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What are the Different Ways to Measure Keyword Popularity?

By Erika C.
Updated May 16, 2024
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Keyword popularity refers to both the number of times people are searching the World Wide Web for a particular keyword and to the volume of web pages containing the keyword. Although “keyword” is a common standalone term, “keyword phrase” is a more accurate description for most keywords, since they usually include more than one word. Keyword popularity information is important for keyword marketing. People seeking to create a web page based on a particular keyword search need to know whether enough people are searching for the keyword and how much competition they face in order for the web page they want to create to be listed near the top of search results. Keyword popularity is measured using several freely available online tools.

The best way to measure keyword popularity in terms of the number of web pages containing the keyword is to search for the keyword using a popular search engine such as Google™ or Yahoo®. If the keyword contains more than one word, it can be searched in two ways. It can be searched using quotes around the entire phrase to find how many web pages use the specific keyword phrase, or it can be searched without quotes to find how many web pages use the words in the keyword phrase regardless of the order of the words or their proximity to one another.

Both types of information are valuable. Since many users will search for the keyword without using quotes, it is important to know what types of results those users will receive from their keyword search. Knowing what types of pages result from a keyword search using quotes is also important, because some users do search for keywords in quotes. It’s also important because, if the person researching the keyword popularity intends to post a web page using a particular keyword, the page results from a quoted keyword search are the ones that will be in most direct competition with the new web page.

Another important measure of keyword popularity is the number of times users are searching the World Wide Web for the keyword. Although there are several different keyword service providers that provide tools for measuring this aspect of keyword popularity, the most common is the Google™ AdWords Keyword Tool. Using this tool, users can enter a keyword phrase and see the number of times a keyword has been searched for during the previous month both locally and globally. They can also see other important measures of popularity like search volume trends over time and the month during which the keyword was most searched for in the past year. The Google™ AdWords Keyword Tool also uses a keyword generator to generate a keyword list of search terms related to the original keyword.

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