competition has poor content, you’ll have a larger chance to outrank them!
  • Are there any ads in Google? And how much is the pay-per-click in Google adwords? Search terms that have a high pay-per-click are usually also harder to rank for in the organic results.

How do you compare to the competition?

It all boils down to a single question: how does my website hold up, compared to the websites in the SERPs? Are you of equal size and marketing budget: go ahead and focus on those head terms. If not: try a more long-tail keyword.

The next step is to do the same analysis with a keyword that’s slightly more long tail. Longer and more specific search terms will generate less traffic, but ranking on those terms will be much easier. Focusing on a whole bunch of long-tail keywords combined could very well attract a lot of traffic. Once you’ve managed to rank for those long-tail keywords, aiming for more head terms will become a bit easier.

2. Try, evaluate and try again

Once you’ve done a thorough analysis of your chances to rank on a specific term, the next step is to write an amazing article and optimize it accordingly. And hit publish. Make sure you’ll attract some nice backlinks. And wait a little while. Check out your rankings. Does your article pop up? Did it hit the first page of Google’s SERPs? Or is it hidden away on page 2 or 3? Make sure to evaluate your articles in the SERPs. Google the terms you’ve optimized your articles for. Check whether or not your SEO is paying off!

If you’re not able to rank on the first page, try to write another article, focused on an (even) more long-tail keyword. Make it a little bit more specific, more niche. And see how that goes. Evaluate again. Continue this process until you hit that first page of the SERPs!

Ad hoc keyword research strategies

In an ideal world, you would do your keyword research, make a beautiful table and create landing pages for each one. Your site structure would be flawless and you would blog and write every day making your site rank higher and higher in Google. Unfortunately, we live in the real world.

Of course, your keyword research will not always be as extensive. And some posts or articles aren’t written as part of an awesome strategy, but just because the topic was in the news or something inspired you to write it. That’s just how these things work. But this doesn’t have to be a problem.

If you’re writing something that doesn’t exactly fit your strategy, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make that content rank. You could still use it to rank for something related to the terms in the list of your keyword strategy. Use tools like Google Trends to choose which keyword you’d like to rank for. At least take some time to think about how to make your article or blog fit your strategy. After all, if you are writing valuable content, you might as well make it rank!

Synonyms and related keywords

Our Yoast SEO Premium plugin allows you to optimize your content for synonyms and related keyphrases. Synonyms are direct replacement words for your focus keyphrase, while related keyphrases are words and concepts that are not a direct replacement but terms and phrases that deepen and broaden the understanding of your focus keyphrase. By using synonyms and related keyphrases in your text you can paint a complete picture of your focus keyphrase in your article. Remember, don’t use your focus keyword more than once. Not sure if you used a focus keyphrase before? The post why and how to export your focus keyphrases with Yoast SEO Premium explains how to get an overview of the focus keyphrases you used before and on what page.

Singular or plural focus keyword?

Should you aim for the singular or the plural keyword? Well, this depends on the query. As Google is learning more about search intent of your query, it is able to better guess what you’re looking for. For instance, if you search for book, you get a different result than if you search for books. Apparently Google thinks that in the first case you’re looking for a definition or certain stories, in the second case it believes you’re looking for books to buy. So make sure you know what you offer on your page and that it fits with the query and results Google gives on that query.

Yoast SEO Premium has word form support, so it automatically detects all the different forms of your focus keyphrase (known as keyword stemming). Now, you no longer have to optimize your post for a specific word form. Optimizing your post has become a much more natural process. However, there are reasons why you’d still want to optimize for a very specific word form of a keyword. In this case, you can put your focus keyphrase in quotes: “best books ever”. Yoast SEO will now only take that exact focus keyphrase into account when checking your content.

Keep reading: How to choose the perfect focus keyword »

Conclusion on keyword research for SEO

Keyword research should be the start of any sustainable SEO strategy. The result will be a long list of keywords for which you’d like to be found. But the hardest part is still ahead: writing all that content. You should write articles and blog posts on every single keyword you would like to be found for. That’s quite a challenge!

