What is Search Volume?

Search Volume is a metric used to estimate how many searches for a certain keyword took place within a certain timeframe.

As a rule, search volume is measured on a monthly basis. This is chiefly because the major source of search volume data, namely Google and Bing, provide this metric broken down by the past 12-months.

Below you will find a screenshot from Google Keyword Planner (GKP). It’s one of the most popular free solutions for keyword research and a go-to tool for setting up Google Ads campaigns.

gkp search volume cpc competition

As you can see, GKP also provides an average value of monthly search volume. The value is received by taking the sum of search volumes for the past 12 months and dividing it, well, by 12. Note that the average search volume is not a very reliable metric, since it does not offer much insight into the seasonality of searches or into the search trend direction (rising vs falling).

Besides Google Keyword Planner, there’s also Google Ads (formerly AdWords), which provides the same data through API, but allows for larger research volumes than the tool’s interface.

Up to this point, everything may seem simple. Yet, there are a few tricky things worth noting:

  • GKP provides only search volume ranges for accounts with no active campaigns.
  • GKP lumps together groups of similar keywords and shows combined search volumes for them.
  • If you misspell a word or intentionally try to check the search volume for a misspelled keyword, GKP will always return data for the corrected keyword only.
  • Google has around 80 search volume values that are logarithmically proportioned and repeated across all keywords.
  • Google does not provide separate SV for different devices, daily/hourly data, or data for more than 12 months back.

Still, Google is the only credible source of Google Search Volume data because, well, it’s about searches happening on their platform.

Speaking of searches made with Bing, this search engine provides more granular data. Unlike Google, Bing Ads shows separate search volumes for different devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile), and, importantly, it displays exact values precise to the nearest tens without lumping together search volumes for similar terms.

Whatever search engine you target, the search volume metric will help you to:

  • Understand the popularity of the keyword
  • See popularity dynamics based on monthly trend
  • Pick lucrative terms for a content strategy or an ad campaign

With DataForSEO, you can get Search Volume data and historical stats both for Google and Bing. Learn more about collecting Search Volume and other metrics with DataForSEO API in this article.

Related articles:

What is CPC?
What is Competition?

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