Keyword Discovery Review

By Jonathan Morrow

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Doing keyword research is kind of like watching American football.

Millions of people call themselves fans, but they're quick to admit that they're not too serious about it. To them, it's just a game-something to do on Sunday afternoons and talk about at the office on Monday. They might root for the home team, but it's no big deal whether they win or lose.

Then there are the football fanatics.

We can give you a full stat history on every player, including backups. We know the rules better than the referees. We glow for days when our team wins and throw the TV through the window when they don't. And the off-season? There is no off-season. When there are no games, we obsess over trades and position changes, meticulously thinking through all of the different possibilities.

It sounds crazy, but you can divide website publishers into the same two camps.

Most competent publishers can tell you the most popular keywords from their niche. They'd like to build an authority site that ranks for some of those key words, but it's not a central part of their strategy. To them, keyword research is a valuable exercise, but it's far from the end-all and be-all of website publishing.

Then you have the data freaks. They obsess over their keywords, meticulously researching and tracking them to give their website a shot at success. You'll find them crunching keyword data at 2 a.m. in the morning because they honestly lost track of the time. To them, keyword research is a war, and the only acceptable outcome is to show up #1 for every keyword in their list.

Which group do you belong to?

If you're just a "fan," stopping in every now and again to do a little research, then you're probably better suited to either Wordtracker or Wordze. But if you're a data freak, fighting for every ounce of advantage you can find in the web, then you need a different tool-one that offers the most comprehensive data available, allowing you to analyze your niche to the most minute detail.

It's called Keyword Discovery, and the folks at Trellian were kind enough to give me a peek inside.

The Ultimate in Keyword Data

Keyword Discovery is a beast. Take a look at these details from their sales pages:
  • Keyword Discovery collects data from over 200 search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and MSN
  • Combined, that data encompasses 36 billion searches
  • They offer keyword databases from eBay, Amazon, and other shopping sites, showing you products people want to buy
  • You can search keyword databases for specific countries, such as the USA, Australia, Germany, the UK, Canada and others
  • They can even show you data on searches from new sites like Google News and CNN

None of their competitors come anywhere close to providing that much data. After using their tools, I can also testify that Keyword Discovery seems to offer the most comprehensive results. It's kind of like the difference between low and high resolution cameras. With Keyword Discovery, you can zoom in to see every "pixel" of data in full detail.

A Deceptively Simple User Interface

The Keyword Discovery interface consists of a few links across the top of your screen.

Keyword Discovery Interface

After hearing so many people rave about its power, I was a little surprised by (and concerned about) the simplicity of the interface. Most other keyword research services have lots of tools boasting different kinds of features, not just a few text links across the top of the page.

But boy was I wrong.

The Keyword Discovery interface is optimized for doing heavy-duty keyword research. You can switch between different features with one click of your mouse, analyzing keywords from a whole new perspective. For instance, take a look at the "Research" Tool:

Keyword Discovery Research Tool

With the buttons on the right side, you can quickly move between phrases containing your keyword, spelling mistakes, related keyword, and a fuzzy tool that searches for small variations in your keyword. You can move between them with a click of your mouse, analyzing the keywords from lots of different perspectives.

Here's a look at the whole page. Click to enlarge:

Keyword Discovery Research Tool Full Screen
Click image for larger view

Fast and Thorough

More than anything, I was impressed with the combined speed and comprehensiveness that Keyword Discovery offers. Rather than waiting 20 minutes to see all of the related keywords, which is fairly normal, it finished in one or two seconds, displaying over 1000 related keywords!

If you subscribe to their Enterprise API, you can apparently get up to 10,000 results, which is more than 10 times what any of their competitors offer. Of course, you'd also have to pay for the Enterprise API which features a price that might make you choke.

The Downside? Price

Keyword Discovery is probably the best keyword research tool on the market, but it's also the most expensive. The Enterprise API with all of the bells and whistles costs a staggering $4,455 per year.

Fortunately, there are some cheaper options. Their standard subscription, which is what I test drove for this review, is only $69.95 per month. If you're willing to subscribe for an entire year in advance, the price comes down to $599.95 - about $49.95 per month.

Either way, it's a little more expensive than its competitors, but the question is, is it worth it?

Should You Subscribe to Keyword Discovery?

Well, let me reframe the question. Do you really want to bargain shop when it comes to the success of your site?

On my most important sites, I pay for the best of everything - hosting, design, and keyword research. To me, it seems silly to risk hundreds or thousands of hours of my time without making sure I'm moving forward with the best data money can buy.

But maybe you're not working on a mission critical site. If that's the case, Wordze or Wordtracker are probably the better choice. They're only slightly less comprehensive, and there is no need to empty your wallet when you're tinkering.

For me though, the bottom line is: are you expecting to make money from your site?

If you are, Keyword Discovery is probably just a little bit better than the other services. For instance, I'm thinking about starting up some new Adwords campaigns, and if I do, KD is definitely my tool of choice. Even if the results are only 5% more accurate, that can still translate into thousands of dollars in my pocket.

Jonathan Morrow is Associate Editor of Copyblogger, -

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