I recently heard of something called the “Keyword Effectiveness Index” or “KEI” and since it was new to me I quickly did some research. The following is what I believe to be true about “KEI.”
The Keyword Effectiveness Index is an algorithm created by Sumantra Roy, which assigns a number, described as the “KEI”, to any given keyword or keyword phrase.
The idea behind it is that keyword research services like NicheFinder and KeywordTracker can implement it and provide their clients with an easy to understand “ranking” of any given keyword. So ultimately their clients can do a quick search for any keyword and find a list of keyword phrases with high KEI’s and they now have a good idea as to how valuable that keyword is. They target those keywords and they dominate them, right? Unfortunately it’s not that easy, although it isn’t extremely difficult if you do it correctly (manually.)
In a nutshell, KEI finds long-tail keywords for the queried search term, compares the number of searches to the number of results in the search engine and assigns a number to each keyword based on the likelihood of it ranking for that phrase when considering the quantity of search results that are displayed.
While I do give credit to Mr. Roy for putting alot of hard work into something that was intended to help people, you simply can’t do proper keyword research without manual review and this is why:
You may have a search term that gets 100 searches a day, but only 8,000 search results. This would have a GREAT KEI and it would seem like an AWESOME phrase to target. But how do you know if every page in the top 10 is optimized for that phrase or not? you don’t without manual review.
In my time I’ve found loads of keyword phrases that have had a good amount of daily searches with very little competition when looking at the number of SERP’s, but at a closer glance, quickly realized that there were several pages highly optimized and very strong right there dominating the front page.
My conclusion is that KEI can be useful, in the reduction of initial keyword research, but it’s by no means a keyword research “answer.”
Just about any keyword research tool out there does something similar in one way or another and they can all save you some time, but when it comes down to it, if you truly want good keywords, you’re going to have to do a little manual reviewing on top of it all.