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Google AdWords Keyword Tool – A Useful tool for AdSense Publishers

Posted By Darren Rowse 23rd of March 2006 Adsense 0 Comments

I’ve been playing around today with the Google AdWords: Keyword Tool which is a tool designed to help AdWords advertisers optimize their campaigns – but which is also very useful for AdSense publishers. It’s recently been updated in a number of ways – one of which is that you no longer need an AdWords account to access it.

I thought I’d take you on a tour of it because I think it has some great applications for AdSense bloggers.

When you first go to the tool you’re given an option of two types of keyword searches – ‘Keyword Variations’ and ‘Site-Related Keywords’. I’ll take a quick look at each now in turn.


Keyword Variations

I’ll start off by plugging ‘Blogging’ into the field and then pluggingin ‘get more keywords’. The results of this give me a list of keywords that relate to the term ‘blogging’ – ranked by relevance.
Related Keywords

This list might be useful in thinking about other words to include in your posts – but in and of itself it’s not the most useful list (as you’ll see it comes up with some interesting keyword). What is more useful is the next feature…

Keyword Popularity – Above this list is a drop down menu titled ‘Show Columns:’ which allows you to view the same list of words with some other, more useful, data. The first of these options is ‘Keyword Popularity’ which gives the following information (click to enlarge):


Now you not only see a list of words – but see two extra things (note if you click the blue links at the top of these lists you can have them arranged by order of them).

1. Advertiser Competition – or how many advertisers are targeting these words.

2. Search Volume – how many people are searching in Google for these words.

This information is very useful for a publisher in a number of ways. For starters if you’re running AdSense on your blogs it will help you to determine what words might be worth targeting in order to get a good supply of ads. For instance ‘corporate blogging’ seems to be a term that advertisers are looking to target whereas ‘cat blogging’ is not (who would have thought!).

Secondly for bloggers looking to optimize their blogs for Google the second column tells you how popular keywords are for searchers. While the little green bars don’t give you numbers you can compare words popularity. So at a glance I can see that more people are searching for ‘audio blogging’ thank ‘blogging tips’.

Cost and Position Estimates – the next option on the drop down menu gives you some hints on what advertisers are willing to pay for keywords. I won’t go into all the details of it but enter a dollar value in the field and see what ads ads are in that range.

Once again – this is helpful for publisher to get an idea of what keywords are worth. Remember that the values are what it costs advertisers and not what publishers are paid – ie Google takes a cut and ‘smart pricing’ means payments to publishers vary.

Global Search Volume Trends – this is the next option on the drop down menu and gives you some more useful information regarding the trends around search in Google for these terms.

Again it gives you the ‘Average Search Volume’ which we’ve seen before – but it also gives you ‘Search Volume Trends’ for the past year in a little graph. This enables you to see how the number of people searching for the keywords has fluctuated over the past 12 months. It also gives you the month that had the highest volume of searches in that period. Below is a screen cap (click to enlarge).


Once again this gives some very useful information as it enables you to track the popularity of topics over time.

For instance take a look at the phrase ‘business blogging’ which 12 months ago was fairly low but whch had increased significantly over the 12 months. This gives an indication of the growth in popularity in this term. Balance this with the first column that shows it’s not as popular a term as ‘blogging’ and you’d be in a good position to decide whether it’s a term you want to target.

Possible Negative Keywords – The last option gives the words in the term that are not as relevant to the keyword search. I’m not sure how this is too useful for publishers – it would be more relevant for advertisers.

Site Related Keywords

Ok – back to the top and lets select the other tab – the ‘site related keywords’ option.


Here you are able to enter your blog’s URL (or any site for that matter) and find keywords related to that site. I’ll try it out with ‘’. Once again you get a drop down menue with different ways of viewing the words.

Keyword Only – as with this option above this gives an indication of what keywords AdWords sees on your blog. This is actually very useful as you get a quick overview of the keyword density on any page of your blog.

One of the problems I often see with bloggers using AdSense is that they get irrelevant ads on their blog. This leads to lower CTR and is often a result of poor keyword density.

For ProBlogger I get these results:


As I write about making money from blogging I don’t see too many surprises here.

Under these results is a long list of keywords related to each of these terms.

Keyword Popularity – in this option we again see a list of how many advertisers are competing for these keywords and what the search volume for the keywords is. Very useful information in tweaking your site to trigger plenty of ads and hit words that people are searching Google for.

Cost and ad position estimates – as outlined above this enables you to check what people are paying for the keywords related to your blog.

Global Search Volume Trends – once again – a very useful tool for identifying whether the words on your blog are becoming more or less searched for over the last 12 months.

General Comments

– While any AdSense publisher using this tool will definitely want to keep reminding themselves that it’s actually designed for Advertisers and not publishers – it is a very useful tool to keep in your publisher tool belt in order to optimize your blog for it’s highest potential when it comes to SEO and AdSense.

I’ve found it not only interesting (and fun) to play around with it today but have identified a few simple ways through analyzing the results it gives to improve one or two of my own blogs. I’m certain there are other ways to use as a publisher that I’ve not yet thought of though and would love to hear how you’ve used it (or will in the future).

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Wow very interesting and useful, I have got some research to do!

    I am always amazed (but should not be surprised lol) just how much information google seem to have (and are willing to share) about everything.


  2. (satire warning)

    This is why I need to stay away from ProBlogger. Darren finds all these great toys that suck up every last ounce of grey matter in the ol’ noggin and distracts the heck out of me.

    It is amazing I can get any posting done at all…

    Thanks for all you do Darren.

  3. LOL – nice one Tom.

    The problem with writing a site like this is that I try them all myself too and distract myself in the process :-)

  4. This is pretty nice. Definitely useful, so I appreciate the thorough post on it.

  5. Must Love Goblins says: 03/23/2006 at 7:02 pm

    Very useful. Thanks for the link!

  6. Kudos to Darren again for discovering the white knight list just as he pointed out the blacklist ;-)

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  10. Thanks for the nice overview. It would be great to have a list of similar tools compiled (or reference to sites that have already done this) for publishers who want to optimize their sites/blogs for Adsense.

  11. “cat blogging”

    Where can I find blogs written by cats? It’s about time we heard direct from the furry source.

  12. Wow! Just discovered your blog and I’ll certainly be returning to visit again. Great info .. thanks.

  13. Darren, I’ve been using a program called Adword Accelerator (I’ll not post the url, but a google search, or obvious domain, should direct you), that does that, and more. It’s a pay for play program, but it has so many nifty features all rolled into one package, that it’s become indespensible for keyword research. Might want to check it out.

  14. Great find! I’ve been playing with overture’s bid tools and inventory listings for a while now and having something similar to those for google is definately a plus.

  15. Good post, I appreciate it

  16. Its very interesting and useful, I have got some research to do!

  17. Nice tool. The only thing I wish Google would add is to display actual number figures when you hover over the bar. Since I don’t have concrete numbers, I sometimes will still use the Overture Keyword tool as a supplement to the Google keyword tool.

  18. i really love this one , yesterday i learned about ecpm and ctr .. and the result was great .. now ill try to use this ideas of yours ..

    thanks man .. nice blogs very useful ..

  19. Wow very interesting and useful. Thanks for the link!

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