Keyword Selection Sources

Keyword Selection Sources

If you’re wanting to follow trends in your blog or simply close in on some ideas for a BANS (Build a Niche Store) eBay Affiliate site or a niche marketing blog finding the right keywords is where you want to start. From what I’ve seen, some people need some ideas on how to get started doing this before they delve into more complex keyword research methods so I thought I’d do a little post that might help you along if you’re in this category.




Google Trends

Google Trends

This is the big daddy, where just about everyone starts and many people end when it comes to keyword ideas.

If you want to know the 100 top things the world is searching for on the Internet at any given moment, here’s your ticket. One thing that you’ll notice about these trends is that they aren’t always the most monetizible topics. A lot of people will commonly be searching for information on other people such as  people in the news or popular celebrities. They’ll also be looking for news about important events like wars and disasters. Blogging about these items can bring traffic however conversion can be more difficult than product and service oriented posts.

Also note that these trends can be very transient. You might get a few hundred or even a few thousand hits the first day and no hits afterward as the story dies. Some topics produce consistent trickle traffic while others will suddenly see new search traffic after months of dormancy. You never know what it’s going to do.

Yahoo! Buzz

Yahoo! Buzz

Yahoo keeps its distance second place in the search engine market with this tool. It shows the top 20 searches and the 20 searches that have increased in volume the most over the past week. One thing that you’ll notice about trends here is that user demographics tend toward a less tech savvy crowd and tend to be either teenage searchers or older (40+) searchers. Bear this in mind if you’re wanting to target visitors in these demographic groups.



eBay Keywords and Pulse

eBay Keywords

eBay offers two ways you can check into what people are searching for on the world’s largest marketplace.

First, there’s eBay Pulse. This page shows you the top 10 products that are being searched for by visitors. As you might expect you’ll see very popular electronics items like the Apple iPod and the like. Overall, this information isn’t all that useful unless you’re well poised to compete for these keywords on your BANS site. Another interesting piece of information on this page is the most watched auctions. This information can be surprising at times and can be useful.

Secondly, there’s eBay Keywords. These pages offer you a way to see the top eBay search terms in alphabetical order. This list is rather large and is quite useful in finding keywords for BANS and other eBay affiliate marketing sites.

Lycos 50

Lycos 50

Lycos is an ‘also ran’ in the world of search engines and switched over to being a portal service and free blog provider. Their Top 50 page shows the top searches done from their portal and in their blogs for the previous week. These searches tend to reflect a younger demographic and thus are weighted toward celebrities, video games and TV Shows.




New York Times Most Searched

New York Times Most Searched

If you want to get a grasp on what’s hot in the news, this page at the New York Times will tell you what people want to know more about. The demographics here will reflect a more urbane and older audience who’ll be looking for more political and business news.




Dogpile SearchSpy

Dogpile SearchSpy

Dogpile is a search aggregation site. This page shows a live running feed of searches going through their system. While it won’t show you popular searches it can spark some ideas as you watch live search terms scroll by.






I’ve used all of these at one time or another for a jumping off point for keyword selection. There are other such services available. If you have one you like, feel free to mention it in a comment if you want to share it.

How useful are these kinds of search popularity tools to you?


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Comment by Link Building Bible
2008-05-07 21:32:10

These are some good places for keyword research. I have used Yahoo Buzz and Google trends, but I had no clue about the others. I am interested to see your more indepth keyword research methods.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-08 08:10:39


I’ll probably be adding to this topic later.

Comment by Emma
2008-05-07 22:01:02

Once again another fine post Frank. I didn’t know about ebay keywords, and I just found a term I need to include in one of my newly indexed bans sites. Thanks :smile:

Comment by jfc
2008-05-08 08:12:42

Thanks Emma,

eBay has a lot of interesting side features that not that many people use. Some are useful and some not so much.

Comment by James
2008-05-07 22:55:38

I use Ebay Pulse all the time for my BANS site research. However, as you pointed out, the first page of ebay pulse is kind of useless for kind of stuff. You have to scroll down the page and click on the link that says See more eBay Pulse Categories… which will bring to the pulse category page….click on any of them an it’ll give us such usefull information as the most search item, as well as the most popular and active auction item(in any particular ebay category)…perfect for BANS!

