A wide variety of options are available for performing keyword research, including tools provided by the search engines, tools developed by third parties, and tools for complex keyword analysis of terms culled during research. In this section, we will review each of these; but first we’ll examine what you can determine just by using the search engines themselves.
The search engines provide a number of tools that can help you with keyword research. Many of these are not designed specifically for that purpose, but they can be used to obtain interesting keyword research information if they are used in the right manner.
Blog search data is terrific for picking out hot topics or keywords in the blogosphere and the realm of social media. Since blog search often incorporates forums and other social media properties (anyone with a feed, really), it is a great way to see how a term/phrase is looking in the social space. Be aware, though, that the data is temporal—anything that’s more than a few months old is likely to be out of the blog index (this does make the data a great temporal tracking tool, however). For example, check out the 239,818 results returned by the blog search for cupcake recipes (see Figure 5-2) versus the 1.89 million results returned when web search was used to perform the same search.
Figure 5-2. Google ...