Keywords Explorer 2.0 by Ahrefs: Setting new standards for keyword research

Tim Soulo
Tim is the guy responsible for marketing and product strategy at Ahrefs. But most importantly he’s the chief evangelist of the company. Learn more

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    If you’re an existing customer of Ahrefs, you’ve probably noticed our almost unhealthy obsession with collecting the industry’s best data and building industry’s best tools on top of it. 

    Do we succeed at it? I’ll leave that for you to judge.

    But one thing I know for sure — Ahrefs team is extremely competitive and we are never scared to go the extra mile where others would prefer to skive. For instance we update our hardware every 10–14 months (we’re soon moving to Xeon E5V4 CPUs and 4TB SSDs) for no particular reason other than to make sure that we’re using the world’s best technology and operating at the highest speeds possible.

    So after looking at the usage statistics of our Keywords Explorer tool and realizing that it is was one of the least used tools in Ahrefs, we were immediately challenged to turn things around.

    We knew that adding a few cool features here and there wouldn’t really make a difference. The only option was to start from scratch and take a shot at creating the very best keyword research tool in the industry.

    So without further ado, I’d like to present you Keywords Explorer 2.0 — our brand new (and extremely powerful) keyword research tool.

    (And the whole Ahrefs team is now holding their breath waiting for your assessment of our work.)

    [TL;DR] What makes Keywords Explorer 2.0 special

    This overview turned out to be pretty long and detailed. So just in case you’re in a hurry here’s a quick TL;DR.

    3 Billion keywords database — Keywords Explorer 2.0 is running on an absolutely monstrous database of ~3.1 billion keywords from 100+ countries. This database is updated with fresh data every single month. To the best of my knowledge no other tool will match our size as of today. [Read more]

    Accurate “Search Volume” (Local & Global) — we’re processing very large amounts of clickstream data, which allows us to calculate much more accurate search volumes than those in Google Keyword Planner (especially if you’re on a low spending Adwords account). [Read more]

    Clicks” metric — searches in Google don’t always result in clicks on any of the search results. For example people search a lot for “donald trump age”, but they don’t click on any results because they see the answer right away.

    Thanks to clickstream data we can see if people are actually clicking on any of the search results after performing a search. Which means we can show you quite accurately which percentage of searches result in clicks. [Read more]

    A lot of our beta testers called this new metric a “game changer”:

    01-clicks-metric-feedback

    Tons of keyword ideas — one of the main things that our customers loved about the old version of Keywords Explorer was the list of keyword ideas that effectively dwarfed any other tool:

    02-massive-list-of-keyword-ideas

    Well, the 2.0 version of the tool with its 3.1 Billion keyword database will give you even more. [Read more]

    Parent topic — for any keyword that you put into Keywords Explorer 2.0 we will check the #1 ranking page and determine the best keyword that this page ranks for.

    This little trick gives you an idea if your keyword belongs to a broader topic and if you can rank for your keyword while actually optimising your page for this broader topic. [Read more]

    Keyword difficulty — our KD score has already won the first prize among the existing solutions. So to be honest we didn’t change anything about it in “2.0” version of Keywords Explorer. But still there are quite a few things you might want to know about it. [Read more]

    SERP overview & Positions History — our Keyword Difficulty score is quite good, but it will never beat an opinion of an experienced SEO specialist. For that reason we have designed an all new “SERP overview” report, which brings all the core SEO metrics together to help you make educated decisions about the actual difficulty of a given SERP. [Read more]

    And for a subset of the best keywords in our database we’ll also show you a cool graph with ranking history of top5 search results, which gives some extra insights about the toughness of a SERP. [Read more]

    Keyword Lists — a very simple, but a highly requested feature. Once you come across some juicy keyword ideas, you can now save them into a list for future reference. This can be a huge time saver if you’re doing keyword research for multiple projects. [Read more]

    Upcoming Features — here at Ahrefs we’re super quick to bring the feature requests of our users to life. And thanks to many awesome beta testers, we already have quite a roadmap for 2.1 and 2.2 versions of Keywords Explorer. I’m going to tease some of the features that will be released in just a few weeks from now. [Read more]

    That’s it for a quick TL;DR.

    And now onto a much more detailed review of Keywords Explorer 2.0.

    #

    The original version of Keywords Explorer was already running on a massive database of ~300 Million keywords, which our customers seemed to enjoy a lot. But in 2.0 version we have increased that by 10x.

    Where did we get so many new keywords?

    We have processed huge amounts of clickstream data for the past 12 months (i.e. we analyzed what millions of people around the globe were searching for in Google), so all these new keywords in our database are very fresh and trendy.

    What is “clickstream data”?

    There’s no point in me explain it here, since there’s this great article by Russ Jones which does it perfectly: “Google’s War on Data and the Clickstream Revolution”.

    100+ countries supported

    Not only have we massively increased our database in size, we now also support a load of new countries.

    Here’s a chart showing you the current top ten countries in our database:

    03-top-10-countries-in-keywords-explorer

    So if you were looking to perform keyword research in any language other than English, please give our tool a try and let us know how it goes.

    Monthly database updates

    In the teaser video for Keywords Explorer 2.0 we promised you “2.8 Billion keywords”. But at the time of writing this post we’re at 3.1 Billion already.

    And there’s a chance that our keyword database will get even bigger, because we’re now processing fresh clickstream data every month.

    This allows us to regularly import new keywords that were never seen before and build fancy looking trends for the keywords that we already have in our database.

    For example, here’s our search volume trend for “iPhone 7”:

    04-iphone-7-search-volume-trend

    If you enter some keyword into Keywords Explorer 2.0 and we return “No data” — in 99% of cases that means that this keyword is simply not popular enough.

