Wordtracker Keyword Results Not Always Accurate

I use Wordtracker all the time to do keyword research and its probably the best keyword tool out there, yet Ive always said that its not a perfect science and sometimes I’m skeptical of the results.

The first thing to know is that the way they report all the results is somewhat confusing, they give you two different columns, one a "Count" and then the 2nd is a "Predict" number. (See Below) 

Keyword  Count Predict
chicago wrongful death lawyers 83 71

Usually these #’s are pretty close but here are the definitions of what "Count" and "Predict" mean exactly from the Wordtracker site.

Count – This shows the number of times a particular keyword has appeared in our database. E.g. Our database currently holds 373 million words. A count of 147 tells us that this particular word has appeared 147 times out of 373 million (this is over a two month period).   

Predicted – This is the maximum total predicted traffic for all of the major search engines/pay per bids and directories. It is based on the current 24 hour period.

SO, the count # is the number of times the keyword has appeared in the database over the last 2 months. The Predict # is just a prediction of how many times max that keyword would be searched in a 24 hour period at ALL the search engines.

This database of keywords is from meta-crawlers and not from any of the big search engines actual search database. According to Wordtracker, "We get our data from metacrawlers, rather than the search engines themselves. After all, the metacrawlers contain the results from the search engines."

This might be true but I still would probably rather have the #’s direct from Google as to the number of searches done and the keywords used.   

I do know that I tend to question the results from Wordtracker from time to time.  I mean as a quick example I was doing  some keyword research on the term "Chicago Lawyers" and wordtracker brought back some very interesting results (see below), they said that the key phrase "Chicago wrongful death lawyers" has a count of 83 and a predict # of 71, which is much higher then the more general term "Chicago Lawyers" which has a count of 26 and predict # of 22.


Keyword  Count Predict
chicago wrongful death lawyers 83 71
chicago injury lawyers 82 70
chicago accident lawyers 80 68
chicago car accident lawyers 70 60
chicago personal injury lawyers 67 57
chicago medical malpractice lawyers 62 53
chicago slip and fall lawyers 60 51
chicago malpractice lawyers 57 49
chicago auto accident lawyers 56 48
chicago motorcycle accident lawyers 48 41
chicago dog bite lawyers 35 30
chicago product liability lawyers 34 29
chicago nursing home abuse lawyers 29 25
chicago lawyers 26 22

Notice it also lists many other keyphrases with higher numbers such as "chicago accident lawyers" and "chicago injury lawyers". I thought to myself though, no way is that possible because it just seems like that specific search would never get as many searches as a more general term like "Chicago Lawyers".

So I went to Google Adwords and used the keyword tool and the predictions were much different and more realistic I thought (SEE TABLE BELOW).

Traffic Estimates from Google Adwords – 5/11/05

Keywords Clicks /
Cost /
chicago accident lawyers 1.0 $0.28 $0.26 1.8
chicago attorney 15.0 $1.49 $22.22 1.8
chicago attorneys 9.4 $1.26 $11.78 2.0
chicago brain injury lawyers < 0.1 $0.05 $0.00 1.0
chicago car accident lawyers < 0.1 $0.05 $0.00 1.0
chicago dog bite lawyers < 0.1 $0.05 $0.00 1.0
chicago injury lawyers 0.3 $1.44 $0.46 3.5
chicago lawyer 8.6 $1.50 $12.85 2.6
chicago lawyers 13.0 $1.39 $18.00 2.6
chicago personal injury lawyers 0.2 $1.79 $0.41 3.5
chicago slip and fall lawyers < 0.1 $0.05 $0.00 1.0
chicago vioxx lawyers < 0.1 $0.05 $0.00 1.0
chicago wrongful death lawyer < 0.1 $0.05 $0.00 1.0
chicago wrongful death lawyers < 0.1 $0.05 $0.00 1.0
Overall 47.5 $1.39 $65.98 2.2

Notice how Chicago lawyers & Chicago attorneys would both get about 12-15 clicks per day, BUT "Chicago wrongful death lawyers" would get LESS then one click a day.   PLUS notice it would only be 5 cents per click for that term, which really says that it gets no action at all and nobody is interested in it.

SO that tells me the numbers from Wordtracker are way off, at least for the keywords Ive listed. I mean they are saying that the term "Chicago Lawyers" only appeared 26 times in 2 months. 

Yet according to Google, if you were listed in the top 3 for that term, you could get 12-15 visitors a day. That might be high but its at least 5-10 per day, because I have clients that are listed for that term and I monitor the traffic.

Wordtracker is still a great tool and it usually is more accurate then this example.  I usually use Wordtracker in combination with the Overture and Google keyword tools for the best possible results.

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