Lee Odden

Winner Best Keyword Research Tool

The poll is closed and the results are in with 154 votes for the most recent TopRank OMB Reader Poll: Best Keyword Research Tools. The two long standing tools of choice for many search marketers, Keyword Discovery and Wordtracker, battled it out and in the end, tied.

What surprised me was how popular the old Overture tool continues to be despite not being updated since January 2007. Perhaps that should spell an opportunity for Yahoo to somehow use the url for a new and improved keyword tool with ads for Panama on it.

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (10 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. A very timely list. I don’t know what the problem is but Keyword Discovery is being an absolute nightmare at the moment. Lots of Db errors to the point where it is unusable for me. I find the UI deeply flawed as well. It just does not work intuitively or consistently.
    I switched from Wordtracker because the KD data set seemed more realistic, but I may have to switch back unless KD make some very serious improvements in reliability and usability.

  2. Simon, it’s interesting you say that because I’ve heard those comments about KD from other search marketers as well.

  3. The delightful Katrina Suzanne (on your recent readers) is in the process of blogging it. She’s been trying to use it for most of the day and is just about ready to kill. So she’s venting some anger by posting some supportable issues.
    As a business owner there is a very serious issue to address. We charge a day rate. We should be reasonably expected to be productive within the time where are services are paid for. Keyword Discovery is regularly soooooo slooooooowwwwwww that I guesstimates it hits our efficiency by between 25% to 50%. I can’t pass that on to my client, if I want to keep them that is.
    I’d like Keyword Discovery to sort it out as I like their data set but, it has to be done quickly otherwise I’m taking a big financial hit

  4. A little surprised by NicheBots low score. I imagined it would be more popular given that it aggregates data from WT and KD.

    I think Levi has done a great job with Wordze – certainly my personal favourite.

  5. An interesting list, and I will have to look at all of those once again as I have got pretty loyal to Overture.



  6. I think Overture remains popular as it is one of the only keyword research tools that provide realistic search numbers for countries outside the US. Some of the top tools say they have a UK database but the numbers are in no way reliable.

  7. Hey Linda, if you’d like to include some of those private programs, we’d be happy to include on future polls. That is, as long as they are self service types of tools.

  8. For english keywords there’s plenty of choice but some one could do a list of those tools that can be used for other than english speaking countries. Google keyword tool can provide some data but I’m not sure how accurate data they are willing to give away…

  9. Avatar JayG Advertise on the Internet says

    The only two on their that I use are Overture and Google Suggestion Tool. Use wordtracker a bit but I think this should have went the way of Google Suggestion considering Overture hasn’t been updated.

  10. I am surprised that Nichebot doesn’t have a very high ranking at all. Is that the free version or the paid one? Nichebotv2 is the best for the price and it doesn’t cost that much for all the information on keywords you can get. I was
    a beta tester for it as well as a loyal user now. You have
    a few on the list I have never seen but will have to check them out.

  11. I am really suprised that Keyword Analyzer did not make it to the list.

    I have used Overture, Wordtracker and Hitwise and I don’t believe they come close to KA.

    Wordtracker is slow to play around with as it is web based.

    Overture online only gives a limited number of keywords and Hitwise does not provide numbers but instead percentage points based on comparisons.

    With KA I can use it for specific countries. I live in Australia and with some of my consulting work I am specifically dealing with the Australian market. KA lets me really drill into our market as it does with any market.

    Definitely worth a look!

  12. Justin, can you confirm the URL for KA? BTW, this poll is focused on web based tools.

  13. Justin, bump what Lee said.

    If it keyowrdsanalyzer [.] com then I would have to question why the owner a keyword tool that can give relevant country specific keywords (more or less the holy grail in keyword research) is using such terrible ‘get-rich-quick’ long copy sales techniques?

    No serious SEO would buy from a page like that unless it was very highly recommended within the community. I’ve never heard of it before and I think we all know who the target market is for the long copy I mentioned.

