Review of Keyword Discovery Tool

By Stephen Ward
04 May, 2008

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Unless you can psychically tap into the collective consciousness of the world, you probably need software to help with your keyword research. Thankfully, there's a great utility out there called Keyword Discovery, offered by Trellian, which lets us mere mortals answer that elusive question, "What are people searching for?"

I had an opportunity to take a look at Keyword Discovery, and I must say I liked what I saw. As an interactive technology analyst, I employ a variety of different tools and techniques to research keywords. Keyword Discovery pulls many of these functions together under the same roof. Advanced search features allow users to search for related terms, synonyms, and common misspellings. The program can also crawl external sites to fetch meta tags or perform keyword density analysis.

Among Keyword Density's most notable features is its one-click term expansion. On any given list of terms, you can select a term to generate a new side list as if you had searched for that term. Since you don't have to abandon your original list to do this, it's a great time saver.

Another remarkable feature of Keyword Discovery is its volume of data. Whereas other programs might return a few hundred results at the most, Keyword Discovery can return thousands. Similarly, while other programs track daily or monthly search frequencies, Keyword Discovery returns the yearly frequency, providing a more thorough basis of comparison than other "snapshot in time" approaches. The program can even produce a trend analysis for any given term, showing seasonal patterns and averages over the past 12 months.

Perhaps the most powerful feature of Keyword Discovery, however, is its project logging. Every term selected from a list is automatically stored in the current project. Users can simply click and forget as they go about their research, viewing and exporting the ongoing list as needed. No emails, no spreadsheets, no tables to copy; Keyword Discovery saves you the hassle of tracking your work, freeing your attention for the actual research.

The only issue I found with Keyword Discovery was its industry-specific term list. Don't get me wrong; industry-related terms are a great resource. I have to question the validity of the data, however, when some of the terms don't seem to accurately match their industry. Maybe I'm missing something, but I doubt websites about quantum physics should target terms like "Mitch Hedberg" (who is a comedian, not a physicist).

This speaks to an issue with all programs like this, namely, data validity. As an end user, it's impossible to see how the data is being collected or processed. Thus, despite the website's assertion that it derives its data from "over 180 search engines worldwide," it's difficult to say whether or not the program provides valid (and therefore valuable) keyword targeting.

Overall, Keyword Discovery is a giant leap ahead of similar programs in terms of functionality. It is well worth the price (currently $32.50 per month) for anyone who performs regular keyword research, and is certainly a better value than comparably-priced competitors. Speaking as someone who's run the gamut of SEO tools, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better utility for your keyword research.

Stephen Ward is is an Interactive Technology Analyst at MarketSmart Interactive

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