Market Samurai has established itself over the years as a leading contender in the Keyword Research Tools stakes but is it still the force it once was?

This is not the first Market Samurai review that I’ve written, and it probably won’t be the last. Here is a product that was early to market and which many people, me included, have become very fond of, using it, as I do, almost every day of my working life.

When you look more closely at Market Samurai ¬†you realise that, actually, as keyword research tools go nowadays it’s a bit limited in its scope but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. When it first appeared, and for years afterwards, it was indispensable if you were searching for key phrases to use in SEO and PPC campaigns. It took the results obtained from Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, now called the AdWords Keyword Planner, and provided extra analysis and information that helped you to find phrases that were easier to rank for and which were more likely to result in profitable traffic.

Gradually, however, the results obtained are becoming less and less useful. Google still provides the Keyword Planner, free of charge, to everyone who opens an AdWords account, even if they never spend anything on running ads, the tool is free to use. The problem is that the data Google provides is nowhere near comprehensive and, as we know, a lot of search data is suppressed by Google, for heaven knows what reason they have dreamed up.

What’s more, the additional data that Market Samurai provides, over and above the basic Google Keyword Planner data, is becoming less and less relevant, because Google has radically changed, and is still changing, the basis upon which it ranks results on the Search Engine Results Pages, (SERPs).

None of the above, however, means that Market Samurai has become a bad product or a bad investment, it’s still worth the very reasonable cost but the returns you are likely to get from it a less attractive than they used to be.

Why is that?

Well, for a start, Google only provides a limited number of results for any given search, (800). When you move into “longtail keywords” territory, there are often thousands of variations of a phrase that need to be looked at and, because of the limited nature of its source, Market Samurai can’t do that. Secondly, the “Keyword analysis” features are becoming less and less relevant because Google has removed the emphasis on indicators such as number of backlinks and PageRank, (no longer publicly updated by Google), and replaced them with different indicators such as the quality (rather than the quantity), of backlinks, which cannot be identified by Market Samurai.

To Buy, or Not To Buy?

If, after reading as far as this in this Market Samurai review, you could be forgiven for thinking that I’m a little reluctant to recommend the package but you’d be wrong – I just think that you should give it some careful thought before you do.

In particular, I think that you should be totally realistic about why you need a keyword research tool and what it is that you’re trying to achieve.

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