Other Keyword Research Techniques

market samurai

micro niche finder

Actually, this post should have been called ‘Another Keyword Research Technique‘ or method, because I’m expounding on only one of the methods below. After all, the first few methods are already very well known and well over-used by both beginners and experts.

So, most of you already know the following methods of keyword research. Of course, there’s a lot of methods out there. I’m just showing off some of the techniques I’ve learned in my almost 2 years of blogging after office hours. 🙂

  • Google Adwords Keywords Tool:
    • The mother of all keyword tools.
  • Spyfu.com:
    • Shows number of advertisers, search results, daily search volume, cost/click, top ppc domains, and related terms.
  • EzineArticles.com
    • Using the proper search terms will yield some interesting results where you’ll find the number of views an ezine article has gone through. The more number of views, the more searched the article is. Of course, what’s left is for you to find which keywords are being used in the article. The title often gives enough clues to find the keywords.
  • Google Products:
    • The auto-suggest feature of Google products gives ideas about new keywords for further research. I use this for creating sites selling physical products from Amazon.
  • keywordspy.com:
    • go to keywordspy.com
    • type in a seed keyword in the search box
    • select ‘keywords’ among the options below the box
    • click Search
    • In the ‘Overview tab, you’ll see statistics for your chosen keyword
      • you’ll also see keywords related to your seed keyword with search volume and CPC
      • listed also are PPC competitors and organic competitors
      • you can also check (spy on) any website’s keywords
  • Micro Niche Finder:
    • A keyword tool that’s not free. I use it as my primary keyword research tool. Versatile and has more than paid for itself.
  • Market Samurai:
    • Having relied on MNF for keyword research, I use Market Samurai more to spy on the competition backlinks-wise and to monitor my sites’ rankings. I have yet to explore it’s other features though.

The Other Free Keyword Research Technique

And finally here’s the other Keyword Research Technique/Method I was talking about.

  • Checking newly registered domains

other keyword research techniques
One site I found out which can do this is nsspy.org. If you go there, you’ll be presented with 50 most active name servers for the day you are checking it. Or, if you click on the ‘Browse all monitored name servers’, you’ll see all of them. Clicking on any of the links shown will bring you to a current month calendar page that has clickable day dates. Clicking on a date will bring you to a page listing all newly registered domains for that date.

There are 2 things you can get out of this:

  1. You’ll get ideas for new keywords. If the competition is not steep, you may jump into the melee, by buying the .net or .org domains, or some other variation of it, and try to out-SEO the others.
  2. You could use the new keyword as a seed keyword and search for its long tails.

I’ve tried it, and of course, I have to admit that it takes a lot of patience as you browse through the endless list of new domains starting from 0 (zero) to A to Z. And that’s just for one name server e.g. lunarpages. Last time I checked, nsspy.org is monitoring 514 name servers. If you have lots of time on your hand, and you’re not the impatient type, then you could try this technique out.

Other Keyword Research Resources

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Enjoying MNF Again

My MNF (Micro Niche Finder) is back and working even better than before. Whew, I was almost ready to accept that I’d never see my copy work again. After all, it’s paid off its worth many times over already. I thought I’d lost forever one of my best SEO tricks.

For the ‘uninitiated’, Micro Niche Finder is a keyword research tool that evaluates the viability of your keywords, giving you an idea as to how easy or difficult it is to use for ‘seo’ purposes. Particularly interesting is the ‘Brainstorm’ feature where with one click you are given several random keywords and the feasibility of each one. This is specifically helpful for someone who doesn’t have any idea for a keyword to start researching for. I owe to this brainstorm feature one site of mine that has garnered some considerable success in the serps. For more information about (MNF) Micro Niche Finder, please check this link out.

No, the MNF copy in my notebook is still not working, just as the Google adwords keywords tool is still not working when I use IE. I have stopped pestering MNF Support because I had a feeling that the fault is no longer with MNF. This, after they told me to try using the Google Adwords Keywords tool using IE. They said if it doesn’t work, MNF won’t work. Some say it could be due to a Win7 update, etc. Besides, there doesn’t seem to be much discussion about it in the MNF Facebook page. If the problem had affected everyone, it would have become a big issue. Seems like everyone else is sailing smoothly with their mnf, including those who are ‘outside the US’.

