Niche Marketing Blog |

Wordtracker vs. Google – You be the Judge.

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Other Stuff, Reviews

I wanted to take this time to clear up some stat issues. Some of the readers of my blog have been questioning my stats, they’re not too sure my stats are accurate. That’s fine, I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.; ) I would also want to make sure that the stats are accurate before I start another niche marketing site. That is why I took the liberty to contact Wordtracker about their stats not matching up with Google’s. This is the email reply I got back from Wordtracker, word for word.

Before I get into the email, If you want to verify that Wordtracker stats are off, do the following;

  1. Visit the Google Keyword Tool and search “diesel men’s shoes”. You will get an approximate average search of 14,800 for the month of June.
  2. Got to Wordtracker.com and search “diesel men’s shoes”. You will not find any search results!

In this email from Wordtracker states ” We don’t get data directly from Google or any of the engines as they don’t make it available to external tools.” Clearly they have not checked Google’s keyword Tool. lol. So where do they get their data from? Is it accurate? Why am I paying a hefty fee for stats that are NOT generated by the search engines? Then they go on to say “We get our data from metacrawlers, rather than the search engines themselves. After all, the metacrawlers contain the results from the search engines.HUH? I thought Google uses meta crawlers?

Anyways, to top it off they say “So our data represents around 1% of US search. However, it is worth noting that we go to strenuous lengths to remove all automated or spam traffic. As a result, the search numbers we give you originate from genuine people with genuine credit cards.” Genuine people with genuine credit cards? I don’t get it. This is why there is an issue with the stats. The only question is, who’s stats are you going to trust? Google or Wordtracker?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad at Wordtracker. I just feel like their stats are irrelevant. Not to mention I have paid for their service only to now find out their stats are off. :\  I’ll just take my chances and follow the big dogs at Google & Yahoo!.

Now, I’m sure you’re happy with Wordtracker’s service and I want you to take this time to share your experiences, both positive and negative.

I look forward to your replies.

Comments

31 Responses to “Wordtracker vs. Google – You be the Judge.”

  1. Jonathan on July 15th, 2008 9:58 pm

    It’s a great point you bring up, however, it seems you are not aware that Google only lifted its skirt just last week by providing its search numbers to the public the way it does now. Keyword services like Wordtracker are yet to feel the effects of this.

    They are right that this data has been completely unavailable to the public. It is only Google that recently made this move. It remains to be seen if they will continue to allow it too.

    I have never been a big fan of Wordtracker. It has only been popularized by the monkey see SEO wannabe community over the years. There have been better data sources that have come along over the years. Wordze has really impressed me recently.

    I think the whole keyword data industry will start to see the effects of this move by Google in the coming months. Assuming once again that Google keeps it up. They might be doing this just as yet another experiment.

    It is not clear also that the data provided by Google does or does not include scrapper and spammer queries. It would not surprise me if they simply left it in there to inflate the numbers. You would be shocked how many search queries are done by scrappers and auto blogs.

    All in all… the only keyword data you can trust, is the data you collect on your own from your own sites. The rest is all tainted, so don’t let anybody make you think that one source is better than any other. They are all still ‘best guesses’.

    You have a fine blog here btw… congrats. :)

  2. Ben on July 16th, 2008 7:18 am

    It’s great that you’ve followed this up Jerry. I commend you for it!

    Great blog.

    Going by the posts so far.. It seems you like your sport ;)

  3. Free List of 195 Keyword Suggestions on July 17th, 2008 3:05 am

    This is so interesting, because tonight I was sitting and doing some research and I was fiddling with the new feature on Google Adwords KW tool that shows the search volume numbers and I decided to compare those results with the free Wordtracker and they were not even close!!!

    I completely agree with you, and I had done the comparison’s before and they seldom match or even come close, now this also applies to some of the free KW tools as well, including SEOBook’s free tool, all though that one seems to be more close to Google results.
    That email is very lame sounding, and considering the money they charge for their service, it’s kind of appalling to find such discrepancies.

    I am a KW Discovery user (paid service) myself and I think I am going to do some comparisons to make sure that I am getting what I pay for.

    Thanks for the interesting and honest post!
    JR

  4. Jerry on July 17th, 2008 11:06 am

    JR,

    Thanks for the comment. Hey, let me know how those search numbers go for KW Discovery. I’m curious.

    Jerry

  5. Free List of 195 Keyword Suggestions on July 18th, 2008 1:40 am

    Well, the “truth hurts” saying has never been more true than today. On the bright side I will be saving some bucks as soon as I cancel Keyword Discovery.