    And in case this keyword is only starting to gain popularity. You’ll find it in our tool next month after we process fresh clickstream data.

    #

    SEOs knew about the “dirty secrets” of Google Keyword Planner for quite a while now, but this summer Google managed to surprise us (in a bad way) by limiting access to keyword data for “advertisers with lower monthly spend”.

    Which means that (unless you setup a campaign and start running ads) you will now see six lousy ranges instead of the accurate search volumes that you used to get.

    These six ranges are: 1–100, 100–1K, 1K-10K, 10K-100K, 100K-1M, 1M+, and they make GKP almost useless for anyone who’s not looking to spend money on ads.

    But that is only a half of the problem.

    The other half is that GKP is now grouping keywords with similar meaning and showing identical volumes for them:

    05-keyword-planner-grouping

    These two pieces of news came as an existential threat to every keyword research tool that relied on Google Keyword Planner for search volume data.

    But luckily we have clickstream data, which helps to bring the search volume accuracy back.

    Ahrefs’ Search Volume

    The search volume data that we have collected from clickstream was paired with our existing volume data (from Google Keyword Planner) and after a few iterations we created a model that would give a very accurate search volume for almost any keyword there is.

    Keywords Explorer 2.0 shows you both Local and Global search volume, with the figure being an average over the last 12 months.

    06-local-and-global-volume

    Un-grouping keywords

    Back to this very irritating issue with keyword grouping. Let’s try the following keywords in GKP:

    • seo;
    • search engine optimization;
    • seo optimization;
    • define seo;
    • search optimization.

    08-gkp-grouping-keywords

    They have grouped 5 keywords that I’ve entered into 3. And that is a “paid” account I’m using, not even a free one.

    Now let’s put the same 5 keywords into Ahrefs:

    09-ungrouping-keywords-in-ahrefs

    As you can tell, we’re able to un-group these keywords and show you the real search volume for each of them.

    Return Rate

    This is our brand new metric that no other tool will show you as of today.

    Return Rate” is a relative number that gives you an idea of how often people perform the same search over the course of a month.

    1” means that people never search for that keyword again. But “2” doesn’t mean that they search for it two times per month on average. It just means that they search for it quite often.

    Yes, it’s super confusing. But give me a chance to explain it with an example:

    10-return-rate-in-ahrefs

    As you can see, people in the UK tend to search “queen age” only once and they hardly ever search for it again. That’s probably because they memorize the answer instantly.

    But then you can see that they return to search for “brexit” quite often. Probably because the search results always contain some fresh news on that topic that are of high interest to them.

    And finally, “manchester united” has the biggest return rate, which could be an indication that people in the UK follow football news almost religiously.

    So again, RR 2.02 for “brexit” and RR 2.22 for “manchester united” doesn’t mean that people search for one of them 2.02 times on average and 2.22 times for the other.

    But it gives you a general idea that people in the UK perform a search for “manchester united” a bit more often than a search for “brexit”.

    #

    This has been lying on the surface for quite a few years now, but somehow almost everyone in the SEO community was successfully ignoring it.

    I’m talking about this simple realization:

    Here’s a great example that clearly illustrates what we mean by that:

    12-with-clicks-and-without

    As you can see, the keyword “chauffeur” has a huge search volume of 42,000, but that only results in 10,035 clicks.

    People search for it, but don’t seem to click on the search results. Why?

    There are two reasons for that:

    • Many people put the word ”chauffeur” into Google just to check if the spelling is right (I do it all the time with some fancy words);
    • Google gives you a Knowledge Card right at the top of the search results with a definition of the word “chauffeur”.

    What else would you want to know when searching for the word “chauffeur” besides spelling and definition?

    So there you have it. People don’t need to click on any of the search results to get what they wanted — hence the low number of clicks, while the volume is deceptively big.

    Now let’s look at the other keyword — “wow chauffeur”.

    WoW” here refers to World of Warcraft. So it looks like people are looking for some information about the “chauffeur” character in World of Warcraft.

    And once you look at the search results for this keyword, you’ll see that there’s no good information upfront. Which means that you have to click on something in order to learn about “wow chauffeur”.

    This is why this keyword gets a high volume of clicks.

    So if you compare these two keywords purely by their search volume, it may seem that there’s almost a 10x difference in traffic potential.

    But when you compare the number of actual clicks on the search results, you’ll see that there’s only a 2x difference in traffic potential.

    Sounds awesome? Read on!

    Clicks Per Search (CPS)

    Like I just said, the search results for “wow chauffeur” don’t contain any good information upfront, so you don’t know whether or not you’ll get what you’re looking for after clicking a certain search result.

    And so you click a few of them.

    That is why the CPS (Clicks Per Search) metric for “wow chauffeur” says “1.15”. It means that searchers on average tend to click on more than one search result when searching for this keyword:

    13-clicks-per-search-ahrefs

    And if you were wondering why the number of clicks for “wow chauffeur” is bigger than it’s actual search volume, the Clicks Per Search metric is the answer.

    Knowing the CPS of a keyword is crucial for understanding the traffic potential of pages that rank below the #1 result. The higher the CPS — the more chances that you’ll get some nice traffic even at a slightly lower position like 4 or 5.

    But organic results aren’t the only ones getting clicks.

    Organic Clicks VS Paid Clicks

    When you bid for some keyword, Google will show your ad at the very top of the search results, pushing down all the pages that rank for this keyword organically.

    And since Google is now showing up to 4 ads, the organic results are about to go below the fold on my 15” screen:

    14-ads-in-google-serp

    What I’m trying to illustrate here is that these ads quite effectively steal clicks away from organic search results.

    This is why experienced SEOs will always check the actual SERP for ads to determine if that keyword is worth ranking for.

