Looking to do search term research? Below are articles covering the topic. But first, here are some tools you might want to consider:

Free Tools

Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Enter a search term or terms, and you’ll be shown other keywords related to that term. You can then sort keywords in terms of search volume popularity.

Google Trends: Got some terms in mind and wondering how they’ve been trending, such as becoming more or less popular? Google Trends provides a way to go back in time and chart keywords, based on the accumulated search data that Google sees. Also see Google Meme: Hot Trends Added To Google Trends, which explains more about the day-to-day reporting you can get from Google Trends.

Wordtracker Free Keyword Suggestion Tool: Enter a term and get a list of 100 terms related to (and including it), ranked by daily popularity. Data is based on Wordtracker’s search term data collected from the Dogpile and Metacrawler meta search engines. Wordtracker also offers a much more robust fee-based keyword research tool.

Trellian Free Search Term Suggestion Tool: As with Worktracker above, enter a term and get back a list of 100 terms related to and including it. They’ll be ranked by how often they’re searched for each year, rather than each day. Data comes from a variety of search engines. Trellian Keyword Discovery is fee-based tool hitting the same database and providing more features.

SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool: Taps into the Yahoo tool above and provides links and information to many of the other tools also listed above, so that you can get more information directly from them. A variety of other keyword tools are also offered.

Other Tools

Hitwise Search Intelligence: Provides the ability to tap into Hitwise’s database of how people search, based on ISP data it gathers. Offered on a custom pricing basis. Hitwise Keyword Intelligence offers fewer features but is also available for a lower, fixed cost.

comScore qSearch: Allows you to tap into comScore’s database of search activity, gathered from a large panel of web users that it monitors.

eBay Marketplace Research: Mine data on how people are searching at eBay, for a fee.

Good Keywords: Free software for Windows designed to help with keyword lists.

Google Webmaster Central: Provides a way to see the top search terms that are sending you traffic, according to Google.

See also the Stats: Search Behavior area of Search Engine Land for tools that let you discover what people are searching for in general at particular search engines, plus how people search overall.

Turn Domain Bias In Search Results To Your Advantage

thinking_thought-bubble_man_doubt_veer_3077149_M There's been valid debate over how influential keyword and exact match domains are in search engine optimization. Whether or not the latest Google or Bing algorithm takes the words in your domain name into consideration, the reality is that searchers -- those consumers actually choosing to click your link -- most likely do. The phenomenon has been dubbed "domain bias," defined as a user's propensity to believe that a page is more relevant just because it comes from a particular domain. While search engines generally reward good content with good rankings, there are certain qualities that ma [...]


“100% Not Provided Is Not The End Of SEO” Insider Opinions On Google’s Move To Withhold Data

Not Provided Earlier this week, Google revealed it would be encrypting all search data, rendering website owners unable to see search term information previously offered through the "referrer" system. While Google had encrypted the data two years ago for searches performed by users signed in to their Google account, and then earlier this year for any searches from the Chrome omnibox, the decision to withhold all data - regardless if a user is signed in or not - left many SEO insiders surprised it happened so suddenly. To take a pulse of the industry, we've published reactions to the "100% not provide [...]


Monetizing Site Search Queries

I believe that once everyone starts thinking clearly again after the last round of Penguin updates -- focusing on their business rather than on ways to game the system or mass produce activities that are not scalable -- we can get down to action that can actually move the needle. [caption id="attachment_161907" align="alignright" width="327"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] One such action? Focus on your site search queries. While most keyword research best practices suggest you take a look at them, I have found very few companies that actually do it. At a recent search conference, f [...]


Study: TV Networks Not Ranking In Key SERP Positions, Losing Valuable Search & Traffic Opportunities

tvs-old-antique-featured After evaluating the organic search performance of America's most popular television networks, SEO research firm RankAbove discovered a majority of the networks are missing out on significant search and traffic opportunities. The study examined four key areas of search including keywords, rankings, traffic potential and Universal SERPs. According to the findings, not only are a number of networks performing poorly in their SEO efforts, some are actually performing worse than they were a year ago. Keyword Analysis The keyword analysis portion of the study categorized keywords related to 2 [...]


How To Mine Your Local Market Site Search Keyword Goldmine

The lowly keyword phrase seems to be getting more attention these days. Last month, I spoke at SMX West about big data and co-optimization, then finished up at the International Search Summit with global keyword research and management. Based on the recently released 2013 Search Marketer Survey from BrightEdge, it appears as though global search marketing activities might finally be top of mind for search marketers: One of the areas getting a significant boost in interest is the discovery of keywords relevant to global audiences. The BrightEdge  survey of Enterprise Search Marketers ind [...]


Infographic: How To Do Keyword Research For SEO

Good SEO begins with good keyword research. After all, if you don't know the ways people are seeking your content, it's pretty hard to ensure that your content "speaks" to them using the words they search for. The folks at Promodo have an infographic outlining some key parts of the keyword research process. Understanding that each page has its own terms to target, brainstorming possible terms, researching with the Google Keyword Tool and more are covered. Check it out: Want the infographic for yourself? You'll find it here: Keyword Research Infographic. Looking to improve your key [...]


The Difference In Keyword Research For SEO vs. PPC

keywords-featured Often when I complete a keyword research project for a client, they ask me about keywords I may not have included, or they want to know what the relative competition on the keywords looks like. This happens often enough that I thought I would remind everyone that while research for SEO and PPC can go hand in hand, they’re actually very different. First, think about what your goals are with each medium. What are you trying to do, and what constitutes success in that area? Next, think about how the keywords will be used. Where, when, how often? Finally, consider what your margin for erro [...]


Why Google Should Retire The Global Market Finder

Does Google really "get" international? There are clearly some very clever people within Google who do -- but the corporation's behavior bizarrely still tends to suggest a silicon valley tech company that's a little insulated from the non-English speaking world. Take, for example, the "Global Market Finder" tool which you can find here. This tool was originally conceived in the UK and then made its way into the Google mothership. The idea behind the tool is that you can enter a keyword or several keywords -- and it will then automatically in a matter of seconds rank the markets where the [...]


Why Restaurants & Other Local Businesses Need Mobile (Not Responsive) Sites

In his Smashing Magazine response to Jakob Nielsen’s directive to build separate desktop and mobile sites, Bruce Lawson used the line "you never know better than your users what content they want" to argue that we shouldn’t be building separate mobile websites. I would agree with him that you never know better than your users what content they want, but would argue that’s usually a reason to build a separate mobile website. In search, we have the benefit of user queries that tell us what the majority of users want, and those queries often tell us that they’re looking for different t [...]


How To Use The Keyword Funnel To Understand Searcher Intent

Keyword research can give you great insight into customer problems, needs, desires, and intent.I like to categorize keyword categories themselves into a total of *ten* funnel stages. After performing my initial keyword categorization (sort of into micro-categories), I like to categorize the categories themselves into a total of *ten* funnel stages I’ve developed, which are organized around a “problem/solution” mental model.


Dictionaries, Grammar & Feeds: A Rules-Based Keyword Generation Approach For PPC

This article presents a rules-based approach for Keyword Generation using Dictionaries, Grammar, and Feeds. Essentially, Dictionaries define the various groups of words that are relevant to an account. Grammar defines how to combine them. Feeds define the data that may be changing regularly, like e-commerce inventory, store locations, etc. Readers may be able to generalize these terms to apply to existing rules-based tool if one is currently in use. First, a word about where this approach fits in to the broader picture. The Broader Landscape of Managing Keywords & Negatives There are [...]


When Is the Super Bowl Start Time? The NFL Finally Gets It Right

Super Bowl 46 kicks off on February 5, 2012 at 6:30pm EST on NBC. Amazingly enough, I found this information by searching on Google and clicking on the second result: nfl.com. Amazing because every year, football fans flock to search engines searching for the start time, and until now, organizations like the NFL, the playing teams, and the broadcasting station didn't show up at all in search results because none of their sites answered the question. Seem crazy? 2009  Results: In 2009, start-time related searches were among the most popular the morning of the game, but neither the N [...]