    Keyword Discovery results are completely off from what shows in the new monthly search numbers feature in the Google Adwords Tool.

    I searched about 20 different keywords and not one was even close. What is more concerning is that KW Discovery allows you to pick from several databases, one of which is Google and even THAT one was completely off.

    I started to think that maybe Google was off, in hopes of saving at least some of the regret I was feeling in spending the money these last couple of months, so I picked some high-end keywords.

    For example, “laptop”, this should have a very high search volume, well in Google it did, in the millions per month, but KW Discovery showed up in the thousands and that cannot be accurate.

    I also compared several of the KW with SEOBook Free Tool and actually they were the closest to Google, all though not as close as it should be, several of the counts came in way under.

    So, there you have it!

    Now I tend to agree with Jonathan that the Google count may be inflated, with spammers and auto search included, however, I think paying such a high price for some of these keyword tools is still concerning, plus the fact that the Wordtracker email you got Jerry does not clearly define how it is that they are getting their results.

    I think this is going to stir up the Keyword Tool Biz in the weeks to come, this is the first blog post I have seen about it, but I doubt it will be the last. I may just do a post myself with a link here, of course I am an affiliate of a couple of these keyword tools and since I never recommend stuff I don’t use and don’t find effective I will have to find new stuff to advertise :-( .

    Thanks,
    JR

  6. Vince on July 19th, 2008 10:08 am

    Great post. I became skeptical, and stopped using, paid KW reasearch tools long ago. I began comparing my results, based on log entries, to GTrends and other tools. GTrends always won by a long shot. Now the new numbers available from Google put a spotlight on just how off these tools are.

    I think the release of these numbers will have a powerful negative effect on the paid KW research industry.

    So what are your thoughts on Google Suggest? Do you think it will compress the long tail?

    Thanks for a great blog.

  7. Jonathan on July 20th, 2008 4:41 pm

    I’m really concerned with some of these comments. You guys are going to shoot yourself in the foot.

    I’m really afraid you guys are missing the point I was trying to make about trashing keyword tools in favour of using googles… Others who are more experienced in the industry see this, but people new to it don’t.

    Here is someone else who has had real life experience in comparing the Google Adwords tools to other services when they used it for SEO… its very in depth and will help you understand why this would be a very bad move:

    It was posted at Smackdown!

    Hope this helps

  8. Free List of 195 Keyword Suggestions on July 20th, 2008 11:08 pm

    Hi Jonathan,
    I understand what you are saying, but what I am saying is that there is no way that laptops could only have 3,000 avg searches a month, NO WAY and that is what Keyword Discovery showed, AND it was their “global database”. And, I never said that google’s numbers were precise, the point was that to pay a hefty monthly fee to some of these keyword tools that are showing really off numbers is concerning.

    I also said that SEOBook Free Tool seemed to have the most viable numbers of all the non-google tools and it is free.

    And, I agree with you that these tools are only suggestive and you will not really know till you test it, this applies to all tools, and I use a combination of research techniques, not just keyword tools to search for niche/product popularity, but the whole point is if I am paying for a keyword service, then I want more accuracy then what is evidently being generated.

    And, what happened to the guy who wrote the article on Smackdown, also happened to a webmaster I know, who used a combination of Wordze and Keyword Discovery, where he found a low competition keyword that showed over 5,000 searches a month, he built the site, sits #1 on Page 1 of Google for two months and has had a total of 10 clicks, 5 PER month!!

    So, if this were to happen to me, I certainly would feel better that this happened with a free keyword tool than with one I pay good money for every single month.

    That’s just my 2 cents.

  9. Matt on July 21st, 2008 1:40 am

    A couple of things from the post to keep in mind is that Google is NOT a meta crawler and I may be wrong but I don’t believe they ever have been. I believe the actual definition of a meta crawler is a search engine that queries the databases of other search engines to produce their results, they don’t have their own database.

    Additionally, simply because Google now shows search volume in their Free Keyword tool doesn’t necessarily mean they’re allowing access to external tools – like WordTracker – to parse and analyze the data.

    In answer to : “who’s stats are you going to trust? Google or Wordtracker?” For myself, I’m going to continue using a cross section of all the data available as Google doesn’t represent the searches made at the meta crawlers or MSN or Yahoo and WordTracker doesn’t have Googles or MSN’s or Yahoo’s search results.

    With all of that said, no one source is going to have the exact same data as another source.

    I think maybe the biggest question is what types of filters has Google applied to the search volume numbers they publish.

    At least, that’s the way I see it :)

    BTW Great Site!!