    And Keywords Explorer 2.0 can now show you what percentage of all clicks go to ads.

    Let’s see on a real example how much value this metric brings to the table.

    15-paid-clicks

    If we were only making decisions based on pure Search Volume — “iphone 7 cases” would clearly be a much better keyword to go for than “best iphone 7 cases”.

    But let’s see how many clicks ads steal away from each of these keywords:

    • iphone 7 cases”: 25,353 * 22% = 5,577
    • best iphone 7 cases”: 7,773 * 2% = 155

    Let me put all these numbers into a spreadsheet:

    16-difference-in-organic-clicks

    And this is how we went from a 5x difference in organic search traffic potential between these keywords to 2.6x difference.

    Better understanding of searchers’ behaviour

    We were super excited while playing with all these new metrics ourselves and we’re hoping that you’re going to love them too and adopt them in your keyword research.

    And for those still puzzled by all this, here’s a simple illustration of the metrics that Keywords Explorer 2.0 shows you:

    17-how-people-search

    That is a very simplified model, as we’ve only started scratching the surface of the actual complexity of searchers’ behaviour.

    But we already have quite a few ideas for new reports and metrics that will give you even better idea of how people search for your target keywords.

    #

    With ~3.1 Billion keywords in our database (and monthly infusions of fresh ones) it’s no surprise that Keywords Explorer 2.0 will give you massive amounts of keyword ideas to sift through.

    For the keyword “blogging” the tool will give you over 14k different ideas:

    24-keyword-ideas-in-ahrefs

    And because you have Search Volume on all of them and cached Keyword Difficulty on the very best of them — you can use filters to quickly drill down this huge list of suggestions to a small one with only the very best.

    Multiple seed keywords

    After many years of using Google Keyword Planner tool SEOs got used to entering multiple “seed” keyword for generating a list of relevant keyword ideas.

    We couldn’t allow ourselves to disrupt this use case, so in Keywords Explorer 2.0 we can use up to 10 seed keywords for generating keyword ideas for you.

    Which means that if I add keywords “snorkeling” and “kitesurfing” to my initial seed keyword “blogging”, I’ll get almost 3x more keyword ideas:

    25-more-keyword-ideas

    Fun Fact: according to their search volumes, snorkeling is the most popular of these three activities.

    4 types of keyword ideas

    If you click on the report called “All”, we’re going to just give you all the keyword ideas we have.

    But actually there are four ways in which we generate them (we’ll soon add more):

    1. Phrase match — we search our huge database for any keyword phrases that would contain the exact seed phrase in them.

    So if your seed keyword is “adorable cat”, we’ll give you keywords like:

    • how to get rid of an adorable cat;
    • adorable cat ruined my life;
    • how to know if your adorable cat is plotting to kill you.

    2. Having same terms — very similar to “Phrase match”, but this time we’ll search our database for any keyword phrases that contain any terms of your seed keyword in any order.

    Let’s continue with our “adorable cat” example:

    • why my cat is not as adorable as advertised;
    • why my adorable wife hates my cat;
    • why all animals but my cat are adorable.

    3. Also rank for — this one is my favourite. We pull top 10 ranking pages for your “seed” keyword and see what other keywords these pages rank for.

    So if you put “james bond” and go to “Also rank for” report, you’ll see a lot of suggestions associated with the latest movie called “Spectre”:

    26-also-rank-for-keyword-ideas

    4. Search suggestions — this list of keyword ideas will basically give you the keywords that Google is suggesting via their “autosuggest” feature when you type a search query.

    The results of this report will be almost identical to what “Phrase match” shows, with the only exception being that it will contain keyword ideas that include your seed keyword without spaces:

    27-search-suggestions

    #

    When researching organic search traffic of their competitors, these days SEOs look at the “Top Pages” report way more often than “Organic keywords” report.

    The reason being that a single page can rank for hundreds of closely related keywords and bring in a ton of traffic from search.

    Here’s a cool example that illustrates this “topics over keywords” concept:

    18-top-pages-of-moz

    On that screenshot above I’m looking at the “Top Pages” of Moz Blog and I see that one of their articles ranks for over 1K different keywords. The most popular among these keywords is “how to choose a domain name” so I consider it the main topic of this post.

    So basically the idea of “topics over keywords” is that you don’t need to create an individual article to target each of these keywords. You can rank for all of them with a single post.

    In Keywords Explorer 2.0 we tried to reverse-engineer this concept.

    So if I take all these “other” keywords that article from Moz ranks for, and put them into Keywords Explorer 2.0, it will show me the “parent topic” that these keywords fall into:

    19-parent-topic-in-ahrefs

    We believe that this “Parent topic” feature is a huge thing for keyword research, because it can tell you how many pages you need to create in order to target all the keywords that you wish to rank for.

    IMPORTANT: we’ve just discovered a few bugs in this feature, so it may not work very well as of today. We’re going to solve this in a about a week from now and remove the “beta” icon so that you know the feature is stable.

    #

    In this release we didn’t change anything about our KD score. Mostly because we believe it is quite good as it is (which was also confirmed by third party tests).

    I have already published a pretty detailed post about our Keyword Difficulty score and how to apply it in your keyword research, but I’m still going to re-hash some of the most important points here:

    KD is based on backlink data

    Ever since we first introduced our Keyword Difficulty score there has been a ton of dicussion about what factors we should or should not be taking into account when calculating it.

    And the fun thing is — there’s no single opinion on how much each individual factor should influence keyword difficulty score. What seemed hyper important for some SEOs was secondary at best for others.