MNF Is Back

Last week, my wife got her wish of getting her new Lenovo netbook. It only has a Win7 Starter Edition OS. I installed a second copy of MNF there. Lo and behold, MNF worked and is back in all its glory. All features worked seamlessly. Looks like I’m back in business again. I have yet to inform support about this.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned earlier, the copy on my own notebook is still useless. I’m contemplating on doing a ‘system restore’ back to when it last worked. This would entail some backup work, but I just might get to do it soon when I get the inspiration, or when I get tired of borrowing my wife’s netbook, whichever comes first.

Presently, I use the tandem of Market Samurai and Micro Niche Finder for my keyword research.

Now, all I need is to do is schedule and allot a time to get back to keyword hunting.

Try Market Samurai now for free!

What’s Up With MNF?

How long has it been? A month? Two? Seems like it’s been ages since the last time I saw my MNF work. James Jones has been assuring us that his programmer is hard at work trying to cope up with the sudden changes Google has introduced to its search machinery. And he has sent us 3 (3? or 4?) updates since, the latest being version 5.2.6, but not one of them worked. Well, at least this latest version now has the ‘Brainstorm’ and ‘Hot Trends’ links live, which however still unfortunately comes out empty.

MNF is (was?) an excellent product, an amazing tool for bloggers and online entrepreneurs since it came out years ago. I myself was awed when I first used it. Fact is, I was able to put up a few sites based on the results MNF offered to my seed keywords.

Now, I’m wondering if it can ever rise up again after it fell down to earth. You can’t help but be amazed at the power google has in their hands where it can cripple in one instant those products which depend on it for their sustenance.

I’m not sure, but I think Market Samurai also leans on Google heavily as its source of its output. But I can see that things are cool at MS. The app is still running smoothly. MNF? Each time, you are greeted with a message box that says: “An error occurred while retrieving results from Google’s Keyword Tool”.

Of course, after seeing someone complaining about it in MNF’s facebook page, and seeing James Jones’ reply, I have kept my silence for as long as I can. After all, I also understand how things are going with James’ programmer. I have worked as a programmer sometime ago and I know how it feels to be pressured to come up with a solution to some program glitch or something. With an app like MNF, with thousands of users waiting, I would want to ask the programmer “When was the last time you had a sleep?”.

Try Market Samurai now for free!

UPDATE: My Micro Niche Finder is working again! Yuhoo! Please see my post ‘Enjoying MNF Again‘ to see how I got it to work again.

My Simple Business Plan: The Prequel

Knowing what I know now so far, I would have started out with the following simple business plan, and I would have earned what I am earning now quite sooner and hopefully a little bit more.

  1. Get MNF or some other keyword research tool e.g. Market Samurai. Again, as I’ve stated in an earlier post (Manual Keyword Research Method), I can still work things out without Micro Niche Finder. But experience dictates that if I want to find profitable keywords faster, I’d have no second thoughts regarding the effectiveness of MNF. I’d estimate that I’m able to find a good keyphrase in a couple of search-focused hours using MNF. This owuld roughly be equivalent to, say, a whole week of focused manual searching using Google Adwords Keywords tool and further manual verification. Sometimes, if I get really lucky, I’d get a good keyphrase in a single click using MNF’s ‘Brainstorm’ feature.
  2. Having found one or more good keyphrases using MNF, I’d further refine my investigation on the profitability of the keyphrase using the free version of Traffic Travis. Using its ‘SEO Analysis’ feature, I’d further see how I’d fare with the competition.
  3. Having made sure my keyphrases are good, I’d proceed to get me webhosting (if I didn’t have one yet) for at least a year. Lunarpages should be good enough, as like a lot of webhosts they also offer unlimited domains and subdomains. Since Lunarpages offers a FREE domain, I’d use one of the keyphrases as my primary domain. Most veteran webmasters would advise limiting oneself to only the .com, .net and .org tld extensions.
  4. If I have more than one good keyphrases to start with, I’d buy these domain names, say, from Godaddy or Moniker.
  5. Collect data for content of each website I’m putting up.
  6. Decide whether to use WordPress or static html/PHP pages. If I foresee that a particular website will have a lot of pages, I’ll go for WordPress. If a website is to contain only one, 2, or 12 pages, I’d use html/PHP. And this is possible only because I already have some knowledge in html/PHP. Otherwise, I’d use wordpress for all websites I put up, one-pager or multi-pager.
  7. Create the websites and the pages it is to contain.
  8. Configure my cPanel in my webhost to hold the websites for each domain.
  9. Install WordPress (if using wordpress) for each domain and input the contents. (Here, I add AdSense codes (once my application gets approved) in the content. Depending on the main keyphrase, I may also add links to Amazon products.*)
  10. Try to get the new websites indexed by Google by creating a backlink to the sites from sites that Google crawls often.
  11. *Apply for Adsense account. Apply for Amazon affiliate account.
  12. Do backlinking work. A lot of people say that the rate of backlinking is to be limited especially in the first few weeks of a website’s existence. It’s got something to do with avoiding getting thrown into Google’s sandbox.

