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Using Google External Keyword-Tools for SEM

November 17th, 2010

google external keywordSo I was doing some research into the SEO-software keyword values for the topics and categories that are routinely covered by my other blog, Considerations. The results were quite interesting.

For example, take the subjects that are frequently discussed by the writers there at Considerations. I did a Google Adwords search for the top ten most-expensive keywords associated with a topic category. Then, I calculated the average for the top ten. Here are the results:

Finance — $34.53

Business — $32.65

Marketing — $28.67

Christian — $20.84

Dating — $16.43

SEO — $16.12

TV — $14.50

Jewish/Israel — $10.38

Music — $10.35

Soccer — $8.96

Economics — $8.53

Islam — $6.56

Religion — $5.85

Culture — $5.84

Politics — $1.79

The averages comprise the top ten keywords in the category. Google, on average, charges companies the listed price whenever someone clicks on an online advertisement generated by a highly-popular keyword in that category. (Google then reportedly pays roughly 51% of that amount to the website owner.)

Google External-Keyword Tips in Marketing

The implications are obvious: bloggers and website owners who focus on finance, business, and marketing content and keywords can make a lot more money from online advertising than those who write on religion, culture, and politics. In a way, this is not surprising — the salaries of people who work in finance and business are much higher than those who work in religion or politics. It is yet another way in which the online world — through SEO software — is becoming a mirror image of the offline one.

After all, prices increase when there is more competition in a market for a product or service that is perceived as valuable. Take the Finance category — I once worked for a forex website in Israel in which there was intense competition to be ranked on the first page of Google search-results. (There are many forex websites doing the same thing.) The company fired a search-engine optimization (SEO) staffer every week because someone was always viewed as not performing past 100 percent.

The forex website garnered roughly 400,000 page views per month. Say that 0.5% of visitors clicked on Google Ads (this is a reasonable click-through ratio). That would be 20,000 clicks. Multiply that number times $34.53 average price for a top finance keyword, and Google’s monthly revenue from the site was $690,000. The forex company would then receive 51% — approximately $350,000 — of that amount.

Now, take the same website traffic for a political website — the monthly revenue would be $35,800 using the same calculation based on the average PPC of $1.79. The publisher would receive roughly $18,000.

Finance and forex websites, then, are inherently more valuable in monetary terms because the businesses aim to make money from existing money. Political websites are comprised of opinions that rarely generate revenue by themselves.

In a sense, the online PPC market resembles the offline labor market. After all, people working in finance earn significantly higher salaries than those working in politics or religion.

If a website owner (or worker) wants to earn a lot of money, he will look into finance and business. If a website owner wants to pursue his passion, he might discuss politics and religion. But if a website owner’s passion happens to be finance and business — well, then, he may strike digital gold.

Samuel J. Scott, a former journalist in Boston turned Internet marketer in Israel, is the founder and publisher of My SEO Software and Director of Digital Marketing and Communications and SEO Team Leader at The Cline Group. You can follow him at Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. His views here and elsewhere do not necessarily reflect those of his company and clients.