Many online marketers exclusively use Google’s free keyword research tool to do their online keyword research falsely believing it will provide accurate enough results to invest their time and money into using it. For instance they’ll enter a keyword into the search box, press submit and receive hundreds of related keywords or keyword phrases showing how many searches each keyword receives for that month. They’ll then use these keywords in their content hoping the web page will eventually get them ranked on the first page of Google and other search engines. The problem is…it doesn’t always work out that way because the results can be grossly inaccurate.
5 Disadvantages for Using the Google Keyword Research Tool
1. Inaccurate number of searches
The Google tool is designed around PPC impressions and data, and the competition metrics it provides are generally more relevant to paid search than organic results (those that appear on the left side of search engine results pages).
The search numbers also include a ton of automated searches from software generating reports. These are not humans searching for information but robots running reports that artificially inflate search totals.
2. The default settings are set to Broad Match
Most people using this tool are not aware the default settings are set to Broad Match. This means individual words are included with plurals, synonyms and other relevant keyword variations. For example if you do a search on “skinny red shoes” it will include all the searches for any of the individual words, “skinny” “red” or “shoes” or any combination of them in a phrase.
If you’re going to use the Google keyword research tool check the “Exact Match” box to receive more accurate results than broad match.
3. Global monthly searches differ from local monthly searches
Global monthly searches display how often people from all over the world searched for a keyword. Google shows the average number of searches over 12 months for each keyword in all locations, languages, devices, and keyword match types.
Local monthly searches display the number of searches for the keyword that meet certain criteria ie a particular geographic location.
If I enter “web design” in the Google Keyword Tool I receive 7,480,000 global monthly searches and 1,830,000 local monthly searches.
The default settings for searches deliver overinflated search counts and inaccurate data.
4. Poor indication of competition
The competition column displays whether a keyword has high, medium or low competition which doesn’t mean much because it doesn’t provide specific numbers or locations. If you use the keyword tool while logged in to your Google AdWords account it will display a green bar indicating the local search trends of your keyword.
5. Approximate Cost Per Click (CPC)
This metric refers to the amount an advertiser will pay for each click (CPC or cost per click) for a specific keyword. It only provides a rough indication of what a keyword will cost because after you activate your Google AdWords campaign the CPC is usually much less. Don’t assume what you see displayed within the keyword tool is what you actually pay.
If the Google Tool is the only keyword research tool you have at your disposal then use it for getting a rough idea of the number of searches for your keywords. If you want to receive more data from it ie CPC or local search trends, log in to your AdWords account.
The keyword tool I personally use and recommend is:
Market Samurai (paid and free trial)
Keyword Research 101 – Where to Begin?
How To Market Your Website Without Relying On Google
Keyword Research – Irrelevant Keywords Can Be Costly
SEO Rankings: How to Outrank Your Competitors in the Search Engines
How To Research The Market Value Of Any Keyword
SEO 101 – How To Begin A Search Engine Optimization Campaign
How to Choose the Right Niche to Start an Online Business
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