  10. Matt on July 28th, 2008 5:54 am

    One thing to remember when doing keyword research is that not any one single tool will do the job as their numbers come from different places.

    For instance, Google’s numbers come directly from their database. They aren’t a metacrawler search engine.

    Metacrawlers are search engines that don’t have their own database and cull search results from other search engines’ databases.

    So when comparing Wordtracker results to Google results, of course, there will be different numbers as they get their information from completely different sources. Google from their own database, WordTracker from metacrawler search engine databases.

  11. Adam Downey on September 1st, 2008 5:16 am

    I just had to do a search for ‘wordtracker accuracy’ after comparing googles numbers to the paid for service of WordtrackersI who I emailed and had pretty much the same puzzling response.

    I wonder what I have been paying for with WT when ‘Osmo’ with 9,900 searches on Google, which sounds realistic gets just 77 with Wordtracker. I would rather use the results of the majority of searches, not the minority.

  12. Frank Thomas on September 4th, 2008 6:36 pm

    Be careful. NOBODY is displaying accurate numbers. You have to test your results before putting serious time into them. Google’s keyword tool is ok. Wordtracker has the advantage of offering more keywords then google per search, but google does offer values on adwords which gives some idea of the ability to monitize on those keywords. I’ve tested from all the major keyword packages and none stand out, not even google. You always have to test. It’s a simple matter of creating an adwords campaign and running a simple ad and only allow listings with the google search engine and NOT the content network. This will offer you be best idea of results.

    Frank.

  13. Nissim Ziv on January 25th, 2009 3:39 am

    Hi,
    I would like to share with you a strange (yet similar) case:
    Looking for key phrase “How to Play on Piano”

    See the different appear (hope the images apear, if not you may follow)–
    Wordtracker:

    SEO TOOL:

    Google AdWords free tool;

    Now, what would you do when having such a case?
    Google adwords – 450,000 a month !!
    Wordtracker – 6 a day!!!
    SEO tool (reporting Google daily searches – 9???

    I am sure many of you have notice such differences, however this one is extremely odd.

  14. Tim Rose on March 1st, 2009 9:09 am

    I read that Wordtracker tracks in the thousand as I think SEO tool does therefore the results are less different than appear above. e.g. 6000 a day = 180,000 a month.

  15. Dan Liptak on March 12th, 2009 4:32 pm

    Wordtracker stats are off by ALOT. Thanks for the blog I just signed up for the 7 day free trial and after confirming that wordertracker is not accurate I will cancel it.

    New York Website Design

    Dan

  16. Goran Web on March 14th, 2009 11:08 am

    Interesting post.

    But is the Google keyword tool right.

    I often search and there are 1000′s of results displayed in the Approx Avg Search Volume column yet the data from the previous month is “Insufficient Data”.

    This does not make logical senses to me as how can there be no search volume (Insufficient data) during previous months if there are 1000′s on an average month.

    Hoping that someone can explain this to me

  17. Nissim Ziv on March 17th, 2009 5:12 am

    Hi Goran,
    Some reasons that came to my mind:
    The non-accuracy is because there are –
    1. Seasonal searches
    2. Sometimes most of the searches come from webmasters…
    3. Many robots search through search engines for many reasons. (Competition check.)
    4. A particular search can vary during the year because of many reasons like – people trends, change of interest etc…

    Non of te keyword’s tools is 100% accurate. I would ay even 50%.
    but this is what we are all have.

    3.

  18. Goran Web on March 17th, 2009 7:16 am

    Hi Nissim

    Thank you for taking the time to respond with a solution to my question. Goran

  19. DavidCastroFlorida on March 17th, 2009 6:09 pm

    Interesting post. Draws a comparison to “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does the crash make a sound?” IMHO, Wordtracker is almost insignificant if for no other reason than to be a 2nd point of reference.

  20. Nissim Ziv on March 17th, 2009 7:31 pm

    I’d like to share with you 3 nice tools that I use for key phrase research.
    these tools actually good for competitor’s research.
    Before diving into Google AdWords tool (like everybody does) , I search for particular competitors and the neighborhood of the targeted niche market:

    http://www.quantcast.com/
    http://www.Google.com/insights
    http://www.Google.com/sktool/#

    These tools provide not only key-words that people used to arrive to the competitors websites, but links and many more information.

    after that I take all keywords I have in hands and go to Google adwords.
    I ALWAYS use “exact match” with Google Adwords Tool.

  21. Debt Consolidation Information on March 18th, 2009 3:17 pm

    This is an extremely important topic of conversation as accurate keyword data is what will make or break a campaign.

