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Wordtracker Full Review

Wordtracker Full Review

By Jay Stockwell | Published 10/6/2005 | All The Reviews |

Wordtracker Review

Software Type: Web Based
Cost: $49.48 a month

Wordtracker is one of the first commercial keyword research tools that came out on the market many years ago. In many ways Wordtracker revolutionized the way many Internet marketers operated. Finally, we had a way to actually see what people were looking for, rather than simply guessing. It really forged the way for niche research.

Wordtracker is a web based research tool that uses its own unique keyword sample source. It grabs the data from Dogpile and Metacrawler queries over the past 110 days and reports on that data as a means to predict search traffic.

Not too much has changed over the years at Wordtracker. It still uses the same interface and provides essentially the same toolset that many have come to love.

I’m a fairly seasoned veteran with Wordtracker and can be a little set in my ways about how I use it. Nonetheless, when I began comparing keyword research tools I chose to try to forget everything I had done before and look at it with fresh eyes.

I took my keyword research for “fly fishing” and got started.

My Experience

The first thing I did once I logged into Wordtracker was head over to Keyword Universe. This is the keyword mining part of the site that allows you to find keywords variations of your keyword, plus it has an excellent lateral search function.

I used this tool to find several core keywords that related to fly fishing. This tool uses a thesaurus to find words that are somewhat like the original keywords. I used this to find other relevant words very efficiently. For example, it gave me trout, flyfishing and angling, which I had not thought to use. I emailed these 7 core keywords to myself so I had a record of them.

Once I had my core keywords I used the compressed search tool. This allows me to plug in my keywords and it finds 500 variations of those keywords, sorted by the search volume. I find the compressed search to be the most valuable, as it gets rid of the junk as well as treating the keywords in a similar way to how the search engines do. For example, most search engines treat “Fly Fishing” exactly the same as “fly fishing”. The “Comprehensive” search does this kind of filtering on the keyword data in a similar way.

You can do the advanced analysis in Wordtracker only in batches of 100 words. In Wordtracker, you can’t compare across batches.

So I emailed these 500 words to myself so I had a copy of them.
Once I had a copy of the 500 keywords in my hot little hands, I went on and conducted a competition search. I set up the competition search to see what data Wordtracker could produce for me.

The competition search allows you to output the top 100 words (of the 500 found) sorted by the highest KEI, which is a measure of keyword potential. It compares the search volume with the number of pages containing the keyword that are found in the search engine. The KEI equation corrects this value to reflect the fact that keywords with high search volume are inherently more valuable despite the amount of suggested competition.

Above is a screenshot showing the results of the competition search. This sorted my keywords based on the KEI analysis. It also gave me the necessary details used to calculate KEI, including search volume and number of competing pages.

It is important to note that KEI isn’t necessarily the final word on whether or not a keyword is worth pursuing. It just gives a very rough guide. It may be that while there are many pages, they may not be optimized at all for the keyword and consequently you may be able to create pages that outrank them.

In Wordtracker, I also ran a competition search on these keywords looking at the PPC bid data for Yahoo! Search Marketing (Overture). It seemed to give me incorrect bid data when I tried this tool. It brought up lots of zeroes for many good keywords. I cross checked these and found that they were often $1 or $2 keywords. So beware when you use this part of the tool. You may see fool’s gold.



So what did I end up with after using Wordtracker?

  • 7 Quality Lateral Searching Keywords.
  • 500 Relevant Keywords without competition analysis.
  • 100 keywords that I could do competition analysis on the major search engines, as well as see information the Pay Per Click search engine bids.


Strong Aspects

Let me recap the strong points of this product:

  • Unique and current data set. For all the tools I have tried, this seemed (at least using my intuition) to be one of the most accurate tools for reoorting actual search habits globally.
  • It has an excellent lateral search tool for finding related root keywords that you can run another set of analysis on to generate large lists.
  • It is web based so you can run it from any computer that has Internet access, and no one is going to ban you for doing too much data mining as many of the other software tools may cause you to do.


Weak Aspects

Let me recap the weak aspects of this product:

  • There is no advanced way to manage the data. It just gives you the data, and there is no method for sorting by any other way than the default they provide you. For example, doing a competition search sorted by volume rather than KEI.
  • Competition search allows you to check only 100 keywords at a time.
  • PPC research tool is weak. It didn’t work properly for me.
  • Tool for saving sessions is a bit limited.


Who is it ideal for?

On the whole, this software would be useful for everyone doing keyword research because it provides an accurate output of search activity. It has great lateral searching so may be an excellent starting point in your keyword research. Its PPC tools leave a little to be desired, so if you are strongly into this side of things, it may not be totally suitable.

There are many other tools around that can take Wordtracker data and make it more useful by allowing you to work with it differently, as well as adding extra information to the keyword output.

You should definitely get at least a one-day pass to try it out and get a strong keyword base for your projects and perhaps use other tools to refine these further.



For Niche Miners:
For Search Engine Optimizers:
For Pay Per Click Advertisers:
For AdSense Publishers:


Site: Check Out Wordtracker Now!



Comment #1 (Posted by Phil Tanny)

Hi Jay, great site! Here's a free online tool that helps users organize the data in Wordtracker reports. I hope it's helpful. http://keywords-for-you.com/wordtracker/index.cgi

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