Is Google’s Keyword Tool Accurate?

I love the fact that Google has started showing search volume on their free keyword tool. A couple of things you need to be careful of.

  1. Make sure you change the “Match Type” to exact in their drop down menu. – Google defaults to show you the broad match for key phrases which is helpful for PPC but not for SEO. In order to get an accurate gauge of search volume for a specific keyword you need to see the Exact match type.
  2. The keyword tool is not completely accurate. – I did a key phrase search for the term “landscape contractors” and it showed that the key phrase gets about 2,600 searches a month. ranks on Google #2 for that term. In the last 30 days I have received 50 visitors from Google users searching that term.This immediately raised a red flag for me so I did another search for “landscaping companies” and the keyword showed 1,900 searches a month. My site ranks #1 on Google for “landscaping companies”, so I checked the stats for the last 30 days and the site received 262 visitors for that term.Lesson learned: Use those numbers to learn which key phrases are more popular but don’t count on anywhere close to that amount of visitors if you rank #1 for the term.
  3. The tool seems to time out alot. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it is the overwhelming demand for the tool now that it has those new features but Probably half of the times I used Googles keyword tool today it didn’t work.

Adam White is a 20+ year entrepreneur having built and sold 18 internet businesses. He currently runs JustReachOut and SquidVision, a new type of landing page optimization software for SaaS companies, and does SaaS and SEO consulting at He lives in Tennessee with his wife and kids and in between SaaS businesses he writes and directs feature films.

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