    We have probably all heard how googles figures have always been pumped up to encourage the adwords brigade to spend big, and I hope the incredible data Jerry provides shows that a shift in googles views regarding accurate data sharing is about to start.

    We have also been told by the endless legion of SEO gurus that wordtracker is the only tool to trust, yet I have always found that their figures seemed remarkably low, in comparison.

    I am no clearer as to who’s results to believe if anyone’s but I must agree with one of the previous comments. The commentator stated that the only way to checksearch results for sure is to check your own results against the keyword tools.

    Well I dont mind sharing with you that I have a website that ranks 7 on google 1on yahoo and 3 on MSN for a specific search term.

    I based my site around google’s search results prior to they’re changing things in June and my site has consistently had traffic about 60% up on the monthly figures that google stated back then. Which I believe is about right as I would pick up a percentage of traffic from both yahoo and MSN and my secondary keyword phrase.

    Compare this with the figure given by Wordtracker which was pitifully low and way off mark and I think I know whose figures I would rather use, but as with everything thing else in the keyword and seo debate there will be followers and there will be skeptics, nothing will ever be clear until it is not valid anymore!

  22. How to Make Money on eBay on March 18th, 2009 7:39 pm

    The way I work is to –
    Double-cross-check the results from Google external tool with Worldtrucker.
    I use wordtracker only as a referance to verify that a certain key phrase do “exist” in worldtracker results.

  23. Video Marketing on April 6th, 2009 2:17 pm

    You have to use the “exact” search results in google. Also look at the little ? above avg search volume. Google takes the average search volume over 12 months and displays that “average”. That’s why the 2 columns, the avg and the previous month, can be so different.

    I have a paid subscription to WT and I’m wondering what’s up. I mean how can we trust the data when we use google to search but WT doesn’t report any figures for Google. Doesn’t make sense.

    I use google to search for a keyword. When you do a normal search the results are the “broad” results. If you then enclose the that same term within “quotes” you’ll get the “exact” results. But everyone only uses the “broad” search because who really searches with quotes when looking for something, no one.

    The best thing is to do a search and check the top organic listings. They are there for a reason. Study their site and search a few phrases. you’ll start to see a few websites stand out.

  24. web world guru on June 24th, 2009 12:19 pm

    google adwords: keyword tool wins
    if you search “keyword” in google the first link is google adwords: keyword tool
    Word tracker cannot stand in front of google database.

    regards

  25. Joerg Rauh on August 1st, 2009 8:00 am

    Thank you guys for bringing up this important issue.
    Since we base what we are doing on numbers they better be accurate.
    What I learned here was that you can rank number one in Google and have practically no visitors to your site.
    I’m always after ways to avoid problems I can’t handle well. In this case I go email marketing. What counts are the people in my list.

  26. Richard Cummings on August 13th, 2009 12:50 pm

    Very interesting article. I just wrote an article entitled “Is Wordtracker Accurate”? this morning which can be found here: http://richardcummings.info/is-wordtracker-accurate/

    In my opinion, the bottom line is that Wordtracker is best for long tail keyword and google for shorter expressions. I will say that i have had some awesome long tail suggestions from Wordtracker and, like you say, other terms that are not even in the Wordtracker database.

    I suppose that, In the end, there is just not one tool that can cover your keyword needs.

  27. Bob on December 21st, 2009 11:37 am

    Ladies and gents, it comes down to the fact that the vast majority of searches are done on Granddaddy ‘G’. We can speculate all day as to what database is the most accurate, where and how they get their data from, but Google is used the most to search for info and answers.

  28. Scott on January 30th, 2010 1:53 pm

    I have used both and I would say google is the winner. Why? The have now google search insight. Based on actual searches.

  29. Enrique Martin on March 7th, 2010 4:44 pm

    I was comparing Google’s KW tool result with the free version of Wordtracker and the numbers are soooo different, Wow, and they charge $59 for the service…

    Last year I subscribed for two months to WT. I got some nice keywords that brought me some traffic… but I also learned something that I’m still using everyday: The KEI metric. I sorted the algorithm and got the formula… now i’m using it with google’s free tool!
    Thanks WT :)

  30. Cayo Largo on March 9th, 2010 10:57 am

    That is true .. I think that using SEObook free tool is the best option as it is free plus you can from its page click and check google and others as well. Point is dont pay if you can get it for free. Build and promote and they will come!!!

  31. GL McClendon on March 15th, 2010 6:19 am

    Use the site that is most comfortable for you. Sometimes we kick another man’s cow.
    You may be complaining, because you are not using the tool correctly.
    Thanks