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Keywords and Adwords Spy Sites? Please help me understand
Client found a site and they have inaccurate info. Help

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 4:19 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a client that found a site called <snip - a site that compiles reports about people's PPC marketing etc>. They went there and like most people that don't know much about SEO/SEM, they started to have a cow because this site says that their top ranking keywords are for something other than what we are targeting for their PPC campaign. I've been working with this client for years and she is a very difficult person to deal with as she is one of those people that wants to do things her way instead of the right way (I'm sure you can all relate). Anyway, after researching this site and looking at the stats they have listed for her I realized that they are all just estimates of what they think is going on (extreme estimates at that). So now I have to spend time on damage control as this site has put negative info in her head that isn't accurate in order to try and get her to spend money with them and get their "Full" report.

Have any of you had this problem? If so, with <snip> or another? If another, which? What did you do to control your client? Did you do anything to get the site to stop listing your client? I'm a little unsure of what step to take next, but it worries me that there is a site out there giving away information that is supposed to be protected by Google.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks - Saxman

[edited by: buckworks at 6:13 pm (utc) on Sep. 17, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics [/edit]



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 3746444 posted 4:31 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

All I can say is that site (<snip>) is not accurate information.

[edited by: buckworks at 6:14 pm (utc) on Sep. 17, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics [/edit]


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 5:28 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would explain to the client that the information they see is not necessarily accurtae in the sense that you are activley targeting those keywords. What a lot of peop;e forget is that site likt that are giving you ads for everykeyword that served your ads. This includes phrase and broad match. To truly know where your ads are serving you should look in to the search query reports. You will find in most cases that these keywords you have no intention of bidding on or targeting are falling under the umbrella of braod and phrase matching. You can counter this by finding the irelevant keywords and adding them as negatives in coresponding campaign . Essentially you can turn this negative issue into a money saving positive if you play your cards right. I have eliminated well over 250k in ad spend in less than 1 year by doing this. And if you really know your niche you should know what makes sense to keep and lose and your clinet should have enough sense to recognize that you are not intentioanlly doing bidding on nonsense.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 5:46 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've found that <snip> almost always misses the mark. For kicks I logged into <snip> after reading this thread and ran a report on one of our widget sites. Our supposed ad budget was off by an entire decimal point, it couldn't find any organic competitors, and most of the estimated averages were complete garbage.

[edited by: buckworks at 6:15 pm (utc) on Sep. 17, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics [/edit]


WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 6:21 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Folks, there's more than one site that offers a similar "service". Please stick to discussing general principles instead of kicking around any one site in particular.

I agree with 300m that even though their info is shallow and incomplete they can provide useful insights for fine-tuning your campaigns.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 3746444 posted 6:50 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I looked at a couple of these sites once; they were so wildly inaccurate that I never went back. I don't miss 'em.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 3746444 posted 6:54 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

If shallow and incomplete = incorrect then yes that site's info is shallow and incomplete. The mention specific keywords for a client that that client NEVER bid on. Also I just did a check on a keyword I bit on and it estimates the daily click volume to be 5.53-7.00 Yesterday that keyword generated 113 clicks, so that's how shallow and incomplete that site (and others') can be. That site must be reporting data from 2006. The only thing I would use that site for is the Top Competitors Names - and again it's probably accurate if you want to know about 2 year old data. To get accurate data you have to do it manually. Want to know who your top organic and paid competitors are? Go to Google and do searches. If you did a report based on data from that site and handed it to your boss you would be fired.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 3:13 am on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

there are uses for some of these sites
like creating negative keyword lists

only one of them has halfway accurate data though
or canadian data

the problem is broad match and expanded (auto) match means the data needs to be intelligently parsed by a human to be worthwhile

and then again $90.00 a month isnt cheap


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 12:53 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone. This is exactly what I needed (and expected) to hear. I just wanted it confirmed.

Bucksworth - sorry about the name dropping. My bad :(


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 3:25 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Human nature makes many of us want to believe that sneaky people are smart... it's hard to combat this issue with some folks, they want evidence to debunk the "facts" that the sneak publishes... truth is, they rely on words like "spy" to enhance that leaning in people... they want them to think, OOOoooohhhhh, a short cut to success, some brilliant guy has figured out how to outfox all my competitors...

If that were true, and you were that guy or gal, would you sell that information via subscription? If so, then you're an idiot. If you held the secret key to whomping everyone in the online ecommerce search efforts, you'd guard that info and open up store after store after store and be a gazillionaire...

The secret to these services is that they dull your perceived need for experimenting on what works best for you and your visitors making you an uninformed follower... when the goal is to lead.

I say phooey on that.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 4:30 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am amazed how people take these kind of sites. Many take the position that its shady, others say its not accurate, others like it. I am of the opinion that it is a tool just like anything else one would use to make money online via marketing. Its not the end all be all, not the get rich quick, and most certainly not the only tool to use, but to discount it and say its worthless really suprises me.

I work for a company that has been on the inc 500 list 2 years in a row and then moved to the inc 5000 year after year. I dont take a report like that and say hey this is how we make money, i take those keywords from our own account and say "by eliminating these keywords from ever appearing again we can save money" and then we can raise bids across the board and dominate without too much of an increase in ad spend. Thats the value proposition for me, why anyone would not use a tool like that to save money does not compute for me ;¦?

My point is that people should not be considered as an idiot if they use it for what it is, a good negative keyword tool.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3746444 posted 5:32 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

300m - Point Taken, but alot of us don't need to use negative keywords. We already know where our niche is and we set up our campaigns for those specific keywords and not the "broad" that G gives us the option to use. I don't think anyone is calling anyone an idiot for using it. I think that if you where to use it the way you are talking about I could maybe see your point, but in my case I target specific keywords as an "exact match" eliminating the need for negative keywords.

- Saxman

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