Comment by jfc
2008-05-08 08:14:02

Thanks James,

I had not dug down into Pulse that deep, assuming that it was just straight category listings. Thanks for the additional info.

Comment by Vinny Lingo
2008-05-08 00:08:54

I never actually thought about using the NY Times. That might even scoop Google Trends. I mean, people have to hear about this stuff somewhere in order to get interested in searching for it.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-08 08:17:19

Hi Vinny,

NY Times is good when you’re wanting to target certain niches and demographics. I also use Google News Search and Yahoo News when I’m looking for news topics although they don’t show you as much popularity info.

Comment by Lin
2008-05-08 09:12:11

Google Trends is very interesting to check out, and I have it bookmarked. For example, many people have been searching for info on Mildred Loving, but I didn’t know who she was until Google Trends. I hadn’t heard of the others until this post, so thank you for pointing these out.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-08 09:33:06

Hi Lin,

It’s funny what will all of a sudden spring to the front of Google Trends. I can tell from what I’ve seen today that there are a number of college students busy at work on term papers right now.

Comment by James
2008-05-08 18:46:52

Don’t forget to check out as well. They not only publish a bunch of top/hot sellers lists in various categories, but the default “sort by” setting for their product pages is usually by “Bestselling”….their hottest sellers. All of this would be useful information when building BANS sites, in particular if you’re interested in promoting/targeting the most popular brand names in any particular category.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-08 18:57:03

Thanks James,

That’s a good suggestion.

Comment by Houseboat Rentals
2008-05-10 12:05:47

Thanks for sharing some of these details. As you may or may not know, Keyword selection is one of my biggest hurdles. I hope you do keep posting on this topic of keyword selection.


Comment by jfc
2008-05-10 12:24:08

You’re Welcome Denise,

Don’t worry, it’s been hit or miss with me too. That’s why I’m using the term “Accidental Excellence” in my site description now. Essentially it means keep doing something and eventually something will work. :)

Comment by Houseboat Rentals
2008-05-26 11:11:51

There is another great tool for niche marketing that many people over look and it is delivered to them every day.

Check your bulk email or spam email and you will see what is hot in niche marketing. How many colon cleansing emails have you had lately?
Or free credit cards? Or how about meeting singles in your area? And on and on…….

Yahoo Answers also is another good one. Just go in and see what the highest searched questions are. Most people just use this for spamming their links but you can also find exactly how to write your post titles that relate to the questions people are searching for.
Example: Find the Latest Way To Blah Blah Blah

Keep researching wherever you find people who have a need.


Comment by jfc
2008-05-26 11:31:59

Hi Denise,

I usually auto-delete all those annoying emails. I can pretty much figure out what they are by looking on Azoogle or Never Blue for the latest and crappiest zip/email submit offers.

Yahoo Answers is a good source too. I’ve done some topics from there with mixed success.

Comment by Cheap Anime Games
2008-07-08 12:11:05

I’m familiar with several of these keyword selection sources, but hadn’t seen the New York Times one (odd, since I take a look at that site most days).

Thanks for the new sources of keyword goodness!

Comment by Crazy old canuck
2008-10-23 00:56:13

I love that dogpile searchspy. It took me a while to stop watching; very addictive. :)

I have often used the top 50 list from lycos to help me decide what to write about at a celebrity blog of mine.

I have also used google trends before. But, yahho buzz, ebay pulse, and NY times look to be great additions to my keyword hunting arsenal.


Comment by Jonathan Meager
2009-01-13 10:53:44

Google trends is proving really useful. Has any checked out:
Not necessarily best for keywords, but does give you some really good ideas what people must write when theyre online.

Comment by Dr z amps
2009-02-15 16:38:57

Quantcast and Alexa are also great sources of domain based keywords.

Comment by Moving House
2009-02-17 00:45:36

I have tried some of these but there are few new ones I haven’t been onto recently - hadn’t realised that dogpile at survived the google onslaught!

Comment by Sarah Martins
2009-03-09 12:11:34

In addition to post, the free utility for selection keywords and synonyms

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