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Thread: Google AdWords Keyword Tool External vs. Actual Traffic Numbers

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    Will.Spencer's Avatar
    Will.Spencer is offline Retired
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    Google AdWords Keyword Tool External vs. Actual Traffic Numbers

    Have you been using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool External to research keyword volumes -- and wondering how closely they approximate reality?

    I was -- and here's my solution. I made a list of keywords for which I rank #1 -- and have ranked #1 with no fluctuations over the last month.

    I looked up each of those keywords in Google's AdWords Keyword Tool External and I looked up each of those keywords in Google Analytics.

    In GAKTE, I:

    • Unchecked "Use synonyms"
    • Checked "Don't show ideas for new keywords. I only want to see data about the keywords I entered."
    • Set the Match Type to Exact

    The resulting Global Monthly Search Volume column shows the approximate average monthly number of search queries matching each keyword result.

    I compared the results of that column to the number of visitors which Google Analytics reported coming in via each keyword over the last month.

    And the magic number is... <drum-roll.mp3> ... 28.06%.

    If you rank #1 in Google, you can expect to receive 28.06% of the Exact Match Global Monthly Search Volume as reported by the Google AdWords Keyword Tool External.

    The attached shows that the percentages fluctuated wildly -- from 2.4% to 194.10%!
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    Loko (24 May, 2009), m42 (23 May, 2009), mixke (24 May, 2009)

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    Great analysis Will! Very interesting.

    One thing though... wouldn't it make more sense to compare your last month traffic data from Analytics to the "Local Search Volume: April" colummn in GAKTE? That way you would be comparing the same month's data.

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    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    I wanted to avoid "Local" search volume, only because Analytics gives me "Global" data.
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    But if you select the country as "All Countries and Territories" in the keyword tool, then the "Local Search Volume: April" effectively shows you the "Global" data for April. At least that's how I understand it.

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    mixke is offline Net Builder
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    Great stuff, Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Will.Spencer View Post
    The attached shows that the percentages fluctuated wildly -- from 2.4% to 194.10%!
    I thought it would be close to 80% since they claim it to be approximate average number of monthly searches. Hmm, do we have a reliable source for estimating traffic for a keyword?
    Need some time to handle deferred joining date by three big IT companies.

    If your work is still pending, I'll soon get in touch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mixke View Post
    I thought it would be close to 80% since they claim it to be approximate average number of monthly searches. Hmm, do we have a reliable source for estimating traffic for a keyword?
    I thought that the Google AdWords Keyword Tool External was the most reliable source.
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    mixke is offline Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will.Spencer View Post
    I made a list of keywords for which I rank #1 -- and have ranked #1 with no fluctuations over the last month.
    You ranked #1 globally? No fluctuation what so ever when searched from any country?
    Quote Originally Posted by Will.Spencer View Post
    I thought that the Google AdWords Keyword Tool External was the most reliable source.
    Yea, I've also been relying on it for making sites with the purpose of generating passive income. Duh.
    Need some time to handle deferred joining date by three big IT companies.

    If your work is still pending, I'll soon get in touch.

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    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixke View Post
    You ranked #1 globally? No fluctuation what so ever when searched from any country?
    No fluctuations using the SOAP API.

    I don't do a lot of searching from Burkina Faso.

    Quote Originally Posted by mixke View Post
    Yea, I've also been relying on it for making sites with the purpose of generating passive income. Duh.
    That's what is so distressing about these results -- especially the huge range seen in the individual results.
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    Interesting numbers Will.

    Do you see a trend in the GMSV vs Reality with certain keywords? I am thinking about the cases when people do not tend to click on the #1 position. Is it subject related, culture related or simply a matter of site description ?

    And, the difference of GMSV vs Reality which could be because of the rounding off of numbers of GMSV and the statistical method used.

    I guess google will never reveal what exactly is going on in that black box

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    Few months ago google keyword data showed much more realistic results. For example two of my sites gots 85% match from google keyword tool. Now I checked its around number Will said.

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