Read on: WordPress SEO: The definitive guide to higher rankings for WordPress sites »

The post Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide appeared first on Yoast.

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Yoast SEO Import & Export features

When you’re a web developer or SEO, working with many clients, you probably have a set of settings for Yoast SEO for WordPress that you prefer. You might have a default title template, for instance, default XML sitemap settings, etc. This post will teach you how to easily apply those settings to a site quickly using the Yoast SEO Import and Export features. In addition, you’ll meet a couple of other import and export features in Yoast SEO.

Making a reusable Yoast SEO Export file

Let’s make a reusable settings file! First, pick a site and set it up as you would any site, applying all of your default SEO settings. Then you go to the Yoast SEO Import and Export page (Yoast SEO → Tools → Import and Export). On this page, you’ll find a couple of tabs:

The Tools section has all the import and export tools you need

Click on Export for the first step. After that, click the blue button called Export Your Yoast SEO Settings. You’ll see you settings appear in the text field. Copy the contents of the field to a new plain text file. Filter out any site specific meta data and save the file in a location you can find it again.

In the file, please exclude taxonomy metadata, as you don’t want to include specific category meta descriptions and so forth. This is not really something you wish to apply to every site.

The secret of Yoast SEO Export files

The (not so secret) secret of Yoast SEO Export files is that a simple text file contains everything you need. It’ll look something like this:

All your settings in a plain text file

Each set of options starts with the option name in brackets, like [wpseo] and [wpseo_permalinks] in the example above. The reason you’ll want to edit it is because you want it to be reusable. So you’ll want to remove any and all site specific data, like a company logo & name, verification strings for Bing, Google, Yandex, etc.

Once you’ve made your changes, simply save the text file.

Import the Yoast SEO Export file

Now, on the site you want to apply these settings to, go to the Yoast SEO Import page (Yoast SEO → Tools → Import and Export, the first tab), open your new text file, copy its contents, paste it in the field and click Import settings. That’s it. Nothing more to it, you’ve easily applied all your default settings to your new site.

If you set up a lot of sites, this will save you valuable minutes every time you do so!

Import from other SEO plugins

If you are coming from another SEO plugin, you’re in luck. Yoast SEO automatically detects your old plugin and can import all your settings. You’ll be up and running in no-time.

Import and Export in Yoast SEO Premium

Yoast SEO Premium has several other options to import and export data, these include the possibility to export meta data about your content to CSV, and import and export redirects in a variety of ways.

Export keyphrase data to CSV

A cool addition to Yoast SEO Premium is the possibility to export data about your content to an CSV file. This way, you can use this giant overview for doing a content audit, for instance, or to quickly see which posts haven’t been optimized correctly. You can choose to export your post with the following options:

  • Export keyphrase scores
  • Export URL
  • Export title
  • Export SEO title
  • Export meta description
  • Export readability score

Import the CSV into Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel and start working!

Export your keyphrases and start auditing your content

Import and export redirects

A big time-saver if you’re working a lot with redirects: importing and exporting of redirects. Yoast SEO Premium users can import redirects in a number ways, like from well-known WordPress redirect plugins, to manually from an CSV file. You can also import your redirects directly from your .htaccess file. If you need to export your redirects to check up on these or move these to another site, you can export the data to a CSV.

Of course, we have an article on how to import redirects using Yoast SEO.

Read more: Why you should buy Yoast SEO Premium »

The post Yoast SEO Import & Export features appeared first on Yoast.

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25+ Shocking Remarks on Search & Social Media to Ruin the Holidays

Christmas tree lights that are just a bit blurred.

It’s the holiday season again. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are always a time when we are confronted with real life.

We can’t connect to Facebook all the time, tinkering with websites is frowned upon by partners, children and other relatives.