    We also ran a study of 2 Million keyword searches to investigate how different on page SEO factors correlate with Google rankings. Here’s what we learned from it:

    00-backlink-factors-on-page-factors

    As you can tell from this graph, the correlation of backlink factors (both page-level and domain-level) massively outweighs the major on page SEO factors.

    And this is how we settled with the decision to calculate our KD score based on backlinks only.

    Sidenote.
    Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty won’t rely solely on backlinks forever. We already have quite a few cool ideas on how to make our score even better. And some of them do imply looking at on page factors. 

    KD scale is not linear

    As I was watching screencasts recorded by our beta testers I noticed that many of them tried to compare our KD score with what other tools were reporting.

    You can’t compare Ahrefs KD score to what any other tool shows, because our scale is most likely very different from theirs:

    00-ahrefs-keyword-difficulty-scale

    As you can see from the image above, our scale is not linear and mostly consists of hard and super hard keywords.

    So if some other tool gives you KD score of “40” and you read it as “Medium” difficulty, on Ahrefs’ scale “40” means “Hard”.

    And because we only rely on backlinks when calculating KD score, our scale is super easy to understand:

    KD 0 = 0 Ref. Domains
    KD 10 = 10 Ref. Domains
    KD 20 = 22
    KD 30 = 36
    KD 40 = 56
    KD 50 = 84
    KD 60 = 129
    KD 70 = 202
    KD 80 = 353
    KD 90 = 756

    Basically our KD score shows you the average number of referring domains that pages ranking on the front page of Google have. So the odds are, you’re going to need more or less the same number of websites linking to your page if you want to outrank your competition.

    Cached KD

    Once you start using Keywords Explorer 2.0 you’re going to notice that a lot of the keywords have a grey KD score, while others show nothing until you click the “Get Metrics” button:

    20-grey-keyword-difficulty

    Here’s how it works:

    Automatically updating KD scores for all 3.1 Billion keywords in our database is impossible both technically and financially.

    So we filtered ~10% of the very best keywords (~300 Million) and these are the ones that get automated updates of their Keyword Difficulty score.

    But once you click “Get metrics” we’ll pull the most recent data and update this number.

    Plans to improve KD

    We do believe that our KD score measures the difficulty of a keyword quite accurately compared to what other tools show.

    But at the same time we do understand that there’s a massive room for improvement and we can make this score a lot better. Which we plan to do in one of the future updates of Keywords Explorer.

    So if you happen to have any suggestions of which factors we should be taking into account (and how much influence they should have on resulting KD score) please email me and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

    #

    No matter how far we get in fine-tuning our KD score, the best way to determine the real difficulty of a keyword has always been (and probably will always be) a look at who ranks on the front page of Google.

    Nothing beats the experience (and intuition) of a professional SEO and all we can help with at this point is bring all the SEO metics we have to the SERP:

    21-serp-analysis-for-keyword-marvel

    This is how the front page of Google looks like for the keyword “Marvel“.

    And as you can tell, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer gives you a ton of very useful data right away:

    • How many organic results are there;
    • How many different SERP features are there;
    • What are the domain level and page level backlink metrics;
    • What is the estimated organic traffic to each page;
    • How many keywords each page ranks for;
    • What is the top keyword each page ranks for;
    • How many shares on Facebook and Google plus each page has.

    There are many more things we could potentially show here, but we’ve saved them for future updates of the tool.

    #

    I just explained how we update Keyword Difficulty for ~300 Million of the very best keywords in our database and store it in our cache, so that you can see it at a glance.

    Well, because we closely monitor these keywords, we can also show you the positions history of pages that currently rank in top5. It looks like this:

    22-serp-position-history-ahrefs

    This helps a lot in figuring out if the SERP is stable and very hard to penetrate or if Google is mixing pages all the time trying to figure out which combination serves searchers best.

    For instance, on the above screenshot you see SERP position history for “keyword research”. The top 4 ranking pages didn’t change since June 2015, but we managed to penetrate at #5 spot with our own article on keyword research.

    Here’s another fun graph:

    23-serp-position-history

    It’s the top 5 for the keyword “iPhone 7”, and as you can probably tell it is super unstable at the moment and all the pages that are currently top5 are brand new.

    #

    To be honest I’m somewhat embarrassed that we didn’t have keyword lists in the very first release of Keywords Explorer, because this feature is so darn obvious.

    But now we’ve fixed our mistake:

    28-add-keywords-to-lists

    The keyword lists that you create will be available on the home screen of Keywords Explorer 2.0 and also in the left navigational panel within the tool.

    #

    The fact that we’ve released this tool doesn’t mean that we’re done with it (and I’m pretty sure old Ahrefs customers know that very well).

    So let me tease 3 cool features that are going to be released very soon:

    Questions” filter — a lot of our users were asking for it, so it’s already in the works.

    Filter keywords by “SERP features” they have — whether you would like to see which keywords have many features in their SERP, or find which keywords have a very specific feature — we’re about to let you do that.

    Where I rank — enter any domain name and we’ll show you if we saw it ranking in top100 for any of the keywords in a given report. It will look like this:

    29-where-i-rank-feature

    Tell Us What You Think

    As you can probably tell from this review alone, we worked super hard trying to impress you with this new tool.

    It turned out to be so powerful and feature-rich that I struggled to keep this overview under 4000 words. In fact I had to omit quite a few cool things we have in this tool for the sake of keeping it short (I’m sure you’ll find them on your own).

    So please play with Keywords Explorer 2.0 and tell us what you think about this new tool.

    This is actually an “early release” and we’re still polishing some bugs here and there and adding new features. But we are absolutely keen to know your opinion on what we have so far.

    See you in the comments!

