How Anomalies In Search Trends Could Change Your Product Roadmap

By way of example, let’s talk about how search data can have a potential impact on your enterprise, when you share your findings with your product development teams.

I recently ran a number of keyword reports for the Adobe SearchCenter product management team and I was shocked by what I found. What jumped out at me immediately was the volume of searches on the keyword “click fraud”.

That term has recently gained momentum and currently dwarfs all other terms related to search marketing solutions by an order of magnitude. Here is a trend from Google Insights for Search that shows the growth in the term “click fraud”.

Google Insights for Search - "Click Fraud" query<

I am puzzled over this trend and don’t have a great answer for why this term has gained so much momentum. The recent increase in traffic was confirmed by our own Adwords data and from the Google traffic estimator. There is currently a large untapped market of people searching for the term “click fraud”.

From everything we have seen, the data from Google Traffic Estimator below is accurate, and shows that [click fraud] currently has the potential to drive 500 times more traffic than even general terms like PPC. I remember click fraud being a hot topic in search marketing five years ago, but I haven’t heard anything about it recently. I did notice that when I drill into “Internet & telecom” in the category filter it looks more like what I would expect, but it does not explain why there is a large segment of people out there searching for this term.

I haven’t been able to identify any parallel meanings for this term that might not be related to search marketing. When I do a Google search for the term “click fraud” I only see a few outdated articles from 2004 and 2006 on Adwords click fraud and I don’t see any ads.

My theory is that there is a bipolar market for search marketing solutions. Those who are familiar with the Internet marketing industry have all but forgotten about the term, but there may be a large number of businesses who are just now getting into search that are a few years behind the trend.

If this theory proves correct, it could be very useful to a product team working to meet the needs of the SEM market.

How SEM Data Can Provide Direction For Enterprise Development

Another takeaway from this exercise is that if you are not currently supplying your product management team with keyword data, then you need to start now.

Even if my theory on this anomaly is incorrect, there were several other insights from combining the knowledge of the product managers with some basic search marketing reports. You can pull these reports in ten minutes and send them to the product managers in your company to at least begin a conversation between the two teams.

Not only can search marketing data give you and your product managers a macro view of the market, it can also help identify any untapped needs in your current market, and help to prioritize features in your product road map based on search volume.

The reports I use to provide this data to the product team are simple. I pulled an Adwords paid search query report, along with an organic search query report, and then used other tools like Google insights for search and the Google traffic estimator to uncover interesting trends and real time vocabulary in the market.

So if you are not currently sending search marketing data to your product managers, it is an easy way to have search marketing become more important to your business. And if you have any insights into why there is so much interest in the term “click fraud” recently I would love to hear it.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Enterprise SEM


About The Author: is an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prior to heading back to school full time, he was a worldwide search marketing manager for Adobe Systems.

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