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Nailing Jelly to the Wall

Alex Christie

3 July 2008

Estimating search engine traffic by keyword is somewhat of a holy grail to me. Not only because everyone wants to know this precious information, but because, with all the data now available regarding searchers and searching, it kind of feels like something you should be able to work out.

If you look at the analytics for your own website I am sure you will see, that even if your ranking for a particular term remains constant for weeks and weeks, your traffic can vary, sometimes greatly. This is because your traffic depends not only on ranking but on a myriad of other things, such as:

PPC
Whether people are bidding for PPC on that term, how many PPC ads there are, what the copy of those PPC ads are, the competitiveness and commerciality of those terms.

Natural
Who is ranking around you, are they big brands? What is their copy? What is your own copy and your own brand strength?

Seasonal

What day of the week is it? what time of the year? is it sales time? Has your industry just been on the news for scandal, or in Heat magazine because all the celebrities are using it?

Despite my negative spin on this so far, many companies and individuals estimate traffic, for example;
Google Adwords
SEO book
Miva
Wordtracker
Wordze

While it might be true that I will never get better than rough estimates, if all these companies are happy to continue to try and nail jelly to the wall, then I just can’t give up either.

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