    Tim Soulo
    Tim is the guy responsible for marketing and product strategy at Ahrefs. But most importantly he’s the chief evangelist of the company. Learn more

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    • Chris

      The Oxford English dictionary contains less than 200,000 words 1.2 billion American words… 207 Million English words… really…?

      • thanks for the question, Chris! I never said “words”, I was always using the term “keywords” which refers to any phrase that people might put in Google.

        So “how to tie a tie” is one keyword, “how to tie a tie fast” is another one… and this is how you get to 3 Billion of different phrases that people are searching for.

        Here’s a relevant statistic: “16% to 20% of queries that get asked every day on Google have never been asked before. ”

        And here’s the source: http://readwrite.com/2012/02/29/interview_changing_engines_mid-flight_qa_with_goog/#awesm=%7EoiNkM4tAX3xhbP

        • This is the best article of SEO of all year 2016+
          This is the best tool for keyword research with many mnay adventage with others tools of keyword research for me.
          This article show one time more how today by today linkbuilding is still more important that onpage.….
          REALLY ALL WORLD OR ALL SEOS HAVE THAT SAY YES O YES TO THIS TOOL KEYWORD RESEARCH OF AHREFS.…FUCK IS INCREDIBLE TIM SOULO AND HIS TEAM GOT!!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!

          BUT NOW ONLY ONE THING AHREFS FOR BE STILL BESTHEHEHEHE.
          This is for mind of Great Tim Soulo AND HIS TEAM, perhaps in future can work in this.…i pray to god .…

          Add for keyword research: On page: Quantity, Density, suggest, related, *, google correlate, wikipedia, google news, google ebooks, answerthepublic, delete KEYWORDS duplicate and top 10. If GET THIS TIM THIS WOULD BE HOW SAY: FIRST GOOLE AFTER AHREFS AND AFTER THE REST TOOLS IN WORLD HEHEHE

          ONE MILLION OF THANKS AND SORRY BY MY ENGLISH

          100% WAR AND SEO TIM THANKS!!!

    • kreemov

      a good a step forward

      thanks AHREFSIANs

    • Rob

      Keywords Explorer 2.0 has a lot of really good information. Do you have any plans to integrate this technology to provide more information in Rank Tracker? I would like to see volume in this category as well.

      • hey Rob! Yeah, absolutely! There are so many ways how Rank Tracker and Keyword Explorer intersect 🙂 Just a matter of time till we marry them 🙂

        • Rob

          Great News!!! Thank you! Looking forward to all of the changes. Also, enjoy watching your videos. I appreciate you taking the time to post them.

    • Jamie Richards

      First thoughts are this is amazing, it leaves all other keyword research tools in the dust. I’ve just uploaded a list of 103 keywords to check and even on advanced plan only have 4897 keywords left for the month. This could easily be maxed out on keyword research for a medium-large site which is a shame. Not that I expected it to be free, maybe just a higher limit. 

      Nonetheless, seriously great stuff guys, getting closer and closer to Ahrefs being the only subscription you need for SEO.

      • hey Jamie, the credits limit is for advanced metrics only.. Volume and “Cached KD” are almost unlimited. But those advanced metrics are quite costly for us to calculate, so we have to charge for them.

        • Jamie Richards

          Makes sense — is there a way to upload a list of keywords and just check volume and KD without it using credits then? I uploaded a list, clicked explore and couldn’t see an option to not use credits, just the yellow caution sign and box. Is there a 100 keyword limit on bulk imports or something along those lines?

          • yeah.. I guess we didn’t think about this use case.. will share it with the guys. Thanks!
            As for bulk import limit, check the “batch analysis” of your account here –> https://ahrefs.com/pricing-plans

            • Jamie Richards

              Thanks Tim, appreciate the replies!

            • Plus one on Jamie’s use case!

    • Mathew

      Hi Tim, wonderful upgrade,
      still, could you partially unveil the mystery about how ahrefs is acquiring % of search queries with and without click? I can’t grasp how you measure it 🙂

      • it’s clickstream data 🙂 did you read this awesome article that I’ve referenced? –> https://moz.com/blog/clickstream-data-revolution

        • Mathew

          shamefully i admit i did not, thanks 🙂 could you answer me another question then? “Organic movements” data isn’t upgraded for like last 3 weeks or its only partially updated, i guess its related to your resources being focused on implementing keyword tool 2.0 🙂 Where could we expect our organic movement data to work properly again ? Oh, and i want to say — you are doing great work with developing ahrefs and i honestly think its the best tool on seo market. Period 😉 regards

          • yeah, sorry for that “outage”. We’re now importing best keywords from Keywords Explorer into Site Explorer and we had to stop updating the old ones. I can’t give you the exact ETA when things will be back to normal, but hopefully that will happen by next week. Once again sorry for that outage, that is the only way for us to move to a better and fresher database of keywords 🙂

    • Jason Dolman

      Great addition. One of the features missing, though, is the CPC data. I can get that information from the Organic Keywords section if I search by domain/URL and the CPC data used to be part of the old Keyword Research section, so it would be great if it were still available as part of the new Keyword Research 2.0

      • yeah, we don’t have CPC at the moment, but we might add it in one of the future updates. Thanks for signaling that you need it 🙂

        • The CPC data is probably the 2nd most important piece of info after the volume and above difficulty. Need this ASAP!

        • Solmadrid Vazquez

          Agreed. I use the CPC metric extensively, so was surprised to see it was removed. All the the other features are great, but since the CPC was removed it now it takes me more time to do the same amount of research.

        • Jeff S. Wiebe

          I consider CPC an important metric. Currently with my Ahrefs data I have to utilize a secondary tool to get this information. Would very much like to see CPC.

    • Hi Tim,
      This is an awesome update!! Great work guys. Was just wondering, will you do a video walkthrough as well?

