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"Buy blue widgets" or "blue widget sales."
Which is searched more?

 5:15 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

This question came up when I was discussing keywords with someone starting a new e-commerce site. I would have thought if someone was looking to purchase a blue widget, "blue widget sales" would be the most likely search. The other person thought "buy blue widgets", as that is what the person wants to do.

And YES I realize best strategy is to try and come up high for both. I was just wondering if either is used substantially more.


jeremy goodrich

 5:18 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Doing SEO / SEM? And do you still feel dirty? :)

I would say, use the available keyword resources to research which one comes up higher -> use adwords tool, to see which has the higher cost per click.

Assuming a relatively full market, the cost per click should let you know quickly which is the more valuable of a phrase.


 5:28 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

my wife is involved with some marketing classes required by her employer and in a class size of about 45... they had a discussion on this matter and were asked to write the phrase they would type into a SE to look for 5 different products ranging from easy to find competitive products to obscure and hard to find. the results were very broad and creative for the obscure items and the easy to find items were almost all the same, simply the name of the item. but, it was noted that the word "buy" was associated with more phrases than any other tag-word in all the items being searched.


 1:36 am on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


This is just a thought, but I would think a lot would depend on what “widget” was. If it were an important purchase like a house, boat, car, or pet then I think the “sales” one would be the most frequently searched. If it were something small like a book, CD, or pen then I think the “buy” would be the most frequently searched.

Of course you can always look at actual data from Wordtracker, Overture tool, etc. but to really settle the score you could use Adwords and make sure both words are always on the first page of Google. Then the one with the most impressions wins – maybe you could even see which one converts better while you are at it.


 2:40 am on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Doing SEO / SEM? And do you still feel dirty?

Perhaps I should rephrase that to include this was all just a dream, and it never really happened. ;)

From the replies I see here, it looks like "buy" is commonly used. Personally, this makes no sense to me. When you use a SE, the idea is to find pages that match the query. If I want to buy a widget, then I want a page that sells them. To me the search "buy widgets" would be looking for a page where someone was looking to purchase second hand widgets or such. However, from seeing actual logs real people search in weird ways. Thus, covering all likely possibilities makes sense.


 1:27 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

spellweb.com is free and looks a two versions to determine which is searched more - only catch is it doesn't look at google. but it seems to be a good place to start.


 1:32 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

When you use a SE, the idea is to find pages that match the query.

Ah, but you already know too much. The common idea is to find a page that fulfills your desire. Matching a query to actual page content? How geeky!


 1:50 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

> When you use a SE, the idea is to find pages that match the query.

I think you have it the wrong way round.

When you design a page, the idea is to match the potential query. As many have pointed out, the buyer wants to buy a widget. He does not really give a damn that you are , in fact, trying to sell it. He wants to buy.


 8:59 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why don't you use overture and google keyword suggestion tools to find out? I just checked a few words, and there is lots of variation, purchase and sale/s usually being first, and 'buy' often not listed at all (too few searches.) Again I'm sure it varies a lot depending on the keyword.


Robert Charlton

 7:18 am on Jul 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

If it were an important purchase like a house, boat, car, or pet then I think the “sales” one would be the most frequently searched.

This is right in line with some research I'd done for some high ticket items on both Google and Overture.

Depending on the items, you might also get searches for just plain "widgets," "adjective widgets," or "widgets for sale."

Funny... it would never occur to me to search with the word "buy," which isn't to argue that others don't.

Hardwood Guy

 1:50 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've found cost and price are attractive words. Afterall before someone buys, cost and price is always an issue.


 6:50 am on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Buy Widget is Certainly more popular. I know this bcoz that's what I used before I became corrupted and Became an SEO ;) As many have said the user mentality is to buy something. And yes it differs from widget to widget :)


 5:31 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Reading the google FAQ earlier one of the questions was whether it's better to use underscore or hyphen for filenames. The answer is that this changes month by month.

It seems to me that something like "buy" or "sales" could also be fickle because really they mean the same thing.

Like what others have suggested in the post, online I'd do the following:
1) overture/webtracker search results for previous months.
2) Adwords on the two terms
**These two should give you a good indication of which is the more popular term currently
3) I'd also check what competitors are using. Maybe "buy" is more searched but "sales" is underexploited and would be an easy target.
4) Also what you can do is look at what offline advertising mediums such as magazines, tv, radio etc. are currently using. If someone has just listened to a radio advertisement to "Buy xyz widgets from companyx now cheaper than ever!", guess which term they are more likely to search out.

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