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Fun with keyword searches

September 9th, 2009 No comments

One of the things I have always loved about search marketing is the insight you get into people. Check that. It’s also taught me things about people that I probably didn’t want to know – for example, the plethora of porn terms you will find associated with just about anything.

Hitwise’s Bill Tancer’s blog touches upon this quite often. But, still, SEOs seldom discuss this. Is there anything that lets you know more about ‘what makes people tick’ than deep research into keywords for any subject or industry?

I’ll never forget looking up video game keywords a few years back, and trying to parse out keyword searches related to the then-hit (and since made into a movie) Hitman game. I found it really hilarious that there were at least 50 searches a month for ‘hire a hitman.’  I found out there were even sites devoted to the subject of hiring a hitman that supposedly protected identities and “set you up.”  I suspect that  howhirehitman.com/ might very likely be a sting operation, but in 2004, South Korean police arrested a college student who offered assassination services by operating a ‘killer-for- hire’ web site.

According to Yahoo’s keyword tool back then, the number of people typing the keywords “hire a hitman” into a search window was 50 per month. According to Google’s keyword tool (I just checked) that number is now 1900 per month.  Now what does that tell you about the world today?

It’s interesting what you learn about people when you are doing research…… just one of the reasons I absolutely love being in this industry.