Over the past few days, many Wordtracker subscribers have noticed changes to the Google data in our Keywords Tool. In this post, we'll explain why we've been making those changes, and how they'll improve the reliability and stability of the tool. And why you'll now be seeing more data than before.
Recently, Google withdrew our access to their AdWords API - which means we can't present Google keywords directly in our tool the way we have done for the past three years or so. Here's what they had to say about it:
"Unfortunately, because your use case does not directly involve the AdWords Program ... we must revoke your AdWords API token. If you are still interested in accessing the AdWords API we encourage you to reapply with a use case that incorporates the AdWords Program."
Which basically means that unless an organization is presenting a tool which uses the data directly for managing PPC keyword research and/or account management, Google aren't going to allow API access to that organization. And because Wordtracker's tools are more designed for organic SEO, we fall foul of this decision.
In order to keep providing the tools and features our customers want, we have had to make a difficult decision: whether or not to stop complying with the requirements for the Google API.
In order to meet them we would have to alter our toolset in a way that would mean withdrawing components and functions that we've developed in response to demand from you, our customers.
So we've taken the decision to move on from using Google's AdWords API.
The Adwords API is the only way of reliably providing Google keyword research data - without it we're not able show Google data in the way that it's presented by Google themselves (and in the way that Google like to have it shown).
However, if we were to meet the minimum requirements for the Google AdWords API, our toolset would have to be more focused towards Pay Per Click advertising, rather than focusing on our core strength which is Organic SEO.
These tools include (but aren't limited to) your Ranking Reports and some of the competitive data that we present to help you strategize your SEO campaigns.
Hello, SEMRush data
We have a fantastic solution in our friends at SEMRush. In anticipation of the withdrawal of our Google AdWords API access, we've previously done some work on SEMRush data and the possibilities available for incorporating it into our own toolset, and this is the perfect time to implement it.
You'll see it in the tool now, just select that Source:
It's SEMRush's search engine data, which thousands of marketers use and trust - and now it's available to you, too.
So who is SEMRush, anyway?
SEMRush is a popular competitive analysis tool from the people who built the SEOQuake toolbar. If you haven't heard of them, they handle over 95 million keywords from ten different territories: here's what they say about it:
"The data begins with SEMrush. We don't aggregate data from other services but rather we go straight to the source and track each individual keyword as a separate entity in our database, taking the actual values and metrics from Google and Bing for each database. Finally, these statistics are presented directly through our interface [Note: we'll be using our own interface to show this data via SEMRush's API]. We then refresh this data on a regular schedule to ensure that you're not only seeing the most accurate data, but the most current as well."
Why use SEMRush data? Isn't Google data more accurate?
Like the data in Google AdWords, SEMRush data does lean towards the PPC, but that's never stopped us from presenting it with an Organic SEO slant with organic competition metrics: which means that the mashup between SEMRush and Wordtracker will look very similar to the interface we had with Google.
But there are a couple of significant advantages to having the SEMRush data. They have way more data points than Google will present - which means that over time we'll be able to consider including:
1) More competitive data, such as who ranks for each keyword at the time of the data being collected (the database is updated monthly, with more popular keywords being updated more regularly than this).
2) Historical data on each keyword (which is a popular request from Wordtracker users).
And from now on we will be including:
3) More data for your research: SEMRush don't limit the number of keywords that can be returned for a query. While Google's maximum is 800 keywords, we'll now be able to show you up to 1,000 keywords for each search, as long as those keywords exist in the SEMRush database. While some of the keywords presented may differ in certain niches from the Google data, these are keywords from Google that SEMRush offer: and they've made it very straightforward for us to present.
Will I notice the difference?
If you're used to the Google data then you may well see some differences, but search volumes correlate well. (It's worth mentioning that, like the Google data we've been presenting up until now in our system, these are Exact Match volumes):
We'd love to hear how you get on with the new data.