Writing blog posts doesn’t make much sense as nobody reads them anyway, being either on vacation or meeting with their families.

Yet some of us simply can’t give up on their online identity even during that time of the year. We are still professionals – even in awkward circumstances, aren’t we?

Yet here are some of the remarks that guarantee to ruin the holidays for you and your family. Use them at your own peril or simply remember to refrain from mentioning those.

Ah, You Work with Computers!

By now your family may already know that you work on the Internet. They may still consider you to be an IT person though. This is risky.

They will wonder why you can’t fix their Windows XP machine – it’s just 20 years old! Unless of course you can distract them by starting a conversation.

What can you talk about with people who more or less appreciate you but still just have only a very broad idea about your daily business?

You have to start the conversation before they begin asking questions about you! What to tell them? Hard to say – I can certainly warn you not to say things that will ruin the rest of the holidays for you and everybody else.

I compiled 25+ shocking remarks about search, social media, Facebook & Google that will certainly ruin your holidays. Keep clear of them!

Educating Your Family

You want to spread the word about technology. After all it means progress! Yet some things better remain unsaid. Don’t assume that what you say will also be understood the way you meant it.

You probably live in a city and are surrounded by other hip people who work in technology jobs. You are probably still puzzled how the US electorate could vote for Trump or the Brits voluntarily choose to leave the EU. You are probably an arrogant hipster. Shut up and listen.

always make people understand how they are affected by what you do and by the Internet.

Don’t try to surprise them or even shock them with your superior knowledge of all things Internet.

You may know a lot of buzzwords and even grasp same of the concepts behind them. For the others they are merely magic spells and downright scary. Most people still assume that

  • blogging is not a real job
  • social media is a waste of time
  • search engine optimization is spam.

Anything else that is even more surprising might cause real harm. Heart attacks and divorces are much more common during the holidays than the rest of the year. Beware! Here are the stupid remarks that will get you in trouble.

Search

  • Have you ever asked yourself why the top Google result is there? In most cases it’s due to search engine optimization. Otherwise it’s an ad or Google owned service.
  • Your mum sees different search results from you. Why? Google knows where you live and what you have searched in the past.
  • Any website can make money. It doesn’t have to sell something. On the Internet you can earn money from “nothing” when your site ranks on Google.
  • Search engine optimization is neither advertising nor marketing – it’s not about buying ads. Google optimization is like learning how to drive while Google ads are like paying for a taxi.
  • All those who don’t like SEO should use the noindex meta tag on their sites. It prevents them from spamming the search results themselves.

Social Media

  • What would Jesus do if he lived today? He would use social media. Like Jesus you can share things without giving them away and the more you share the more they multiply.
  • Most of the blog posts written 20 years ago were as long as Facebook updates today. Thus everybody who can use Facebook can blog or actually already blogs.
  • You do not use social media – social media uses you. In cases where a tool is free you are not the customer you are the product they sell. It can be your content, your social relations, your data or all three.
  • The more you oppose something on social media like Twitter the more popular it gets! When you hate something, don’t mention it all!
  • Most social media sites use algorithms now. What does it mean? They only show you things you like and agree with. It’s called a filter bubble.

Facebook

  • The number one use of Facebook for parents is to spy on their kids. That’s why kids use Snapchat now where they can delete messages automatically.
  • Did you know that Facebook tracks you everywhere on the Web once you’re logged in?
  • You can’t delete a Facebook account. Your data stays with Facebook forever. You just lose control of it when discontinuing your Facebook account.
  • What is the business model of Facebook? Selling your friends and their private information to advertisers. Facebook even targets vulnerable teens.
  • Everything you post on Facebook is public. A friend of yours just needs to share your drunk images on his account publicly.
  • Facebook is already on the way down in the US. It sends less traffic to publishers than Google after years of dominance. It’s already on the same path as MySpace or Friendster.
  • Not being on Facebook is like not even having a TV set a few years back.
  • Facebook uses your face to advertise third party products.
  • Facebook face recognition software can recognize you on these drunk images automatically.

Google

  • Google is not a search engine. It’s not an Internet company. It’s an advertising firm. It earns more than 95% revenue from text ads. Saying Google is a search engine is like saying that McDonalds is about real estate or agriculture.
  • You can search and browse the Web without all the distracting ads from Google if you want. Just use DuckDuckGo instead and choose to hide ads.
  • Nothing you search on Google is private. They keep your search logs for 18 months. According to the Patriot Act they have to hand over the data to US authorities when asked for. Even when you’re outside the US.
  • Do you think it’s great to work for Google? They work 60+h a week. It must be great then. Who outside of China wants to work such long hours?
  • Google has discontinued more than hundreds of products and features. They might discontinue the free service you use any day.
  • Do you know what the second largest search engine is? It’s YouTube. It’s also owned by Google btw.
  • Google is not the only good search engine. You may know Bing or Yahoo but have you tried DuckDuckGo or Ecosia?

Don’t be rude but don’t let others to be rude either

Of course you have to be gentle to your family members. Believe me, the holiday season is the time of the year when everybody wants to ask

  • why you are “spamming Google”
  • when you will get “a real job”
  • why you didn’t befriend them on Facebook

Indeed you are far better off by deciding what the topic of your conversation is. Why not talk about your healthy hobbies. Yoga!

Suggest to show them right away. Immediately the room will become empty. Also some of the remarks above can actually end the conversation.

In case you wondered: all of these remarks are true! I just didn’t just want to make a link list to prove it. Look them up yourself. Nonetheless they are shocking. The truth is better not divulged during the holidays though!

The post 25+ Shocking Remarks on Search & Social Media to Ruin the Holidays appeared first on SEO 2.0.

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New Keyword Tool

Our keyword tool is updated periodically. We recently updated it once more.

For comparison sake, the old keyword tool looked like this

Whereas the new keyword tool looks like this

The upsides of the new keyword tool are:

  • fresher data from this year
  • more granular data on ad bids vs click prices
  • lists ad clickthrough rate
  • more granular estimates of Google AdWords advertiser ad bids
  • more emphasis on commercial oriented keywords

With the new columns of [ad spend] and [traffic value] here is how we estimate those.

  • paid search ad spend: search ad clicks * CPC
  • organic search traffic value: ad impressions * 0.5 * (100% – ad CTR) * CPC

The first of those two is rather self explanatory. The second is a bit more complex. It starts with the assumption that about half of all searches do not get any clicks, then it subtracts the paid clicks from the total remaining pool of clicks & multiplies that by the cost per click.

The new data also has some drawbacks:

  • Rather than listing search counts specifically it lists relative ranges like low, very high, etc.
  • Since it tends to tilt more toward keywords with ad impressions, it may not have coverage for some longer tail informational keywords.

For any keyword where there is insufficient coverage we re-query the old keyword database for data & merge it across. You will know if data came from the new database if the first column says something like low or high & the data came from the older database if there are specific search counts in the first column

For a limited time we are still allowing access to both keyword tools, though we anticipate removing access to the old keyword tool in the future once we have collected plenty of feedback on the new keyword tool. Please feel free to leave your feedback in the below comments.

One of the cool features of the new keyword tools worth highlighting further is the difference between estimated bid prices & estimated click prices. In the following screenshot you can see how Amazon is estimated as having a much higher bid price than actual click price, largely because due to low keyword relevancy entities other than the official brand being arbitraged by Google require much higher bids to appear on competing popular trademark terms.

Historically, this difference between bid price & click price was a big source of noise on lists of the most valuable keywords.

Recently some advertisers have started complaining about the “Google shakedown” from how many brand-driven searches are simply leaving the .com part off of a web address in Chrome & then being forced to pay Google for their own pre-existing brand equity.

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