Affiliate Quick Tip: Forget Google Keyword Tool

Affiliate Quick Tip: Forget Google Keyword Tool

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Google Keyword Tool is my affiliate marketing bible. I “read” it every night before bed, and I preach it to anyone who will listen. It’s great for getting an idea of how popular a term is. However, it’s accuracy is sometimes questionable.

So, you want to know exactly how many searches a term gets every month, week or day? Well, a simple technique I use shows you exactly that. I’m not suggesting this technique is in any way new, or innovative. It’s a simple technique that many newbies may not have heard of, so I figured it is worth sharing.

Whenever I am researching a niche to try and identify whether it will be profitable or not, the first thing I do is punch the keyword (and as many variations as I can think of) into the Google Keyword Tool. If this shows a nice high number of exact matches per month, I then use this trick to identify how many searches there are in reality. All I do is setup an adwords campaign for the exact match keyword, and setup an ad that I know wont get clicked due to irrelevancy. It’s a good idea to have a seperate account to do this, as Google won’t be keen on you if you do this regularly, so you don’t want this method tainting your regular campaigns. To make the ad irrelevant, I tend to just put something about me (it’s ALL about me haha)! For example, I was recently researching a fishing niche (not my usual tipple, but if its profitable, I’m there!) and put up the following ad…


Not all that interesting is it? Well, that’s the point! I had the ad on page one 100% of the time for the chosen keyword for a week, and received 0 clicks. So for a grand total of £0.00 I managed to find out exactly how many searches the term receives over a week. Obviously you’d have to take seasonal issues into account, and whether the product is more popular at certain times of the month, but this gives you a great idea of how popular the term is, with real data that you’ve gathered yourself. Needless to say, the term received a hell of a lot less searches than the Google Keyword Tool suggested, but I’m still going to rock with the niche, cause theres zero competition!


That the exact same technique I use. I usually use an ad that I COULD make cash off, ie if im researching for fishing nets, I would put an ad up for toasters and push it to a toaster website. I normally get about a click or 2 a week, costs about 30p, but like you said its worth it for the accurate figures.

Absolutely right,

Using this exact method, I found out that one of my keywords can give me 10,000 impressions a day..

Though I did make the ad relevant and made 4 sales! but doesn’t your quality score go down?


Wow, clever! Hadn’t thought of that – and no it’s not new but certainly an interesting ploy to use! Definitely need separate account as you say though!
Thanks Mark!


This is a dated technique. At least give credit to the blog you found this information from.

Mansoor – quality score will go down, burnt that point I’ve gathered enough info to make assumptions!

Old – um maybe you could tell me which blog I got it from!? As I’ve said, it’s not a new or innovative approach, I’m not claiming to be the only person doing it!

Good tip, Mark… nice blog too. :)


I did this for the first time the other day.

Did it on my main account though so I hope no damage was done.

Only got about 40 impressions a day though which was a shame!

Hi Mark

Have read your blog lots of times but never posted before; this is also a delayed response to this particular post but thought this may help if you didn’t already use

Back end of ’08 Google Beta’d their SKTool – which is the “search only” equivalent to Adwords Keyword Tool


The difference really being that the Adwords tool include search volumes across the entire Google Ad/Content Network so can make search volumes seem exponentially higher than they really are from an organic ranking perspective or simply just bidding on exact terms.

For example:

“Mothers Day Cards” gets approx. 8,100 exact local searches per month on the new Adwords tool, but on SKTool the same term gets given a figure of 2,800

Its not something Google have advertised loads, but I have found for many of my domains that the SKTool is often more accurate especially for more “niche” or “long tail” terms

Are you attending Think Visibility next week? (Sept 4th) if so would be good to meet up



Say Something