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Are you into keyword discovery exercises?

As part of my daily marketing activities in the online world, I often dig down on the massive amount of data accumulated by Google to figure out what the best keywords are for the type of content I’m working on. When I find the best keyword(s) I stuff them into my press releases, landing pages, downloadable documents… you name it. SEO best practices wide-and-deep!

One of the tools I use at the beginning of these processes is the Google Insights. You enter a couple of keywords you want to compare, select the period that you want to look at and the specific category you’re interested in, and hit the button. You then get a comparison of the search volume around each of those keywords in the period you selected. Pretty neat!

Today I was comparing “Legacy Modernization” with “Legacy Transformation”. I simply entered the keywords and hit Search. I found out that Legacy Transformation was a clear winner, with a way higher search volume. But something was weird in the search chart.

Since 2004, this serach term (as well as the other I was comparing it to) where decreasing. How was this possible? Since 2004 legacy systems have been aging, so I would expect that the volume of people looking to modernize them would increase, or at least stay somewhat constant.

Fortunately I just had to scroll down a bit to see what was causing this strange behavior. Back in 2004 kids and teens were savvy about a cartoon blockbuster called DrabonBall. I remember that DragonBall manga characters would “transform” into vicious fighting creatures… and perhaps they would revamp their “legacy” powers into new weapons or skills!

To sort this out, I simply had to go back to the top of the page, and limit the search to the “Computers” category and … bingo, “Legacy Modernization” is the most searched keyword and has been pretty stable since 2005.

Lesson learned: Whenever you look at statistical data, make sure you get it in the right context (especially the market). Most of the times it’s not that hard to fine-tune the search and make sure you’re looking at the right things. But you should always remember to scroll down and see the whole picture

Other skewed keyword examples:

BPM – “Business Process Management” in the tech space  -OR-   “Beats per minute” in the music space

Mashup – A buzzword for applications that reuse stuff from other apps, in the IT world   -OR-  a cool new music tendency to combine 2 or more songs into one.

Composite Applications – Another IT buzzword to refer to apps built using services from other apps  -OR-  the application of special composite materials in construction

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