These days there are a number of providers of search analytics data - that is, historic and ongoing data about keyword rankings and site performance across both paid and organic search. The data is extremely useful when evaluating both your own sites, and looking at competitors.Most of these tools provide an amount of free data, with a subscription plan to "unlock" more complete data.
We identified 6 sites offering this service, covering both SEO and PPC, and providing access to UK-specific data - all of which we're currently evaluating. Drumroll, please!
|Service||Claimed database size|
|Search Metrics||100 million|
|Keyword Spy||127 million|
|SpyFu||Unknown (over 1 billion "results")|
A few things to note about database size:
- The numbers are taken directly from the sites in question, and may not be up to date
- A large database may not contain keywords that are actually searched for. This would be a disadvantage, since it adds unnecessary time and complexity into crunching the data
- However, as long as there is quality control, a bigger database is better, since it will avoid gaps in data and allow for a more complete analysis
- All of the tools mention database size as a selling point or advantage
But how does this total database size translate into a real world situation? Is there enough data for a UK SEO to analyse a range of sites? Let's find out. We took a sample of 5 websites of different sizes and industries to see how the tools would perform.
UK Organic Keywords
This turned out to be no contest - Search Metrics had the most data for every website. If we assume they had 100% coverage, and work out an average for the other providers, here's our organic keyword data ranking:
Interestingly, both Search Metrics and SpyFu had similar traffic proportions across the sites - implying that it genuinely does reflect different database sizes. These proportions also reflect what we expected based on site sizes prior to gathering data.
UK Paid Keywords
A reversal in fortunes. This time, SpyFu had the most data for every website in our sample. And our averages:
This time, a switch in the top two, with SpyFu having the most data by a considerable distance. The sheer numbers, however might imply low value keywords that are not attracting search volume, But that's another question.
And the winner is...
But size isn't everything...
Of course, lots of bad data would mean lots of bad analysis, so stay tuned for our next instalment - data quality.
Have any comments or suggestions? Want to question our methodology or moral integrity? Then jump into the comments below!