      • if you ain’t scared of my Ukrainian accent, lol 🙂

        but in all seriousness — I think we need about a week to polish all bugs and add a few extra features, and then I will be able to do a cool walkthrough of the tool

    • Tim,

      The updates to the tool look absolutely amazing and I can wait to dig into the tool this morning.

    • Fantastic updates on the keyword tool. Now finally we can cancel ltp subscription.
      Moving forward, i will be interested to see how to use the new tool on actual case. Can you make a blog post or video walk through how u guys actually use all the features and do actual keyword research and rank it? It will be an awesome post!

    • Love the new features. Any plans on rolling out regionalized search volume? Most of my clients care more about local search volume than national.

      • hey Theodore, do you happen to know any tools with regionalized search volume?

        • GKP?????

          • Unconcerned Islander

            We Getting a response to any of this?

            • I have this same need. I work primarily with local clients, and national volume does me no good.

          • johnny

            Google Keyword Planner?????

        • Hi Tim,

          Thanks for follow up. (Big fan of your product btw) Yes. In Google keyword planner they have an option in their “Get Search Volume Data and Trends” where you can set targetting information. I need to set this to whatever state my client practices in. A large percentage of my clients are limited to only work in certain states (Law Firms & Medical Practices) so when I see the national search volume for the term “Personal Injury Lawyer” it doesn’t really help because my clients are restricted to a state or three.

          I’d love to be able to rely on your new tool to replace GKP but until it has the feature I’ll still need to keep using the keyword planner.

          I’m small shop though so if you’re catering to the larger agencies that don’t have this problem I understand. It’s kind of like how the rank tracker doesn’t collect Maps pack listings. For small shops this is important data and I still need to rely on another tool for this. I know Ahref’s can’t be everything to everyone and I still really like/love ahrefs. I’m just sad (boohoo me) that this cool feature (like rank tracking) won’t be helpful to me.

          Ted

        • Yes Google Keywordplanner

      • +1

      • golfnerd

        Another +1

    • I genuinely cannot wait to get my teeth into these new features! Fantastic upgrades!

      • what are you waiting for? 🙂

        • Damn straight! I’ve been using credits up this morning like nobody’s business! I need holding back!

    • This cannot be real.” At least that’s what I told myself when I first saw it. I am new to ahrefs and came across it because of Authority Hacker, but I am eager to start using all of these updated features to help my content. Thank you for providing a great system to help the advancement of keyword research.

    • Congrats to the whole team for this major update ! This is gonna be a must have tool for most SEO professionals now.
      Thanks Tim for the detailed description post.

    • Hey Tim,

      I’m still getting used to the new features of the tool, but really I’m finding them quite nice. This article was really really necessary — there’s so much information right now, that I was a bit lost of a few days.

      I especially love the parent topic, the SERPs information, the Clicks metric and the accurate search volumes. You guys are taking the whole Big Data thing really really seriously and extracting a lot of valuable information out of it.

      The parent topic and suggestions are great, because as I’m writing up an article about the Parent topic, I can make sure that I also drop in sections about the suggestions, just to make sure I’ve covered a topic from all of the aspects.

      I’m still experimenting with it but I do believe that it should really take my keyword research to the next level.

      The Where I rank — wow, can’t wait to see that and what else you guys have in mind for further improvements … 

      David

    • iyke20024

      Hey

      Wonderful matrics..

      Too sad I cant affort this tool now.

      However, while Ahref is awesome with data, they sucks at helping small website owners..

      We end up paying someone with access to download report for us.

      That said..

      Why not integrate an option for small website owners (like traffic, and bandwidth we consume)

      Like I owe 1–3 website.

      I can check the metrics of this 1–3 site. At the end of the month, I could also remove or add atleast 1 other website if neccessary.

      You could bill us monthly but far at a cheaper price we can afford.

    • dsottimano

      This is pretty big for the industry, well done. Before I pull out my credit card, I need more details about the clickstream data please. Where does it come from? Can you explain it’s accuracy, specifically, how much clickstream data is “enough” to determine volume for a keyword and it’s organic/paid click percentage? Are you going to keep historic volumes as you continue to integrate the clickstream data? Are you planning on expanding into different languages, and how will clickstream data integrate with other languages?

      • Thanks a lot for your questions, mate! 🙂

        >“how much clickstream data is “enough” to determine volume for a keyword and it’s organic/paid click percentage”
        — Of course for some keywords the amount of data is not enough to say anything.. Imagine a keyword which is searched just a few times a month.. This is not enough to build advanced metrics. In this case we show “n/a” or “no data”. But if you see numbers — it means we have enough data to build metrics with confidence.

        >“Are you going to keep historic volumes as you continue to integrate the clickstream data?”
        — We update keywords and metrics every month and we have historic data from Sep 2015 already. You can see it by looking at the “trend” charts that we have in Overview report. And yes, as we get data for new months — we’re going to re-calculate everything and show you the updated trend.

        >“Are you planning on expanding into different languages”
        — We already support 100+ countries. To the best of my knowledge no other tool matches that

    • magnus_boe

      Will there be an API for this?

    • Thanks the aHrefs team. Your tool is a game changer

    • Reed Wendorf

      Very cool. Question: Recently, it seems like there has been a large shift in search away from just keywords to focus on the searcher’s intent, i.e. if they are searching for “flights to London from New York”, the value of ranking for this keyword ought to be higher since there is a huge chance of converting the searcher and making $$$. Is search intent accounted for anywhere in the tool?

      • ZandarKoad

        I wouldn’t say that the focus on intent is a recent development. It’s the gold standard, white hat [sic] method of (all) marketing and it always has been.

