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Search Term Analysis More Affordable

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Search Term Analysis More Affordable

From The Search Engine Update
September 2, 1998

The best way to measure your success with search engines is to examine your web site logs to find the actual search phrases used to reach your web site. This has gotten easier thanks to Marketwave dropping the price of its Hit List Pro log analysis software from US $995 to $295.

Hit List has long been one of my favorite tools, because it can be easily configured to display search phrases for a variety of search engines. By default, it ships with reports for AltaVista, Excite, Infoseek, Lycos and Yahoo. However, I've enhanced my copy to display terms from HotBot, WebCrawler, GoTo, LookSmart, Snap and many other services and metacrawlers.

Many WebTrends users mistakenly believe they also are getting search phrase information for several major search engines, but this is not the case. Instead, WebTrends breaks down search phrases into individual keywords.

For example, if someone entered "income tax forms" into Yahoo and found your site, WebTrends would report that you were found for "income" and "tax" and "forms," not "income tax forms."

That may not seem so confusing with just one example, but imagine what happens when hundreds of phrases are broken down into individual keywords. It becomes impossible to distinguish the exact phrases that brought a site traffic.

If you use WebTrends, don't despair. The company says the next release, due within two months, will correct this problem. The product currently sells for $299, though it is often available for a discount through web hosting providers.

Another option for those interested in search phrases is FlashStats. The program is primarily designed as a real-time, server-side analysis tool, but it can be run locally on a personal web server for offline analysis. It comes preconfigured with search phrase reporting for 16 search engines, more than any other log analysis program that I'm aware of. The price is $99.

Marketwave Hit List
http://www.marketwave.com/

WebTrends
http://www.webtrends.com/

FlashStats
http://www.maximized.com/products/flashstats/

Keyword Analysis Using Marketwave Hit List
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/hitlist.html

This is a new page in the Subscribers-Only Area that discusses exactly how to enhance Hit List to display search phrases from a wide variety of search engines.


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