Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, April 25, 2002


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The ultimate tool to:
Identify Keywords and Assess Online Market Competitiveness
= breakthrough tool
Online Service

In this article:

1. What is the goal of SEO
2. Principles for a keywords' optimization process
3. How WordTracker helps in identifying keywords relevant to your products / services
4. How does WordTracker work?
5. WordTracker services
6. WordTracker free tutorial
7. Further readings

WordTracker is a unique, valuable tool that allows the identification of useful keyword combinations and keyphrases as well as the assessment of the online competitiveness of each one on the different major search engines and directories.

WordTracker is a search engine marketing consultant dream tool. It did make my eyes roll and my fantasy travel far ahead of my possibilities when I first discovered it over a year ago.

I have uselessely tried to keep WordTracker only for myself, hoping that few would find out about it and that I would be among the first to let others know about it. The word spread out fast that WordTracker had hit on a killer online application for SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialists.

WordTracker serves now a solid community of expert and novice online marketers searching for best keyword combinations and working at refining their next vertical niche.

Through WordTracker you are given the possibility to:

1) Identify many alternative keyword combinations that may be applicable to your specific knowledge/vertical niche.

2) Assess how many searches have been done on those keywords in the last 24 hours

3) Assess how competitive those keyword combinations are on each one of the major search engines and directories (all included, though you can work with a maximum of two at a time-paid version)

4) Archive, manage, export, print and e-mail keyword lists you create.

In addition WordTracker offers the option to freely receive via e-mail the Top 500 Keyword Weekly Report.

Wordtracker is an online service that makes it easy to identify the right keyword combinations and therefore the 'knowledge' niches I have been talking about.

WordTracker basically lurks on the searches that are going on on the major search engines and directories and aggregates a database of some 30 million searches on which to perform different calculations and analysis.

You can enter in a single word and it will list out for you which others have been used in conjunction with your chosen word in searches in descending frequency of use.

WordTracker also calculates automatically how many visitors your web site will receive per day were if you were to be listed in the top ten rankings of the the major search engines for a given keyword combination.

With WordTracker you can significantly eliminate guesswork from your search engine marketing strategy.

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What is the goal of SEO

Both Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aim is to promote Web sites ON THE MAJOR Search Engine and Directories in order to reach the GREATEST number of targeted visitors/customers interested in the specific contents provided by a specific Web site.

Toward this objective, the precise goal of SEO is to create search engine friendly pages. This means creating Web pages that provide search engines with focused, rich and relevant content on a specific topic through the clever and intelligent use of selected keyword combinations or keyphrases in the Page Title and in the Major Headings of the page published.

Visitors coming from search engines are generally highly qualified visitors, as they have expressed a specific query/request on the Search Engines and are therefore after a specific solution.

In general, all of these visitors can be considered highly qualified prospects, as they are much more apt to make a purchase than somebody clicking on a banner ad just for curiosity or initial interest, but with no real buying intentions.

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Principles for a keywords' optimization process

Let me ask you then once again: why do online business need to identify specific keywords and relevant keyword phrases?


1) By choosing one-word keywords or popular keyphrases, the sheer amount of competition out there is hard to beat. There are so many relevant sites that will show up before yours on Search Engine page results, that being "listed" will not be much of a help.

2) The online marketing myth that web traffic (the number of visitors that will come to your site) equals success is far from being true. To sell in a shop you need more than shoppers coming and looking at your shelves. You may indeed have a full, busy shop but hardly any sales at all. You need to provide information and products/services to those that are specifically seeking what you have.

The hard part is coming up with the appropriate keyword combinations and keyphrases that your visitors WILL USE when searching for the information/products/services you have to offer on their Search Engine or Directory of choice.

With WordTracker it's easy to accomplish the first and most important steps of SEO: finding highly used keywords and keyphrases that are relevant to your products and services.

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How WordTracker helps in identifying keywords relevant to your products/services

WordTracker is actually based on a database of terms that people search for, and your keywords can therefore be tested in comparison with these real data.

The basic WordTracker functionality is rolled out in a simple four-step process:

*Step 1*
Finds hundreds of related keywords.

Enter a term (two or three words) that describes your knowledge field, business or service. WordTracker automatically provides a list of alternative keywords and keyphrases as found within WordTracker database of search terms utilized by users on the "majors".

*Step 2*
Find out whether people actually search for these keywords and add selected keywords to your basket

Now you dig deeper by first selecting among the initial set of keywords and keyphrases those ones that fit best your area of expertise. By selecting your favorites you get to see how many searches there have been for that very keyword/keyphrase in the last month and in the last 24 hrs.

At this point you can better evaluate which ones of these are more interesting for you based on the number of requests/queries they drive. So you can select your preferred keyword combinations and place them in a virtual "basket".

*Step 3*
Print, e-mail or export your keywords

This is a logistic and maintenance step that you will learn to appreciate more after having used this tool for a long time. Here, you have now the possibility of reviewing all of the keyword combinations and keyphrases that you have collected and to print, e-mail or export to a file your selection.

*Step 4*
Assess keyword/niche competitiveness
Measure keyword demand and keyword supply through the KEI indicator

Here is the good part of WordTracker. Find out how many other people are competing for your keywords (in Altavista only when you use the free trial, on your selected Search Engines and Directories when you use the paid version of the service) and how many web sites are competing within that specific 'knowledge' niche.

In this step you get to measure and compare the actual demand for those keywords/keyphrases vs the number of web sites that provide information on those very topics. The resulting ratio value, called KEI or "Keyword Effectiveness Index", gives in a glimpse an idea of how valuable a specific keyword/keyphrase is.

