The popular keyword research tool from Trellian, called Keyword Discovery, changes their database to rely on their tool bar users only (like Alexa) instead of the tool bar usage in combination with search-logs of 200 and more search engines and other sources.
Keyword Discovery, the premium keyword-research service by Trellian (similar to WordTracker) recently changed their default keyword database. The database that is the basis for their reports and statistics was switched to what used to be their optional premium database.
I learned about the change via email newsletter from the keyword research service NicheBot V2.0, which uses the Keyword Discovery API and WordTracker API to offer the same data for a lower price to their customers. They announced this already much earlier in April this year, but needed the time to perform the actual change.
Trellian uses the data collected from over 4,000,000 people who have software installed that reports the users searches on search engines back to Trellian.
Trellian also used to include data logs acquired from ISP’s and Search Engines themselves in their keyword database. Those are now being excluded and only the data from the 4,000,000 users remain.
Rammifications of the Change
This means that keyword counts will be much lower now than they were for the same keywords last week. I am not a Keyword Discovery user, but I am sure that Trellian made their customers aware of that.
Trellian says that this change (reduced database) will result in more accurate search results. They say that the Search Engine logs tend to account for “weird search data” due to what is called “search engine noise”. Search engine noise is queries performed by SEO’s and scrapers to determine rankings of their or competitors sites for specific keywords and are not searches by actual users.
Look into the Future
Trellian also states, that their user base of 4,000,000 will increase to 12,000,000 (triple) by the end of 2007. I would like to know how they plan to do that. Buy Compete.com and Alexa.com?
The Database that is now the default database for everybody, used to be the Premium database in the past. People reported in the past already that it seems that the premium database results are much more accurate than the results of the much larger “global database”. The premium database is much more like the WordTracker keyword database, which is “only” using the 30+ million searches of the last 90 days at their meta-search engine Dogpile.
The old Trellian keyword database consisted of 12 months worth of data from over 30 billion search queries.
Alexa V2.0 – Paid Version?
Now the problem with the Trellian software that captures the searches is that we do not know what type of users has it running. May be it is or will become as hopelessly skewed as the Alexa data, which is also using software installed on users computers to track a website’s popularity. Alexa is used by tech savvy geeks and tempered with by people who try to game the system from a higher Alexa ranking for their website that does not reflect actual popularity.
Okay, Trellian does not do the ranking scoring, which reduces the risk of malicious tempering with their data, but I still would think that the way the data are collected is already limited to a very specific type of user and cannot reflect an accurate cross section of actual search users.
We will find out with the time, if this move was a smart one (especially, if they really grow their user base three fold by the end of the year) or if it only becomes a very expensive version of Alexa instead.
Foreign Language Databases
I wonder if this change also affects their country specific databases with keywords collected from search engines in languages such as Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish and from UK search engines. WordTracker did just February this year launch the UK Version of their Service as well.
I also wonder, if their slightly higher price than the one for WordTracker is still warranted or if they should match WordTracker pricing instead, because they reduced their system to something that is much more like WordTracker than it used to be before.