    @Lee – sorry, I don’t have your patience so if I jumped the gun and it turns out to be a different URL feel free to remove this comment.

  14. Richard,

    The long copy community you speak of are your customers and everyone around you.

    Some of the best copywriters in the world have helped companies like Amex and the Financial times. Would you picture them as ‘get-rich-quick’?

    So I don’t believe you should be putting anyone in a stereotype just because they are marketing a certain way. Everyone does what either works or what they have been taught.

    And guess what, emotional marketing on paper or the internet does work. And honest companies and people make money communicating that way.

    As for Keywords Analyzer. Personally I don’t care if you take a look at the product KeywordsAnalyzer [.] com or not.

    I use it and was trying to contribute to this forum and share my outlook on the product.

    I use it, I like it. And I prefer it over the other 2 that I have tried. It was not mentioned so I thought it worthy of adding.

    So your comments in relation to no serious SEO would buy from a page like that. Well I did. Plus the product was personally recommended by a friend. So not are you only not saying that I am a Serious SEO person (my current employer would love that) you are also offending my friend.

    But guess what. The product does allow me to do keyword searches via countries. I don’t know the full nuts and bolts but I have run the figures for Home Loans and Keywords Analyzer gave me different figures for searches and a different keyword set for when I ran it in the US compared to Australia.

    Plus I then got some special code from them to query Google Australia correctly to get the # returned results. It is different on google.com and google.com.au. And I also verified the result numbers myself and the keywords it found against my Search Results using the Hitwise Competitive Intelligence tool.

    And although not exact they were comparable lists. And Hitwise service large corporates around the world, tracking a number of users via ISPs. But I guess you know what they do and how they do it, cause your a Serious SEO.

    Maybe you should think before you type.

    @Lee – sorry if I come across too direct.

  15. Wow Justin

    You took that very personally. Sorry – my bad.

    I would be genuinely interested in seeing those AMEX and FT pages you mention. I honestly cant imagine either of those companies publishing content online that resembled the sales page found at the domain I mentioned, but I am open to learn something new.

    Can we confirm that I have the right domain also?

    But please read what I wrote before you go accusing me of insulting your friends:

    No serious SEO would buy from a page like that unless it was very highly recommended within the community. I’ve never heard of it before and I think we all know who the target market is for the long copy I mentioned.

    How you have concluded that I am offending your friend is beyond me. My intention isn’t to insult, but perhaps my opinions needed to be stated as just that – opinions.

    The point I am making is that if the tool in question can indeed produce such good keyword analysis on a country by country level (something that most of the biggest companies in the industry cannot) then it would be foolish to market it with the long copy technique observed on their site. Just my opinion, but suffice to say that that type of copy signifies a pitch at the consumer market IMO. I haven’t heard of the tool in question previously and I do spend a considerable amount of time keeping in tune with what is happening in our industry.

    Each to their own I suppose. I’m sorry you took such offense at my comment.

    Apologies Lee – wasn’t my intention to start a flame over here.

  16. Avatar Justin Bryce says


    You offend me because you incinuate that there is something wrong with Long Copy Marketing and suggest that any SEO person interested in it is not really Serious. Well I was interested so you advising I am not Serious, my friend is not Serious and anyone else that uses it is not too. All because we read the long copy.

    Have you never read long copy? I am sure you have read long copy in a magazine, paper and maybe even the mail. And most peole have bought via Direct Mail (long copy marketing).

    People have been using these marketing techniques for lots of years. The early 1900’s have had some of the best and most successful examples.

    The copy I refered too for Amex and the Financial Times (Or was it the Wall Street Journal – my Mistake) are two of the most famous direct marketing pieces ever written. I have not seen them online but have read them in lots of marketing and training material.

    I can easily fax them too you.

    So why is it foolish to market it this way? Is that just because you don’t like it? If you knew anything about marketing what you would say is that they are foolish to market it a certain way without testing it to see if it works better than some other way you think might work.

    Why don’t you get over the marketing of the product and take a look if you are that interested. And if you are not, then move on.

