05 January 2007

Just email Rebecca

SEOmoz has had a great idea - to build an accurate measurement of search traffic for as many keywords as they can. They want to find a formula which assesses the accuracy of keyword research sources like Overture, KeywordDiscovery, Hitwise's Keyword Intelligence, Google's Adwords Estimator, MSN's Adcenter, and others. It shouldn't take much:

  1. Gather a large list of hundreds, hopefully thousands of keyword terms and their actual search numbers at Google - this can be done by getting data from advertisers who were always listed on the 1st page of results for the term through AdWords (using the impression numbers for "exact match")
  2. Gather a list of the estimated numbers reported by all of the major keyword research services for those same terms and phrases.
  3. Distill the data, tossing out those phrases that might cause issue or those reports that wouldn't have a huge impact and keep only the best, most useful ones.
  4. Compare the two sources (Adwords Impressions and estimator tools) and find out fascinating information like - which tool is most accurate? Is there a formula that would predict (based on all the estimation sources) within 10%, 20% or 30% of actual traffic?
SEOmoz is putting in some of its own client data but they need more help. They promise to collect the data, report it honestly (but anonymously - not revealing any of your keywords or those of clients) and build a tool that will use this formula. They will also provide the exact formula publicly, so that anyone can use the same information to build their own tools, use it in their internal calculations, etc.

How can you help?

  1. If you are willing to participate, please email Rebecca@SEOmoz.org. SEOMOZ will work out all the necessary details, whittle down what's required, and request screenshots to help make the data collection happen
  2. If you are a PPC expert and can help them to analyze the data and issue the requirements, please email Rebecca as well; they will need some help from the best :)
  3. If you're a blogger, you could ask your readers to do likewise
  4. If you participate at forums like DigitalPoint, Sitepoint, WebProWorld, SearchEngineWatch, HighRankings, etc. you could post about this and ask for volunteers (again, no need to link)
This kind of analysis is endless - SEOmoz may well develop a tool, but it will reflect a moment in time - as things evolve the work will need to be revisited unless one of the big keyword players unlocks the secret to offering accurate search traffic estimates.


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