SEO Tip: Use Google Adwords for keyword suggestions

During my recent experiments with Google Adwords, I’ve learned a really cool way to explore new keywords relevant to my websites. No, it’s not the Keyword Tool you have available from your Adwords control panel. It’s the web access logs of your website.

How Google Adwords suggests you new keywords

When you start an Adwords campaign, you specify a list of keywords you think is relevant, and then perhaps use the provided keyword tool to expand this list. That’s the typical approach. But wait, there’s more.

Most often, users get to see your ad in a sidebar of Google ads added to the Google SERP (search results page). So people use certain words for their search, and then Google decides which ads are most relevant. Sometimes your ad is shown there as well. The search term used by a user doesn’t necessarily match any of the keywords from your Adwords campaign, and this is where the added value lies.

You see, every time such a user clicks on your ad, the keyword term will be specified in the request which goes to your website. In other words, in your logs it looks like the person searched for some keyword term and found your page as one of the results.

How can you benefit from this?

The beauty of this approach is this: you get suggestions for hundreds of very relevant keywords, some of them vastly different from the original idea you had behind your Adwords campaign. The reason these keywords are relevant is because people opted clicking on your ad, so it’s not a relevancy calculated by Google, but the human intelligence.
Simply start expanding your website by adding pages targeting the newly discovered keyword combinations, and over time this will bring you an increase in natural search engines traffic.

AdWords: How Fictitious Clicks Occur

I've just read a very interesting post on AdWords Blog which will be useful for both bloggers and other AdWords publishers: Troubling Findings on How Some Third Parties Detect Click Fraud.

Most useful information can  be found not in the post itself, but in the detailed analysis document posted by the Click Quality Team of Google: Report on Third Party Click Fraud Auditing (PDF).

These are the two key findings explained:

  • Fictitious ad clicks because of mischaracterizing events. This finding may be the most significant flaw responsible for exaggerated click fraud claims. The problem lies in the fact that many click fraud consultants don’t count actual ad clicks. Rather, to determine the number of ad clicks, they use a number of other signals, including counting visits to a particular webpage. As a result, the consultants count page reloads and subsequent visits on an advertiser’s site as multiple clicks on the advertiser’s Google ad. This generates fictitious ad clicks in the consultant’s reports. For example, if a user browses deeper into an advertiser’s site, then hits the back button, this causes a potential reload of the original landing page, which a consultant would record as an additional ad click – even though no Google ad click actually occurred.

  • Fictitious ad clicks due to conflation across advertisers and ad networks. Some consultants “cookie” users and track their activity across their network of client advertisers. One often-used consultant implements the cookie in such a way that clicks on Yahoo ads can be counted as clicks on Google ads, and vice versa.

Click fraud had been an increasing concern for many AdWords publishers lately, and I think it's very important to read such reports to understand that some click fraud audits are not accurate. There is clearly a problem with fraudulent clicks, but it's definitely not as big as some companies claim.