    Long Copy works and people who read can be serious!

  17. From a personal point of view, I loathe long copy. I see long copy and I look for someone elses product. To me, it screams out snake oil, whether it’s a great product or not. However, it clearly works and so has merit but it’s not a strategy I will use. I also have a feeling, completely not backed up by any stats, that it is much more acceptable in the US than in the UK.

  18. I agree that if someone marketing a quality product or service has found a way to effectively do so, then good for them.

    While the long sales letter style might be effective for sales in general, it has the opposite effect with me and therefore would not be included in one of our polls.

  19. Avatar Jason Lancaster says

    Quintura is also an excellent FREE tool that should be listed.

  20. Quintura isn’t a keyword research service like the others in the poll, it’s a visual search engine. There are many, many different tools for brainstorming keywords, but this poll was about actual keyword research and analysis services.

  21. Avatar Justin Bryce says

    I would love to hear what features you think are necessary with a Keyword Research tool.

    I needed country specific research because I am here in Australia. But are you interested in KEI, # of Campaigns or Campaign bid prices?

  22. Thanks for this amazing list Lee. I was only familiar with a few of these, but will examine each. I don’t claim to be an SEO expert, but I am always looking for improvements that can individually furnish me a slight edge. Thank you.

  23. Good list of tools Lee.

    Trying to vote for the best one is pretty difficult when everyone works in a different way and a particular tool may suit their way of working better than the top rated tool.

    As for the long copy short copy argument…

    The way I look at it you test each one with whatever product or service you sell. If short copy out pulls long use it. If long outpulls short use that. It doesn’t really matter what your personal belief is it’s what your prospects want and what converts them into sales that’s important.


  24. Hi Lee
    Useful list, thank you – Trellian looks interesting as a new one to try.
    Wordtracker is giving some strange results these days, however I wonder how we skew the figures by checking SERPs regularly. And I can’t be the only one to add extra dodgy keywords to my checks so I don’t push people towards my keywords in the long-term.
    PS Sorry Justin but I think Richard’s right about that site – long copy or short copy – it just looks spammy to me.

  25. I’ve been using keyword tools for several years, and after purchasing so many of them, I decided to create an affiliate site which compares all the tools.

    I believe this link would be of value to your readers, since I interviewed several of the developers of the keyword tools, along with my own research.



  26. hey this are good tools.. i’ll definitely bookmark and keep the links,

    it’s really important to do a little research on keywords esp if you want traffic from search engine!

    thanks for the list 🙂

  27. Avatar Keyword Research Service Reviews says

    Here is another site I found that offers reviews of many keyword research tools, services and software.. thought it might be of use. http://www.keyword-research-service-reviews.com

  28. Good Post,

    We have included the top quality articles on Keyword Research, SEO at our SEO and Keyword Section of our website.

    If you guys find the time do visit that too http://www.212articles.com

    Keep up the good work


  29. Thanks Lee, Excellent post, I can see some new tools which are relatively good and can start messing with them.



  30. A very good list, some of these I had never heard of before. Will check them out later on. Some of them had free trials too – and some where actually free.

  31. Good post thanks Lee, one question tho I’m looking for a tool that can help me research the Australian SE market, obviously most if not all of the above relate to the US or UK, I’m no expert but am really interested as to how I can narrow my research down to the Australian market if possible. Any ones insight would be appreciated.

  32. Ben, Keyword Discovery and many other paid tools allow you to segment by country.

  33. Ive been using Wordze lately and am happy with that service. Wordtracker has always been in our arsenal, but we’ve found limitations, including pros and cons to all the leaders. Recently we created our own keyword research tool based on our own metrics and the Wordze api. Thought your readers may be interested in exploring it, and we’d love the feedback…


  34. Hi Lee,

    Thanks for the info, its very useful.

    My own experience is based on keyword research for the UK market,
    hence I focus on UK search engines.

    Word tracker just does not give accurate results in terms of number of searches,
    It can be way out, I have got top of SERP


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