Basic Manual Keyword Research Methods I Learned So Far

Keyword Research without Micro Niche Finder

Recently, I took a serious look at this keyword research thing that a lot of veteran bloggers are babbling about. I did a lot of googling about keyword research and the techniques (e.g. determining exact phrase count, etc.) people are using to reach whatever goals they have for themselves and their blogs. I noticed that a lot of them use some software to simplify the process. Some still talk about the traditional way of digging for keywords. One common term I encountered is ‘green’ keywords. This has its origin in a software called Micro Niche Finder where a keyword that is supposed to be profitable has a green symbol placed beside it to signify its status. So far, I’ve learned that a green keyword has a high search count, meaning a lot of people are searching for it; has low competition or low ‘exact phrase count’, meaning only a few bloggers are writing about it or targetting this particular keyword; has high commercial intent, meaning the keywords have high commercial value in the sense that most people who are searching for results in google using this term have a tendency to buy and click the ads; has low strength of competition.

I have of course read about the importance of keywords or keyphrases before, but I never really gave it much weight as my purpose for blogging has nothing to do with earning money, at least initially. My first idea about blogging is akin to having a diary to record my experiences and thoughts and everything the never-resting mind can conceive. Sticking to this idea however, I learned later, means there is not much chance of earning something out of the work you did for the blog. One can always write about interesting things and still earn from it. And this is done supposedly in a manner where you do a research for specific key words to use in the article you write that can bring in adsense revenue. I guess, this is not a bad idea.

The power of softwares like Micro Niche Finder is that it makes keyword research a piece of cake, saving you lots of time and energy. However it does cost a lot. And being wary about shelling out such amount considering my status as a newbie blogger who has yet to appreciate the value of keywords, I thought I’d just take the hard way for a while. That is, I’ll just do my keyword research the traditional, manual and laborious way.

Based on the discussions and videos I have so far seen about Micro Niche Finder’s capabilities, the following factors are considered significant in determining the profitability of a keyword or keyphrase:

  • Search Count
  • Exact Phrase Count
  • Search Volume Trend
  • Ad Cost
  • Commercial Value
  • Strength of Competition

There are other items that are also considered relevant, but basically the above-listed ones are the major items to be reckoned with.

I’m pretty sure there are several other tools and methods I have yet to discover but at this point I have learned about some tools and methods that one can utilize in the absence of a software like Micro Niche Finder.

Search Count: This is the number of searches, usually per month, for the subject keyword or keyphrase. This can be retrieved through Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool. This of course does not include the number of searches made through other search engines, eg. Yahoo.

Exact Phrase Count: This reveals the number of indexed pages having the same exact phrase. Obviously, the lower this number, the better. This ‘exact phrase count’ can be retrieved by typing on the google search box the keyphrase enclosed in quotation marks.

Search Volume Trend: This is an indicator of the stability of a keyword or phrase. This tells us if the keyword is being searched throughout the year or is search seasonally. This data can also be retrieved using Google’s Adwords Keyword tool. This is not shown by default. You have to choose to have it displayed using the dropdown menu just above the table of results.

There is also this site,, which sort of provides this same data.

Ad Cost: This gives the estimated cost per click of a keyword or keyphrase. Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool gives this data. Again this is not displayed by default.

Commercial Value: This is given in percentage terms. This indicates the probability of a searcher buying something based on his searched phrase. This is more popularly known as Online Commercial Intent or OCI. This value can be obtained by going to a Microsoft site called:

I stumbled upon this video about a free Commercial Intent Tool.

Competition: In Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool, this is shown as a horizontal box to the right of each keyword/phrase. The fill color inside the box indicates low, medium/average, high advertiser competition. For purposes of earning thru adsense, the higher this value is, the better. Micro Niche Finder however seems to have a different competition index indicator. It labels it as SOC, for Strength of Competition. A low value, with a corresponding green color indicator reveals that a keyword/phrase has low competition.

I have a feeling that whatever Micro Niche Finder can find automatically, anyone can also find manually. The time difference to accomplish the same thing however would be exponentially big. As soon as I get a grip on the real value of keyword/phrase targetting, which at this point I’m beginning to have, and obtain actual evidence of its effectiveness personally, I won’t hesitate to purchase Micro Niche Finder. This James Jones must be a genius.

I’ll henceforth be continuously researching for the proper use of keywords and how to process them for profitability. It pays to listen to the gurus through their free lessons which crowd my email inbox everyday. Best of luck to me and to those who are starting to raise a leg to step on the first rung on the 100-rung keyword mastery stairway.

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