Henceforth, all I’ll be doing is backlinking work and some on site work, e.g. adding additional pages, editting, etc. And, of course, monitoring of my Google serp position. Well, I’m no longer that newbie but I now follow this simple business plan that I concocted out of experience. Note, that this simple business plan is based on earning through adsense and affiliate marketing e.g. amazon. Should I learn about CPA & listbuilding and other income generating ideas, this simple business plan might change with time.

MNF: Your Activation Status Cannot Be Verified At This Time

Micro Niche Finder Error #:12057

An error occurred while attempting to verify your activation status.

Error #:12057

Your activation status cannot be verified at this time.

I got this error message when I opened my copy of Micro Niche Finder version 5 (which had been successfully activated previously). However, after closing the error message box, the application continued to open and function just right, so, I thought nothing further about it and figured that it probably would just resolve itself the next time I open Micro Niche Finder. On the third day and the third time the same error appeared, I finally decided to seek help from the MNF support pages.

I was directed to a knowledgebase support page at jamesjonessupport.com* which enumerated a few steps to solve the error. Of the 5 steps, I only did the first 3, but when I re-opened Micro Niche Finder, it opened nicely and got its activation verified.

MNF Solution

  • Firstly, MNF support suggested to check the computer date and time. Mine is alright.
  • Next, support asked to clear the SSL-State in the “Internet Options” of Internet Explorer. And also to un-check the 2 options on the Advanced Tab shown in the picture hereunder:

    I unchecked the ones that are marked with red x’s in the above image.
    I forgot to clear the SSL-State however.
  • I was also asked to download the latest, and all, updates from Windows Update. This I did not do as I preferred the auto-update to do this at the proper time.
  • Then, ‘Reinstall IE 8’. I also skipped this as I did not find any need to do this. After all, I don’t use IE. I use Firefox. So I just closed the currently open IE browser.
  • Next was the instruction to “Download and install the root certificate update from Microsoft…”. So, I visited the given site and read about the suggested file, paranoid as I am about any extra installations. The statement in the overview that said “Once you have installed this item, it cannot be removed” made me lose interest in it. Besides, it further spoke about enabling me “…to use Extended Validation (EV) certificates in Internet Explorer 7.” Mine is already IE8, so perhaps I don’t need this update after all.

So, like I said I, only followed the first 3 steps of the solution. And when I restarted Micro Niche Finder again, lo, all’s well again.

*Click here to go to the exact support page link.

SEO Side Effect – A shot at a highly competitive keyword

I’m just writing out some observations I made after checking the stats lately of one of the few business sites I’ve created a few months ago. I have yet to analyze these data. But I just am posting these right now and hope to make a follow up post after my analysis (which may take awhile, considering that I am allotting for these tasks only a few hours a day).

If you jump back a few months ago to my post about my ‘Update to Keyword-In-Domain-Name Experiment‘ post, you’ll see that I made a rather detailed account of what I did, novice as I am, to my very first business site to bring it from nowhere to #2 in the google serps. This site is the very same site I was talking about in my post called ‘The Power of the Keyword-In-The-Domain-Name‘ when I tested the veracity of what I’ve been reading everywhere being preached by the gurus. I can never thank MNF enough for giving me that first green keyphrase and my ‘First Step Up Google’s PR Ladder‘ excitement . I was just lucky enough to have a friend who gave me time to play awhile with his Micro Niche Finder on his laptop. After finding how cool MNF is as an SEO tool, I decided thereafter to buy a copy for myself (although I could have just continued using my friend’s) in order to thank James Jones. It proved to be one of the very best investment I’ve ever made.

