Monday, November 06, 2006

Using Google Trends to help with SEO

Google Trends is a fairly new bit of software from those clever technology people at Google labs. What it does is take a snapshot of how people are searching the web, and then allows you to view the results as a graph over time.

It also allows you to enter multiple terms and see how they compare, for example try Easter and Christmas.

"But how can it be used to help with Search Engine Optimisation?" I hear you cry.

Well, by knowing the more common search terms and understanding how trends are changing with time, you can make sure that you have the correct key words on your pages.

As a case study, this blog is called "Software, Technology and Leadership" but let's see how those words compare to some similes:
Software Vs Code
Technology Vs Tech
Management Vs Leadership

So it would seem that I’ve managed to pick three terms that are searched for far less than other terms!

There is a flip-side however; SEO is inherently competitive. What I mean by that is, there are hundreds of thousands of websites all trying to achieve a Google rank (or GRank as it will now be known). So the number of websites that you are trying to beat also comes into the equation, and obviously the fewer the better.

Finding the number of websites that contain a certain term is trivially simple; just google the term and see how many results come back (it's there, near the top: "Results 1 – 10 of about 1,700,000,000 for management")

So here's how the previously mentioned terms compare:

WordNumber of Pages

So, although less people are searching for the word Leadership (compared to the word Management) there are 1/6th the number of pages containing Leadership. Therefore, the chances are better of getting a higher GRank.

In conclusion, Google Trends provides SEOs with another tool for their box as knowing the phrases for which to optimise is half the battle.

No comments: