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Wordtracker is probably the most popular keyword analysis tool in use today and allows users to assess keyword traffic and keyword competition.

How Wordtracker works

WordTracker bases a keyword’s traffic on the number of searches over the last two months within the Dogpile/Metacrawler search engines.

It offers a massive 340 million keyword database from which you can find out what your target audience are entering into those search engines and how many times each keyword has been entered.

This is an invaluable insight to help you target your customers in your search engine optimization efforts and pay per click search engine advertising. It’s fair to say that you probably wouldn’t be able to come up with 90%+ of the keywords that Wordtracker comes up with.

Keyword competition is based on finding the number of exact phrase matches within a particular search engine. The free version of Wordtracker finds the number of searches using a different search engine – AltaVista. Paid versions of Wordtracker allow users to choose Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc.

Wordtracker plugs these two values into a formula called the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI). The number produced by this formula will determine whether a keyword should be used to aid optimization. A number close to zero indicates a very poor keyword; a number over 100 indicates a good keyword. Numbers over 400 are considered excellent.

Keyword Research With WordTrackerKeyword reseacrh in WordTracker – click the image for a larger view

Other features

  • Create and manage many separate projects for different sites or pages, and store your keywords separately for each.
  • Keep adding keywords to your project baskets, by the thousands if you want.
  • Get results on singular, plural, upper and lower case. (It’s amazing the difference you’ll often find between the singular and plural versions of a particular word.)

How to subscribe

There are a number of subscription options for WordTracker. The first thing you can look at is their free trial. It’s great for getting a feel for how the system works, but I wouldn’t recommend it for any kind of serious project.

Beyond that, you can sign up on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis.

The paid version has a lot of extra features that the free version does not have:

  • When you type in your main keyword phrase, the paid version brings back 300 words – all related to your main phrase and each one can be clicked to bring up a further list of up to 500 words related to that term. That is a lot of potential keywords!
  • The keyword basket can hold 5000 keyword phrases compared to only 30 in the trial version.
  • Gives you common misspellings of words. This is superb for PPC campaigns where you want cheap clicks.
  • Allows you to search for competition in all major search engines, the trial version only works on Altavista.
  • Allows you to set up multiple projects that you can work on at the same time. These are saved when you leave wordtracker and loaded again when you next login. Great for researching several websites at the same time, and also great to go back a month later and they are still there. If you rent Wordtracker for a day, these projects are saved for several months before they are removed. If then you rent wordtracker again a few months later, your projects are still there.
  • Top 1000 Reports – This gives you reports of the top 1000 keywords over the last 36 hours and the last 8 weeks. Great for spotting trends.


Overall, there is no better tool for keyword research than Wordtracker. The values for number of searches are much more accurate than with a tool like Overture’s search term suggestion tool (which has become very flaky).


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Filed under: Keyword Research