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Google Dance and Future of Keyword Research

Google DanceKeywords until some time back have been lifeblood of an Internet startup. What most of the entrepreneurs would do as the first step was researching keywords. They would dig up the best keywords to represent their websites in either the PPC campaigns like Adwords or normal search results. Keyword research used to be the first and most important step, with such tools as WordTracker, Overture, etc.

Would You Really Use WordTracker for Your Keyword Research?

‘Best Technical Writing Fields’ is a keyword for which I optimized one of the pages within CuteWriting recently at WordTracker’s recommendation. WordTracker said this keyword received above hundred searches daily. I optimized my page for that keyword and got it as the first result on Google. Even now, my page on Constant Content is ranking second after Los Angeles Times page for this particular keyword due to the optimization I did. What about those hundred visitors? In three months, not a single person visited that page through that keyword. Using WordTracker for today's keyword research is foolishness.

About Overture, the used-to-be keyword research tool, I needn't speak a word. Overture is already outdated, before Yahoo purchased them. Yahoo! is anyway known to acquire the most outdated products.

Google Dance and Future of Keyword Research

Since 2003, Google index updating is rather abrupt. It is now even in hours. Which means, if your site is ranking as the first result for an optimized keyword, within a few hours, it will not be in the first page at all. After two days, it will again come up to the top. You may even find high ranking for non-optimized keywords.

This sort of abrupt changes in ranking is known as Google dance. The effect of Google dance is that your site will not get more visitors than it is slated to get on a particular day, unless you do too much of advertising, social media submissions and forum posting. (Check out the means for high traffic).

The effect of this is thus: Imagine your site ranks high for a keyword, ‘good writing’ (for which CuteWriting does). This keyword gets almost 100 searches daily through Google alone. But, for my site, even though it ranks on the first page for this keyword, only three visits happened in a day. Why is this so? The answer is clear. Google dance. My site is not always on the front page for that keyword. The ranking frequently changes. And some other keywords for which I never optimized at all makes my pages come to the front page. Since CuteWriting get lot of visits from such other keywords, Google merely ranks it lower for 'good writing'. But whenever I search for that keyword, Google shows my site as the first result. It somehow monitors the IP address range and knows how to fool webmasters.

All the traffic to a site now is such widespread through hundreds of keywords. So, even if you optimize and get to the front page for a particular keyword, Google can monitor how many visits it sends to your site and will merely rank you lower once your daily limit is reached, no matter that keyword is searched or not.

Recently, I published an article on Abhinav Bindra, the Indian Gold medalist. The effect of this was awesome. I got overnight, a hundred more search visits. As it exploded before evening here, India, the search visit limit was up. What happened afterward, you know? There was lukewarm searches visits for even my top keywords. Traffic was of course more, however, you know the difference between two hundred extra search visits and two-fifty total search visits on a day; that difference merely didn't happen.

How to Fight Google Dance?

Simple, there is nothing you can do about it. What you can do is continue to write quality content and build links effectively. Google will automatically increase your daily search visits. Even if you optimize heavily for a search term, you can’t control the search visits from that term.

My search visits goes naturally up in a week. About two weeks ago, average search visit for one of the popular keywords on this site was only 3. Now, the same keyword gets seven daily visits. It just went up? No, Google just ranked my site high for that search term more times. It optimized my site’s pages so that my average daily visits increased, and Google allowed more visits from that keyword.

So, the point is keyword research has almost come to the edge, and a prod can knock it off. To the new entrepreneurs, it’s not at all important. These days, I don’t give weight to my keyword research at all.

Google Keywords Tool, If You Want Keyword Research Anyway

Why would you want to spend huge sums of money on keyword research through useless programs like WordTracker, when the largest and the most mattering search engine itself gives you all keywords that matter to you absolutely free? I don’t recommend or use anything else.

For occasional search engine position tracking for my site, I use the Google keyword tool, coming with Adwords. But you don’t need an Adwords account or even a Google account to handle this tool (which webmaster doesn’t have a Google account?)

Google keyword tool gives you three statistics from Google search. They are all time average searches for a keyword, last month’s searches, and the keyword competition.


Keyword research is now only a routine and holds no more importance than any other SEO strategy. The days when you can optimize for big search volume keywords to get great search results are gone. Now, only merit counts, and merit means regular, quality content.

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Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008


  1. I stick to the google keyword research tool too. I have heard that some people have good luck finding terms with MSN's ad center, but I don't have the patience for how slow it runs.

  2. This was a really interesting read. A lot of different opinions out there about how content helps. Google's really got us all roped in, haven't they? Good job for two guys starting in a college dorm.

  3. I agree that it works much better to forget about keywords - although the adwords tool seems quite useful sometimes. It is much easier to get visitors by spending time on content rather than keyword research.
    People who insist on keyword research - you might try to see how people are really finding your site and focus a bit on those words and phrases, it's pretty interesting information.

  4. Great article. This is the kind of information a newbie like me needs. There is so much MISinformation out there. Even on forums a regular with 1000's of posts can be totally misleading. Thanks again.


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