        But I’m not sure how human intent can be quantized in a meaningful way and turned into a metric. Do you have an idea of how they could go about doing that?

        • The same way Google factors in search intent when they give you sponsored results based on your query. So if you google “waterproof jackets”, the sponsored box with shopping results say “we think you are trying to find a product”.

          I understand this is a huge step for a SEO tool, grouping queries by search intent and providing some Search Intent Probability Factor (“how to; why; what; how much… + query” vs “buy; compare; online…+query). So I guess it’s currently a human-factored task.

          Also another metric that could be added to the factor formula could be adwords bidding, I would say that if “follicular unit extraction hair transplant” is being advertised on adwords and “hair loss” is not or not that much, I would say that’s because “money is where money should go”, not sure if I’m making myself clear here 😉

          Another example from my own cases, “breast implants” getting a lower bid that “breast augmentation clinic”…coincidentally “breast implants” is the typical query performed by a woman at the research/comparison stage, whereas the latter is typically performed at the later stages of the customer journey. So this bidding thing factored in some search intent formula isn’t exact science, but it might be a factor that @timsoulo:disqus might consider for future versions of the tool…? 

          Also Return Rate could be part of that formula. In this great Keyword Explorer 2.0 guide, they have explained some user cases on how and what for we could be using Return Rate…and again, probably biased by my own current projects (plastic surgery mostly)…I thought that a higher Return rate could also describe queries where users need more information such as the queries related for instance to ‘health’ or for products and services that have a longer ‘conversion window’, I search all over again about a given car or a about a given surgical procedure because I need to be really sure about this, I have doubts and they are pricey products. I’d say (but I need to use Keyword Explorer 2.0 for some time to prove this) that Return Rate also relates somehow to Search Intent.

          • Thanks for the comment, Elena! One thing I want to clarify is: 

            Are we talking about “search intent” or are we talking about “buying intent”? 

            For if we’re taking about buying — the CPC metric reflects it quite nicely (if businesses bid on it — then it probably drives them sales). 

            But what if there’s a phrase that no one figured to bid for and it has CPC of “0”?

            Like “strange smell from my bathroom sink”? 

            Clearly a person has a problem and if you try to sell him a product that would solve it — there’s a good chance that he will buy it. But how do we know that this keyword has a buying intent if no one is advertising for it at the moment? 

            I guess this is what @reedwendorf:disqus was asking about in his comment. And this is why @ZandarKoad:disqus answered that it’s not clear how to figure that out. 

            What do YOU think? 🙂

            • Maybe I’m not that picky on the difference between buying intent and search intent, to me search intent is a behavior that reflects a mental buying stage (or intent stage). What I said is that it’d be great to have a formula weighing several factors (and not only bidding) that could attribute automatically to a query a value on the *whatever intent scale.

            • Jeff S. Wiebe

              You make a good point. CPC is a crucial indicator, I think. But a CPC of $0 is giving you information about a possible opportunity, too. If you automatically discount/hide all CPC $0 results, you might miss these.

              That said, those kind of searches are a different animal than ‘standard’ searches. And the CPC data itself is still required: you can’t mine for these potential gold nuggets without it. The CPC here is arguably even more crucial.

        • thanks, Zandar.. I do agree that turning “search intent” into a metric is super tricky

    • That’s too much goodness. I am loving your tools, you are giving people that reason to pay for tools (But still Prices are too high and you should have a basic package too).

      • thanks for the feedback, mate! I’m pretty sure the price is super low considering how many tools & data we give you 🙂

    • Derek Perkins

      What are the plans to make this available as an API?

      • we have the plans, but we don’t have the ETA 🙂

    • Tony DD Pinal

      Awesome Stuff Tim! Finally a great tool that provides more data and insights to SEOs in making better strategic decisions. 

      I think that going forward, as you guys improve the KD metric, it would be great to have more on page factors included and also the quality of backlinks? Since, if it tells you that you need 30 backlinks to rank, but it would be even better to know more specifically what type of links, if 30 from small blogs or would they have to be from super authority sites?

      • hey Tony! Abso-lutely! 🙂 We have a ton of ideas of how we could make our KD score better, just need some time for testing and implementing them. Did you read our “on page SEO” study btw? –> https://ahrefs.com/blog/on-page-seo/

        • Tony DD Pinal

          Yeah Tim. Looking forward to it, since I found some discrepancies still with the Ahrefs KD, and also the longtail pro one too (which I’ve always used). 

          With regards to the on page seo factors, I’ve had mixed experiences. According to that blog post, a lot of the on page factors don’t give too much of a boost in rankings, however in my experience when I included the target keyword in these focus areas: H1, title, metas, URLs, first 100 words, I almost instantly saw big boost in rankings e.g. from page 7 to page 3. However, when building links, it did seem that even one good quality link would not have an immediate effect on rankings (As on page factors would have) but would take more of a while for Google to trust these and give the boost…

          • hey @tonyddpinal:disqus , yeah, I’ve seen that too. But our experience is based on a very small amount of very specific cases. And you can’t even say for sure if Google was going to push you from page 7 to page 3 anyways, or that was purely because you made changes to on-page. Who knows? Maybe without that optimization he would put you to 2nd page, and you actually made things worse by “over optimising”?

            What I’m trying to say is that each case is different. Because the keyword is different, the search volume is different, the competition is different, the user behaviour is different, etc.

            But our study was performed across 2 Million random keyword searches, which gives you a bigger picture.

            And when we create a formula for KD, it can’t be based on these specific cases, it can only be based on the big picture that we see across millions of searches.

            Hope that makes sense.

            • Tony DD Pinal

              Definitely makes sense @timsoulo:disqus. I love these case studies you guys do anyway. Keep them up! As KD is definitely a factor I look at and one of the best when deciding to target a keyword.