Ask.com Has The Most Long-Winded Searchers, Report Says

ask logo The longest search queries are happening on Ask.com, where users average almost five words per search. That's according to research from Chitika. The ad network analyzed search referrals on "hundreds of millions" of impressions across sites in its network between January 9th and 12th. And the longest search referrals -- at an average of 4.81 words -- came from Ask.com. AOL users are at the other end of the spectrum; their user queries average barely above four words, by far the shortest of the five sites that Chitika studied. It makes sense that this would be the case, since Ask.com [...]


How To Take Your Keyword Research To A Higher Level

Good keyword research is laborious. So is it no wonder that once you understand the basics, you may be tempted to use whichever tool you have at hand and try to automate or speed up the process. Except, should you want to do this? Keyword research is your time to understand the market you are competing in and how people search. It is your opportunity to comb through the competition and learn their keywords, content and link-building strategies. It is your opportunity to map out what you should track for your website, your market competitors and your keyword competitors. If you plan a mon [...]


Google Decides Fate Of More Than Half Of Labs Projects; Correlate Survives, Sets Doesn’t

google-labs-featured Another week, another round of updates from the slow phase-out of Google Labs. This week, good news for fans of one keyword-related tool, but bad news for fans of another. Google Correlate Added To Google Trends Google Correlate has survived the chopping block. Previously available at correlate.googlelabs.com, it's now been given a permanent home as part of Google Trends and can be found at www.google.com/trends/correlate. Correlate has been described as "Google Trends in reverse." With Trends, you provide a search term and get back data related to the term. With Correlate, you provi [...]


Report: Those Searching For Google+ Are Younger & Have More Income Than Facebook Searchers

google-plus-facebook-squares In a recent study released by comScore, searcher demographics showed some striking differences between those looking for Google+ vs. those looking for Facebook in July. Surprisingly, Facebook had a larger percentage of searchers over the age of 35, while Google+ trended  younger. 34.2% of searchers looking for Google+ were under 35 years old and only 24% of Facebook searchers were under 35. In addition to the younger demographic, Google+ searchers skewed towards higher incomes. Facebook saw 22.8% of searchers with an income of above $100,000 a year, while Google+ had a 32.1% makeup. [...]


How Mobile Searchers Are Changing Keyword Research

Many analysts are making the case for separate device targeting in mobile paid search these days, but due largely to the subtlety of the differences in natural search results, too many SEOs are under the mistaken impression that desktop and mobile SEO are one in the same. Because this ignorance affects all of us by not giving us the tools we need to target mobile users effectively, I’m using a few columns to make the differences crystal clear. In my last column, I started to make the case for how SEO changes when targeting mobile searchers, starting with the 14 differences between desktop [...]


Using Social Awareness Streams To Learn What People Care About

It wasn’t long ago that knowledge about our world came from newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, and of course, person to person gossip, storytelling and family gatherings. The Internet changed all that. Today, a person wanting to know the latest buzz studies social awareness streams (SAS). In the Just Behave column, we’ve discussed information architecture as it is used for search engine marketing and usability. One of the points mentioned concerns the gathering of terms and words that are used for taxonomies, link labels, category setup, navigation labels and content development. [...]


Kadafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi: In The Age Of Search, News Publications Still Struggle With Libya Leader’s Name

qaddafi-featured A decades-old dispute involving Libya remains unresolved. How do news organizations spell the name of Libya's leader, Muammar Gaddafi? The exact spelling has a bigger impact these days, where people search for news. Use the wrong spelling, and your story might go missing. Can search tell us the "right" one? More below. Google News: A Copy Editor's Nightmare Consider this page from Google News, the "Muammar al-Gaddafi" page that pulls in headlines from all over the world about the leader: That page would give any newspaper copy editor fits, given that there are at least four different [...]


Cars, Restaurants, Financial Services Top Study Of “Complaint Searches”

Among major brands, those in the automobile, finance, and food service industries attracted the most complaint-related searches in 2010. That's according to a new study from the marketing agency Web Liquid Group. The 2011 Customer Complaint Index measures search activity in the Google Keyword Research Tool involving complaints (i.e., broad match results for "(brand name) complaints") and applies the data to Interbrand's Best Global Brands report. Web Liquid recognizes some of the limitations in this approach: the study doesn't reflect non-Google searches and the Keyword Tool also has some d [...]


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