I started out working on a 3-word keyphrase that glowed green in MNF. Most bloggers/webmasters by the way, when they talk about their seo experience, for whatever reason (competition?), never reveal their keyphrases (although some do). I think a struggling newbie like me would be better off sticking to the same policy. So, let’s just symbolize my keyphrase with a dummy phrase like, say, ‘robotic swing arm’. The root keyphrase ‘swing arm’, although it has a tempting high search count, was very competitive and was colored red in MNF which means ‘you’re out of your league here, go find another less competitive phrase’. So I settled for the longtail ‘robotic swing arm’ because it was as green as an empress’ jade pendant, although it only has a search count 1/10th that of ‘swing arm’.

Long story short, my seo efforts brought me a little success. Number 2 in google. There were even a few days at a time when it tiptoes at number one, only to rest back to number 2. Then lately, I found that my site has begun to show up in the google searches for the 2-word keyphrase ‘swing arm’ although I did not do any seo work specifically to rank for that keyphrase. Yesterday it was #19 out of 17,300,000. It looks like my seo efforts to rank for a 3-word long tail keyphrase produced a side effect of raising my hopes to rank at the 2-word root keyphrase. I run MNF again and checked out this 2-word phrase’s data. It’s SOC (strength of competition) value is a whooping and glaring red 1000! Green SOC values range from 0 to 50 only. Now I ask myself, do I have a chance at landing within the first page of google if I focus my seo work on this particular phrase? MNF’s SOC tells me it’s a difficult climb (SOC 1000). Even Traffic Travis showed a Difficulty Rating of ‘Extremely Difficult’. Market Samurai also threw an extremely high SEOCTR value of 186% (low seoctr, say 0% to 7%, means weak competition). It’s like, everywhere I turn, everybody tells me ‘you can’t do it’.

Like I said earlier, I have yet to give these observations a little more attention. If some of you have had experiences that run along these lines, you could probably cut short my analysis time by giving me advise based on your experience. What do you think?

Some SEO Videos

SEO Tips

Finding .gov and .edu backlink sources

Micro Niche Finder Experiment

Why I purchased Micro Niche Finder

If you’ve read some of my posts here, you must have noticed me talking about my ‘other site‘, or my ‘business site’. I also elaborated about the seo procedures I undertook to get it to its number 2 position in the Google SERP. And I have also boasted about the ‘first $100‘ I earned online courtesy of the business site. It was also this ‘business site’ that got me excited about my first experience of having a site get its PR2 within its first 3 months.

Through the generosity of a friend, I got a keyphrase that initiated the creation of my ‘business site’. It was my friend’s Micro Niche Finder that gave me my first ‘first hand experience’ in earning online. In gratitude to my friend and Micro Niche Finder, and in anticipation of further finding possible opportunities of this kind, I alloted my very first online earnings to the purchase of my own copy of Micro Niche Finder.

As a complete beginner in blogging and website management, I am naturally wary of spending my hard-earned bucks in software that promises to make online earning easy. And there are many such applications/software out there. But had I known about the versatility of Micro Niche Finder the moment I started blogging, I would have bought a copy then, and I wouldn’t have wasted 5 months blundering in the the dark. Yes, hindsight is 20/20.

The Micro Niche Finder Experiment

This has been undertaken and proven by others long ago. Well, it won’t hurt to find it out myself. I am embarking on an experiment with the Micro Niche Finder tool. I am creating another blog that would rely on free (unique) traffic and see how it fares. Free traffic, not on repeat visitors, or visitor loyalty. Managing repeat visitor loyalty is a bit too heavy a responsibility for me in that I could not keep up with the demand to produce 1 to 3 posts per day just to keep them coming back. I just don’t have that time and talent. They say I need to build a list. Someday maybe, but since I’m not there yet, I am initiating this experiment. A lot of blogs are already doing this. Now that I have Micro Niche Finder*, I feel I have what it takes to go that way. No, I’m not using this blog, moralde.com, for the experiment as I consider this a personal blog that I prefer to be free from the limitations of SEO rules.

I’ll be reporting on the progress of this experiment from time to time.

*Micro Niche Finder has improved and added a new feature in its arsenal of data collection. The MOB feature has added even more power and support to its SOC data.

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, http://trend.icerocket.com/, 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: http://adlab.microsoft.com/Online-Commercial-Intention/.

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.