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2. Are you sure the terms that are ranking are terms that people actually search for? Have you ever received traffic from those phrases before?
3. No, I've not seen this situation but it is interesting, if true.
The keywords we are ranking for shows this amount of monthly Traffic
sunny_kat - Where is the data coming from? When you say "shows," I'm not clear what you mean by that. Are these numbers search data you're getting from a keyword tool, or are these actual stats of visits you're getting from other search engines, excluding Google?
There are the stats which I am getting from Overture....
I thought that might be your answer.
Each keyword tool has its own idiosyncracies. Generally, most tools are useful for indicating relative frequencies of searches. None, IMO, are useful for providing accurate predictions of traffic.
Overture stats are not necessarily a good predictor of the click-throughs that your serp listing will produce. Overture numbers are often skewed by the way Yahoo/Overture lumps together variations of a search, and by webmasters checking for position.
On Overture, the numbers on the most commercially desirable phrases tend to get skewed upwards exponentially, as those searches are checked the most frequently. If a phrase is three times as popular as the next phrase down, eg, it's also three times as likely to be checked, which might dramatically inflate the numbers that you see.
In any phrase area, you have to watch Overture data carefully for patterns that indicate skewing. Long and unlikely multi-word searches with high numbers, or consistent numbers from month to month, are one such indication that the numbers in that area are not to be trusted.
Additionally, these numbers are the number of searches... not the traffic that you should expect.
Where you rank, how enticing your title and snippets are, and how attractive the competition above you is, will all affect the click-through rate.
Even on Google, which has much more search traffic than Yahoo, the click-through rate at the bottom of page one might be a very small percentage of the numbers you're seeing in Overture.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:54 am (utc) on June 9, 2007]
Studying the stats leads me to believe that Overture data can be up to 10 times over true demand even in Google.
It can still be useful to compare the numbers - for instance term A is twice as popular as term B. But, as said above, the more popular a term the more likely people are to check rankings. Why Overture don't introduce a captcha I really don't know. The tool is so abused. If you are really looking in-depth at a term group you see loads of unlikely looking 6 and 7 word search terms that don't actually exist - terrible SEOs have optimised their pages for these terms and then check rankings! Proper tail wagging dog sceanrio.
Other things to be wary of - Overture doesn't record word order so
"plumber london" and "london plumber" show as one term. "plumber london2 coudl have 4 to 5 times the demand of "london plumber"
Last they don't take plurals into accoutn and again you can have huge differences in demand for plurals over singular search terms.
In short - don't trust it!
They may have already passed that threshold. More often than not I've been having to switch to other search engines when I'm trying to find something. Sucks.
So - what do you folks reckon to be best way to identify the top "target" keywords?
A Google pay per click campaign is in my view the best *single* way.
Overture are pretty unreliable as explained. I had a year's subscription to Wordtracker which I havebn't renewed because I found it no better - in fact actually worse because it misses alot of phrases.
Because their data comes from meta search engines which (although they use Google and Yahoo) have a tiny 0.5% market share they miss a lot of terms. They're even more useless if you're in the UK because until recently they only had global data (they have got a new UK specific tool which I might try out).
So really I would recommend using as many different sources as you can but only to really trust 'live' data rather than tools. So Google Adwords (because it is the biggest single market), then Overture PPC and keyword tools, and once you are up and running Google webmasters (although this also seems to be rather random) and - VERY IMPORTANT - your web stats.