Jul 18 2008

Google reveals their search volume data… FINALLY!

Seemingly out of thin air Google has decided to reveal their search volume data to the public. I don’t know about you but I am very excited about this. No more guessing or using highly inaccurate tools such as overture yahoo keyword tool. Over and over I hear common, everyday people say “Google it!” and I think this new revealing of google search data proves that is exactly what we do. Just for illustration purposes I want to show you just how radically different Googles actual search volume is compared to Yahoo or MSN and how this new data can help us be more accurate in how and where we compete in growingly competitive industry.
If you have ever wanted to know the search volume data for Google your prayers have been heard or atleast your getting your wish. You can now see the the actual search volume for any keywords in Google. I don’t know about you but this tool just went up to my number two keyword tool over night. I will explain later what tool is my number one keyword tool and exactly why.

Just for the sake of it I did a quick search on Overture for the keyword ‘seo’ and here is what I got…
keyword seo in oveture search tool

I am getting a search volume of about 18K queries. Keep in mind this is data gained over the past 12 months. Now take a look at the new Google released search volume data. Goto https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and enter the keyword seo… here is the results I got.

Notice the difference? Google gets 1.2 million search queries for a keyword Yahoo is only getting 20K for… that is absolutely amazing. I have seen this over and over in my rankings on Google and Yahoo… I can get 500 hits for one keyword on Google and Yahoo will send only a couple hits in a whole month.

Now that I have shown you the difference in the search volume between Google and Yahoo let me show you what this tool can really do. Okay lets start off by doing some keyword research for a laptop bag supplier which specializes in leather bags. So that appears to be our main keyword.
So lets enter that into the tool and get some suggestions.

keyword suggestions in google adwords search tool

Right away I find two additional keywords worth targeting…

leather computer bags and
leather laptop cases

In june the first keyword received 9,900 queries in Google and it averages 14,800. If you click the “Choose columns to display” dropdown menu and click “show search volume trends” it will show a graph depicting the trends… unfortunately and this is something I hope Google will rectify soon, but currently it only gives a graph bar for the trends when IMO mouseover should give a numeric value for each month depicted in the trends graph… but I can live without that for now.

What I do like about the current situation of the tool is it gives you the previous months search volume and the trend data and also the average data… this helps you to eliminate keywords which might have had a temporary spike in search volume in one month which you will likely not see again for some time. This is very important to me… another thing that I really like about this tool which really should be in ANY keyword tool is the ability to sort results by search volume or keyword in alphabetical order. But using this tool to find high traffic keywords and then comparing trend data will be highly useful to me in the coming months. I know I will be using this tool all the time!

Okay back to our results… I have compiled a list of part of the keyword suggestions google has provided, I did not bother to try and sort them or anything, I pretty much left them raw. And here it is…

keyword suggestions lists in google adwords search tool
Click this link for a larger image:

One thing that is interesting to me is the vast difference in the singular and plural searches for certain keywords. I have heard some seo claim that they are the same but this can be easily disproved by the fact that searches for the different versions produce totally different results(not in all cases obviously but in the case of the leather briefcase/s keyword it is)

I have taken a small list out of what google has presented in suggestions… I am using this only as a representation and not as a keyword research project for laptop bags. Again if you notice the singular and plural forms listed separately note that this is not a mistake and you as an seo should always make sure you rank for both versions.

Of course being a adwords tool it the tool gives some invaluable info on advertiser competition… if your a totally organic man(or woman) than you may feel this does not pertain to you but this can be a good indicator of the organic competition as well… keywords with low ppc competition are likely to have little organic competition as well. So keep this in mind when using this tool.

Okay my suggestions would be…
1.) Ability to select keywords and export only those selected keywords to csv or text file instead of having to export the whole list.
2.) The ability to delete keywords from the list which you feel are not related to your target. This could prove invaluable when creating a list of kewords to target as manually deleting later could prove a time waster.
3.) Actual search volume data in the trend graph… this can be guessed at but I always like specific and accurate data.
4.) The ability to form groups of keywords and export them together would also be nice.

These suggestions are not necessarily for Google, they are for anyone who will make a tool which queries the Google Adwords Search Volume tool.

So my overall opinion of this tool is, this is a great step in understanding the search volume of Google and the differences between that data and other engines. This can prove very valuable to you in your keyword researching. Like I said previously, this tool has now become my #2 keyword research tool. Keyword Elite is still my #1 as it is the fastest way for me to build a list of targeted keywords… however I will probably use the two tools side-by-side as they will save me countless hours and tons of money.

