Why Search Volume is Less Relevant Now

10 min read
9 Apr 2024
Why Search Volume is less Relevant Now


A keyword’s search volume shows its traffic potential on search pages. In this case, keywords with a high search volume show more potential than keywords with a low volume on search pages.

However, despite search volume – a page’s traffic also depends on other metrics, including the page’s ranking position on search pages, the query’s search intent, and the way Google displays search results.

Let’s learn about Search Volume and consider – Why Search Volume is less relevant now.

TL;DR: Search volume is becoming a less dominant metric in SEO as it doesn’t always translate into traffic and high rankings. Ranking position, search intent, and Google’s result display matter more now. Actual search volume data is most accurate when a page ranks in the top 3 on Google, and other metrics, such as keyword competition, backlinks, and conversion rates, are increasingly important. To drive traffic, focusing on quality content, in-depth competitor analysis, and targeting related search queries is more effective than relying solely on search volume. Quality and strategy trump sheer search numbers in today’s SEO landscape.

Introduction to Search Volume

In a specific time frame, the average number of searches for a Keyword refers to the Search Volume. For example, the monthly average number of searches for the phrase “search volume” is 1,300.

We can find a keyword’s search volume using SEO Tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest. Entering a keyword in the input field will return search volume data. You can also find the ranking keywords with search volume data if you enter a competitor’s URL in the search bar.

If the page already ranks, we can see impressions, actual search volume, ranking positions, and CTR in the Google Search Console.

Search volume is not a reliable metric. The actual search volume of a keyword is found only:

  • If your page is ranking in Google’s top 3 positions – the higher a page is ranking, the more traffic it gets from Google.
  • By monitoring a keyword’s traffic history over several months, you can estimate the actual search volume for a keyword.

Note: To see if a keyword is ideal, make sure the keywords you choose are relevant and have more chances of ranking at a high position on Google search pages.

Why do we consider Search Volume?

When doing keyword research, a high search volume for a keyword ensures that the page will drive more traffic if ranked in a good position on search engine pages compared to keywords with low search volume.

However, the search volume only tells part of the story. The search volume of a search term can make it more competitive on SERPs. So, along with backlinks pointing to a page, a high search volume can help users drive more traffic compared to keywords with a low search volume.

Why is Search Volume less Relevant now?

Let’s describe scenarios where you can ignore search volume and find other metrics helpful for increased performance. In this case, as long as a keyword matches your business model, keywords with high or less competition have no difference for you.

Page ranking position on Search Pages

A page’s ranking position matters, regardless of the keyword’s search volume.

Let’s consider more explanation.

A highly searched keyword can drive little traffic if ranked 7th on Google. Conversely, a low, competitive keyword with less search volume, if ranked in Google’s top 3 positions, can drive hundreds of page views.

Search Volume: Google Search Console vs SEO Tools

Finding a Keyword’s search volume is easy; however, the data shown in Google Search Volume and keyword research tools tell a different story.

In this case, SEO Tools can’t help you find the correct search volume compared to Google Search Volume. SEO tools can help you see a keyword’s estimated search volume when doing Keyword Research. On the other hand, a keyword’s search volume is only unlocked when a page is ranked in Google’s top 3 positions.

When it happens, users can see accurate impressions, positions, and Click Through Rate (CTR) of a keyword in Google Search Console. Keep in mind that no Tool other than Google can tell you the correct search volume.

Search Volume vs Keyword Competition on Search Pages

The statement “keywords with high search volume have more competition” is a familiar concept among SEOs. While the statement is true in most cases, it doesn’t always work in real-world scenarios.

Let’s explain.

Google ranks pages on the basis of Relevancy. The more a page efficiently satisfies users’ intent, the higher Google will be ranking the page.

So, if a high-searched keyword is not covered on Google, there will be no competition. On the other hand, if a keyword with a low search volume is covered, search competition for the keyword will be high.

The statement That correlates high search volume with search competition is false here.

High Searched vs. Low Competitive Keywords

In general, keywords with a high search volume are more competitive than keywords with little to no search.

In this case, even if the high-volume keywords have traffic potential, they will require more effort to rank, such as backlinks, social shares, and page speed. Conversely, although keywords with lower search volume have less traffic, ranking for low-hanging fruit is easier.

Quality content can drive more traffic

Let’s forget the search volume for a moment and start ranking for more related keywords.

Instead of considering search volume, consider creating quality, more detailed, niche-specific content that targets the correct audience.

In such scenarios, long-form content is ranked for hundreds of related search queries. In return, despite search volume, the content can help users drive more traffic by targeting and ranking for associated keywords. In-depth content also helps your site become an authority.

