I think keyword research is one of my strongest points as a PPC/SEO marketer, but at the end of the day everybody searches differently. It’s quite crazy how two different people will search for the same thing. Some people type full on sentences while others type just the most important keywords.
With that said, a solid way to get a feel for all the different styles that people search is to actually sit down and read peoples’ search histories. Whaaaat? You didn’t know that was possible? Well, it is.
The Great AOL Search Data Leak of 2006
LOL, did you know that AOL actually released the search histories of 650,000 of its users back in 2006? It didn’t take long for them to realize how dumb that was – and some executives got fired over it – but not before the internet got ahold of it and uploaded mirrors! Muahahaha!!
Yessir, there are mirrors here that contain over 20 Million actual search terms from half a million users. If you’re the type of person who likes to build campaigns by finding the traffic first, then you’re going to have a great day!
There’s even a few websites dedicated solely to this incident, including aolstalker.com and search-logs.com (my fave), but if you’d like to read about all the drama before digging in yourself here are a few articles…
- Wikipedia article
- Techcrunch article
- 101 Dumbest Moments in Business
- AOL Search Data Shows Users Planning to commit Murder
- The heartbreaking search history of AOL user #711391 (videos)
And again, here’s a link to the mirrors: http://gregsadetsky.com/aol-data/