The KEI range goes from 0 to over 400.

0-10 = Poor keyword
10-100 = Good Keyword
100-400+ = Excellent Keyword

Sumantra Roy, a respected Search Engine Positioning specialist from is the researcher who has devised this reference indicator called KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index).

The KEI indicator value compares the 24Hour result (number of times a keyword has appeared in WordTracker database and therefore has been searched on the 'majors') with the number of competing web pages that would come up as relevant results on search engine results pages after those same queries. The goal is to pinpoint exactly which keywords are most effective for your PR, PA or online promotion, visibility and marketing campaign.

The higher the KEI ratio, the more popular your keywords are (more people are searching using those very keywords/keyphrases), and the less competition they have (fewer web sites that would come up as relevant results in search engine page results.)

The KEI is a measure of how effective a keyword is for your web site.

Which means you have a better chance of getting to the top of search engine result pages.

Once again, the higher the KEY, the more popular your keyword is and the less competition it has. Read more on this measure on the WordTracker Web site at:

Have an overview of the range of KEI scores one training Web site can reach by looking at some sample data we have extracted from a Wordtracker query on Google on January 28th 2002 at: blaster_indicators/ uniqueness.htm

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How does WordTracker work?

WordTracker collects its data from major metacrawlers such as and For each query WordTracker logs the keywords used, and the date and time of entry. It then compress the data to see which queries have been submitted most often.

WordTracker then compare each keyword with the number of competing web pages in each major search engine and gives it a special ratio. This is a measure of how valuable the keyword/keyphrase is to people who desire traffic.

WordTracker also holds a much smaller database of about 30 million queries from the last 36 hours. WordTracker uses this to spot sudden surges of interest that the larger database does not see.

The data in the WordTracker database rotates over a period 8 weeks and yes it is constantly up to date. Every day the oldest data is refreshed and the newest data is added to the front. It takes 8 weeks for the full cycle to take place.

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WordTracker services

WordTracker offers both a Free trial as well as a full subscription service.

The free trial is limited in its functionality by the fact that WordTracker utilizes ONLY the AltaVista search terms database and not the complete index of ALL the search engines it collects. Thus the results are less helpful, keyword and keyphrase suggestions not as good as when you are using the full service.

In the trial version you are also limited in the number of keyword suggestions you are provided, and in customizing the keyword research facility with the several options available.

Price-wise WordTracker offers 5 free subscription options:
1-day USD $ 6.08
1-week USD $ 20.40
1-month USD $ 40.80
3-months USD $100.55
1-year USD $204.02

Find out more about WordTracker pricesLook at: ?sid=86235dfbb2db988f0a8cae07f8f5c3c6

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WordTracker free tutorial

A free tutorial on how to use WordTracker is available at:

This is truly a helpful tool. It works.

My modest experience suggests that from a relationship standpoint, it does an excellent job. When you combine that with the fact that you can pull competitive page counts per engine and then dump it all into a spread sheet and crunch it, you can definitely come up with a much better chunk of data to make strategy decisions.

Customer Support is on the priority list and you can find good information and prompt support by utilizing the facilities and pages made available at: ?sid=fc51e25c20bd6f46b892353fea6839a2

The service is so good that the Mindel brothers have no problem in offering a full money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with it in the first 30 days of use.

People, real people have worked at this and this is what I like as well. The Mindel brothers in the UK are the authors behind RiverGold Associates and I must thank them publicly for having created such a useful tool.

The WordTracker database of terms is based on results collected at DogPile and Metacrawler which cannot provide a good absolute sample reference of the demand that there may be for some keywords.

WordTracker's database could be still too small to handle serious scientific targeting towards niche markets. It should be used mor for rather strategic decisions than for making absolute forecasts.

Results and forecasts of visitors per day may not correspond to what shown by WordTracker. WordTracker predict figure gives in fact the potential number of people who may visit your site, not the actual number of people who will visit your site.

There is no facility to directly input keyword combinations and to test them out on the major search engines. The user is 'forced' to go through an unnecessary 4 step-process which could be simplified.

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Further readings

To get you some good grounding and make sure we look at the same Search Engine Marketing issues in the same way, I suggest some complementary readings that you may want to approach to learn more about effective and ethical SEM/SEO methods and strategies.

In particular, if you would like to know more about how to:

1) obtain top ten rankings and

2) receive targeted traffic,

I do have some good reference work I have prepared and that can complement what I am doing here.

I am referring you to my new online resource on Online Marketing: MOTO. It is a new web site dedicated to provide Expert Advice, Assessment and Evaluation of Online Marketing Effectiveness for Web Sites, Tools and Tutorials, and particularly targeted at knowledge-based institutions as training and academic organizations and schools around the world.

On MOTO I particularly recommend the following readings:

· Blaster Methodology strategy #6:
Online Exposure and Visibility blaster_methodology/exposure.htm

· Blaster Methodology strategy #1:
Position uniquely your services by finding your market niche(s) blaster_methodology/beunique.htm

· The FREE Prosmote Masters toolkit, offering in 9 weeks a free practical course on how to select appropriate keywords and keyphrases for your Web site. prosmotemasters.htm

Also, read more about Wordtracker unique features and benefits in the next issue of MasterMind:

a) How to get WordTracker Top 500 keywords delivered weekly for free

b) WordTracker Free Trial tested for you

c) Full subscription features

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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, April 25 2002, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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