Backlinks pointing to a Page

Despite a Keyword’s search volume, the backlinks pointing to a page help users increase the number of keywords a page is ranking for. Backlinks from authoritative sources also help drive more traffic. Here, the process of link prospecting is also called link building.

So, a keyword with a low search volume can drive more traffic if the number of backlinks to the page is high. In this case, more backlinks also help you optimize a piece of content and improve ranking positions on search pages.

Conversion Rate

Seed Keywords have a higher search volume than low, competitive search queries. However, the search volume seems irrelevant when converting visitors from readers into loyal subscribers.

In this case, long-tail keywords get more specific, target a particular audience, and help users better convert readers. On the other hand, primary keywords with high search volume are descriptive, more in-depth, and target deep concepts, scenarios, and case studies. In this case, the process of SEO keyword research can help you unlock potential opportunities.

Competitor Analysis

Search volume is less relevant if you focus on competitor research to find the right keywords.

In this case, you can see which keywords your competitor is ranking for on Google using competitor URLs. Using such routines, you can drive traffic by targeting keywords that are already ranking. So, if your site’s competitor is ranking for a keyword, you can be on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Competitor analysis also shows a keyword’s search history across various durations.

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How to find Topic ideas?

Sales team can help you find relevant topic ideas, the ones your customers are asking for. In this case, the problems, customers’ pain points, and requirements help you find topics that target your audience.

For example, the sales teams are frequently asked for specific scenarios about a company’s products. Having those matters on file, the write-ups, tutorials, and articles you create will specifically address the target audience.


What is the Search Volume of a Keyword?

Search volume shows “how many times a keyword is searched for on Google in a specific time”. For example, if a keyword is searched 100 times on average in a month, the keyword’s search volume is 100. It is also called the monthly search volume.

How do I get Google Search Volume?

You can use SEO Tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Semrush to find a keyword’s search volume. Entering a keyword in the SEO tools will return search volume data and other metrics, including the keyword’s competition on search pages, the number of backlinks pointing to the ranking pages, and sites currently ranking for the keyword. You can also use Google Keyword Planner to find keywords’ search volume data. The tools can show more data on what the people are searching for on Google.

Which Search Volume is best?

Every keyword has a search volume as long as it is searched on Google. In this case, ignore the data shown in the SEO tools.

Instead of considering search volumes for keywords, focus on ranking highly on search pages. In this case, a ranking at a good position for a low-volume keyword can drive more traffic than ranking on the second page for a high-search volume keyword.

How much Search Volume is good for SEO?

A keyword search volume has nothing to do with the quality of content you create for a topic. In this case, good content with quality on-page SEO, backlinks pointing to the page, and content according to the user’s search intent will rank, compared to pages with opposite measures – no matter the search volume for the particular page.

How do I increase Search Volume?

Regular users can’t affect a keyword’s search volume. However, seasonal keywords can affect organic traffic if your page ranks on search pages.

For seasonal keywords, trends change as specific days come close. For example, search traffic and volume grow when Christmas days drive close.

Professional Tips

  • When considering search volume for different keywords, competition analysis will tell you if your site can rank in the top 3 positions. In this case, you can ignore search volume and instead aim to rank at a high position.
  • SEO tools can return different data for a keyword’s search volume. In most cases, search volume is an estimation and can only help users estimate users’ trends in a specific industry.
  • Search volume is less relevant when seeing results for keywords returning Google ads on search pages. In this case, paid ads can affect a keyword’s CTR. If a keyword’s search results include paid ads, people are likely to click paid ads instead of scrolling down for organic results.
  • Despite considering search volume, the pages ranking in the top 3 positions on Google drive more traffic. In this case, the top-ranking page drives more than 30% of the total traffic share, the second stands at 15%, and the third gets around 7% of organic traffic. So, considering the mentioned fact – a high searched volume drives less traffic if ranked below 3rd position.
  • A quality page can drive more traffic than a search volume for its focus keyword. In this case, the page should have related keywords ranked. So, the cumulative traffic share rises as the number of related keywords grows.


Deciding to choose keywords with a high search volume is better; however, the chances of ranking in Google’s top 3 positions also matter. If you can rank high for a keyword, you can ignore the keyword’s search volume data.

A keyword’s search volume is not the only measure you should consider. Along with trust signals, such as the domain’s topical authority, keyword difficulty, backlinks pointing to a page, and page speed, you can rank for new keywords to drive organic traffic.If you need more technical assistance regarding keyword search volume, let us know to help you find attractive keywords, create quality content that ranks, and monitor your SEO strategy for improved search traffic.

Written By
Adam is the founder of Contactora and chief strategist. Having worked in Digital marketing for over 10 years and in SEO for 7+ years he has gain a wealth of knowledge and insights.
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