If you have any comments on this tool please comment. Feel free to email questions or comments regarding Keyword Elite as well.

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12 Comments on this post


  1. Christian Saborio said:

    Great post, thanks!

    I think your links are a bit screwed after the overture graphics, the whole paragraphs are links and their target seems not to be in accordance.

    July 21st, 2008 at 6:30 am
  2. visio said:

    Thanks for the headsup Christian!

    July 21st, 2008 at 9:50 am
  3. Sam said:

    I agree it’s great news but it seems like the numbers are overly inflated as I feel with all these keyword tools and was just wondering what you thought of that?

    I only say this because 1 keyword phrase shows near 5,000 a month from Wordtracker and 40,000 from Google.
    I used to be #1 for this phrase and got no more than 1,500 visits from that search a month. Now I am bouncing anywhere from #1-#5 and get near 700 visits a month from that phrase. So I am just confused and looking for some insight.

    Thank you!

    July 24th, 2008 at 7:24 pm
  4. Internet Marketing Fundamentals said:

    Daniel here. Thanks for the great information on Google’s search data. I really enjoyed this very informative blog post on keyword research. I have mostly relied on Overture in the past for search data. Another weapon in my arensenal.


    Daniel Tetreault.

    July 25th, 2008 at 5:39 pm
  5. Daniel Tetreault said:

    Ooops I forgot to ask you Visio (I am assuming that’s your name), do you know where to find this Overture Keyword? I keep going to search marketing centre at Yahoo! but I can never find it. This online keyword suggestion tool keeps moving. Could you provide a link for me and your readers too?


    July 25th, 2008 at 5:42 pm
  6. visio said:

    @ Sam actually that doesn’t necessarily mean it is inflated. You figure that is what, about 12 and a half percent of all the searchers end in your site… that means 87.5% are either clicking one of the other 9 results, clicking the PPC or leaving before doing any of the above.

    This can mean you have a very poor listing, it could mean that is the average for a 1st place ranking for that specific niche/keyword. From what I have seen most sites average about 5-25% of total searches when they have a 1-3 position. This is not always the case, sometimes anywhere from 50-75% can be seen but those should be seen as ideal and uncommon situations especially when your dealing with 100s of thousands of searches. So in answer to your question I think your basing your reaction on little data. I have not had months to really analyze the data and compare it with all my rankings so I can’t guarantee that it is completely accurate which would be quite hard to do. But from what I have seen it appears to be pretty close.

    I can make a small suggestion… take a few keywords and change your title and description, try and analyze your niche and find the best converting description and title, make sure you give it atleast a month to get real data and keep trying different ads till you have got one that converts better than the rest. In some situations you will not notice a difference or only a little difference… in others you will notice a increase of 20-60% which can be quite exciting after a simple change of your meta description and title.

    @ Dan – Thank you! My name is actually Randy, Visio is my pseudonym. I haven’t used the Overture tool in like 5 months, I use Keyword Elite and Keyword Discovery(check my reviews in the sidebar) but I was looking for it here recently and couldn’t find it so I am not sure if it is still available or not. But there are still tools such as Seobook which query the data from the Overture tool. So can’t help you there but as far as I am concerned it is outdated technology, it is waste of time to study the overture tool since it is really a poor source of data. Now that I have access to Google I will not even use Yahoo since I do not do any seo for yahoo.

    Thanks for the comments!

    July 27th, 2008 at 2:02 am
  7. Sam said:

    Thanks for that response visio.
    Great idea you said. I should play around with my title etc and see how that affects the ctr.
    Also, maybe many searches are from competitors (and myself) searching that keyword phrase SO OFTEN just to see everyones ranking spot and not click anything which would make the #’s appear much higher than actual clicks.

    August 2nd, 2008 at 7:03 pm
  8. NAFF said:

    Hi,Thanks for sharing this nice post with have a good article….

    August 6th, 2009 at 8:42 am
  9. jay @ work at home said:

    I love Google keyword tool a lot better than overture.

    August 16th, 2009 at 2:46 pm
  10. drywall stilts said:

    I can’t guarantee that it is exceptionally accurate which would be quite hard to do.But from what I have seen it looks like it is very close… many many thanks…

    May 21st, 2012 at 6:39 am
  11. drywall stilts said:

    Interesting to know that Google has decided to reveal their search volume data.

    June 12th, 2012 at 10:18 am
  12. drywall stilts said:

    This is a very good decision by Google because now the users can see search volume data of the google.

    July 2nd, 2012 at 5:23 am


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