Google's Monthly Keyword Search Volume Doesn't Matter



I spent the last month focusing a lot on seo (Search Engine optimization). One of the biggest mistakes that I made was using Google’s monthly keyword search volume as an indicator on whether a particular keyword has sufficient search volume to pursue. Google’s monthly keyword search volume is completely wrong. I found large discrepancies when comparing my actual data from Google analytics to what Google says the traffic should be.

One of the high traffic pages on my website is, Subscribe to variable change in Angular 4 Service. According to Google analytics, in the past 30 days I had about 900 page views from organic search.

Monthly keyword search volume google analytics

If you use Google Keyword planner, it will tell you that the keyword angular 4 subscribe to variable has no volume and barely 10 searches. That’s awkward.

Monthly keyword search volume google adwords

One method that I use to accurately predict monthly keyword search volume is to compare the page views to the page’s position in Google. For example, if you search subscribe to variable change angular 4, you will find the my site ranks number 2. According to the Advanced Web Ranking, the CTR for position 2 is about 15%.

CTR for Position in Google Search

Moz put’s it a little higher at 30%.

So let’s conservatively say that about 25% of people who perform this search will click my website given it’s high position. Using some simple math, we can predict that there are about 3,600 searches per month for the keyword subscribe to variable change angular 4.

Remember, Google’s Keyword planner told me that are essentially no searches per month. Other SEO keyword volume search tools are just as bad. Moz’s keyword explorer also told me that there is essentially no volume.

CTR for Position in Google Search

Now in Moz’s defense, they explain that no data could mean that they, “haven’t collected information from our clickstream providers or AdWords crawls”.

Another example is my page, Dark Theme any App. It has been my second most viewed page on this site in the last 30 days. According to Google analytics, it has about 2,556 views. A lot of that is coming from YouTube. Drilling deeper into acquisition reveals that I got about 600 views from Google search.

If you look up the keyword dark theme any app in Google Adwords, you will see that it says around 100 searches a month at max.

Wrong Search Volume Keyword

In Serps, my site is at position 5, so that means I am getting about 5-10% of traffic. So that means there is actually 5000 - 10,000 searches per month. Let’s say I drill down the keywords a bit. In that article I talk about snapchat dark mode. According to Google, that is a nice keyword with almost 1k searches a month. But wait….my article barely ranks the first page for that keyword. It ranks really high for snapchat dark mode android. No surprise, Google doesn’t show any traffic for that keyword.

This brings up a key point in all of this. All of these SEO tools only have data based on advertisers and not actual queries. Also, Google is really bad at differentiating keywords from each other. Is it the presence of android or ios added to the phrase that’s actually getting your article to rank? But don’t worry, all is not lost. Google Keyword planner is useful for something.

One thing that I can agree with is that CPC for a keyword matters. In the example above, even though I had high traffic to those pages I barely made any adsense revenue. Advertisers aren’t really pushing ads to Angular developers (no surprise). Meanwhile, my low traffic page which targets a Chromebook keyword that has a high CPC is bringing in much more ad revenue.

So if your goal is just to increase traffic to your site, pay no attention to the monthly keyword search volume. If your goal is to make money through adsense, pay attention to the CPC. Naturally, keywords with a low supply of content relative to the demand will have a higher CPC.