              Cheers guys!

    • Jared Alster

      Really fantastic Tim. Pretty much superior to Google in every way. One thing I couldn’t see is how to get kw volume data for multiple countries? I see the map with volume share by country, but what if I wanted to total volume for set of kw’s across multiple countries?

      • hey Jared, yeah, we do plan to introduce Global volume.. this is an absolute must for businesses that are not tied to a specific location but operate globally

    • Priya Chowdary

      seriously cpc is missing in keyword explorer. PLease see that you add it. Because we love ahref and depend solely only on ahref for everything related to blogging. Remaining all features are just awesome.

    • great work as always guys, any way to dig for high ctr keywords

    • Now, big question here that no one has still asked is…
      What do you have against adorable cats?

      • haha 🙂 I love them actually! Scottish folds hold #1 spot in my adorable cats rating 🙂

    • Looks great. Some quick questions:

      Any plans on an API for the technically minded among us?
      When you’re calculating percentage of traffic by domain share, can you use the clickstream data to build your CTR models?

    • a good a step forward

    • A few days ago when I used the Keywords Explorer I asked myself, “Why the heck did I not use this before?” We’ve been using Ahrefs for quite a while and never have I utilized this much. 

      Then, I read the announcement about 2.0 and noticed that it was rebuilt from the ground up. Fantastic update by the way. 

      I was talking to our Marketing Director earlier and he said it was “life changing.”

    • Andika Yoga Pratama

      Awesome! hello Tim, I just curious why some numbers change such as organic keyword(for all site) since keyword keyword explorer 2.0? look picture as my documentation… this site data as sample, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e5463082425230df10675a8884a83ef96ae3292b427264f6071bfa14b78cae58.png

    • Sam

      Holy moly! Awesome 😀 !

      • Sam

        EDIT: Found them!

    • very interesting knowing about the new features and it would be great if you include CPC.

    • Craig

      Hi Tim

      Excellent article. Brilliant. After reading it through twice, I went to give it a test drive. But I found you can only search by country. Huh? You can’t search more locally than that? Am I missing something?

      With semantic search and Google going more and more local, surely search that can’t drill down past “country” is far too general for everyone except content writers who don’t have local audiences to reach? I hope this is coming out correctly because I’m genuinely bemused. (For all the limitations of Google Keyword Planner, we can discern the search habits of searchers within cities, towns and in some cases, suburbs.)

    • Good to read! Nice article post

    • Looks like you have created a stat-of-the-art SEO tool ! Great job !

    • Rhein Mahatma

      hi Tim, is it support indonesia language ? thanks

    • RichardB

      It seems that everyone is overlooking one major issue with this tool. Let me rephrase that… one major issue with this company and how they have started to operate regarding this tool.

      Fantastic, you rebuilt the tool and yes its does a brilliant job. The issue i have is that since version 2.0 you have imposed massive restrictions on exporting data.

      For example a $499/month plan has gone from a max of 50,000 rows per export to just 10,000. You have also capped that total amount of keywords export rows to just 500,000 per month.

      If someone is paying $499/month (like me) or even the cheapest plan, it safe to assume that you would only increase limits or at the very least keep them the same, but to downgrade limits is just plan stupid.

      Do you have any kind of response as to why i am now getting less for my money? Why you have forced version 2.0 on people with restricted limits.

      I commented on your Facebook advertisement for this tool and no response. 

      For all those looking to buy a subscription this is a word of warning. What you get now might not be what you get in the future.

      As i say the tool does a great job, the whole site in general is awesome but as above, i feel let down and pretty annoyed that i’m paying a large monthly expense to have the goal posts moved when they feel an update is required.

      • I have a similar complaint. I am on an old plan they no longer offer, and when they refreshed their plans, they took away the search volume for positions 51–100.

    • Hey Loved it the way of explanation here about the Tool. Hope it will make a difference about the Game of Adwords.

    • Well it sure is an great upgrade. But people calling it a life changer or thereplacement of Google Keywordplanner is really exaggerating. 

      Indeed @theodoremdebettencourt:disqus what about the regionalized search volume? After the Pigeon update not any top 10 organic SERPS are the same in different regions. And what about the metric “clicks on local pack” 

      That is currently my wishlist #santaclaus

    • unik

      what type of links we would need? can be also nofollow links? is about KD score where is saying is need of 5 links to be in top 10..by example

    • tinotriste

      Brilliant!

    • Awesome!

    • SEO

      Good work for the future.

    • SEO

      Ahrefs team did a great job again ++

    • Martin Zanichelli

      I have just started today my trial! I feel like a child in a toy store!

    • And now you stopped providing “Global volume” for free accounts. Right?

    • Gergely

      I can’t find positions history in Ahrefs, where is it exactly?

    • Mr Banjo

      Guys, why limit keyword explorer lists? 3 is useless, 10 same, even 100 isn’t that much help when you want to organise 1 list per site page, and some of us have many, many sites! We all pay for credits/data, that can’t be used as you limit the lists! What does it matter to you if i have 500 keywords on 3 lists or 500 lists? It makes zero different to Ahrefs. I do get that limits are there to make people upgrade. But the max 100 is still useless for proper organisation and well if i had unlimited lists, id be able to use all my data credits (a seperate limit), and then i would upgrade my account. Please drop list limits and make the keyword explorer really useful.

    • AlexanderHoll

      Super a lot of very nice features, up to now i was mostly using ahrefs for link audits. But i like you clicks per search (cps) figures. Are there any plans where i could label keywords within ahrefs? This would be super helpful in order to have qualitative analysis besides the quantitative analysis? Best regards Alexander, CEO 121WATT