Where Do SEO Keyword Research Tools Get Its Data? Volume, DR, Backlinks, etc | How?

Where do SEO keyword research tools get its data
Keyword Research

Where Do SEO Keyword Research Tools Get Its Data? Volume, DR, Backlinks, etc | How?

Keywords play a crucial role in SEO. The very fact that you landed on this page while searching for information about where SEO tools get their data is because of the keywords used in the content.

Where Do SEO Keyword Research Tools Get Its Data

How do you find the keywords to include in your content? 

In Search Engine Optimization, collecting the right data is the key to success. 

Keyword research helps you to find out the relevant keywords and useful data for each of them. 

It assists in identifying what your audience is searching for, what are the terms, phrases, and questions used by your target audience while searching for products or services from your niche, and what your competitors are doing to grab the attention of the customers. 

At the end of keyword research, you will be able to determine which keywords to target in order to optimize your website and rank in the search engines.

It applies to the queries of your target audience or what are the possible terms best used to get maximum attention for your PPC ads. 

Keyword research tools are an effective way to gather data on keywords used frequently by your target customers. These tools provide current and historic insights that give your digital marketing campaigns an extra edge.  

Related Read: How to check my website keyword ranking? Here are some options for you

How do keyword research tools work?

Google keyword planner, ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz are some of the popular SEO keyword research tools. 

All keyword research tools work in the same way. When you enter a seed keyword, they search their database and pull keyword ideas that match with the seed keyword.

For example, if you type keyword research in the ahrefs keyword tool, you will get the following results. 

Nearly 4500 keyword ideas for the term “keyword research”, only from the phrase match. You can obtain scores of related keywords from the other reports. 

Apart from the relevant keywords, the tools also provide data such as keyword difficulty, search volume, cost per click, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, etc. for each keyword suggestion. 

Where do Keyword research tools get their data?

Keyword research tools gather data from many sources. Every tool uses different methods to gather, analyze and present data to its users. Let us take a look at how different tools generate their data.

Google Keyword Planner – Where does google Keyword Planner get its data

Google keyword planner is the most popular tool for keyword research. 

Most of the well-known SEO keyword research tools pull their data from the Google keyword planner using API connections. But where does Google get its data from?

Google keyword planner gets its data from 

  • The queries of billions of people, who search the internet for a variety of topics.
  • Keyword lists provided by advertisers to buy ad space
  • Content provided by publishers, bloggers, redditers, and other users, which Google search bots can crawl and index
  • Data from Google products such as Google Chrome, analytics, etc. 

Google collects the data from all these sources and uses machine learning, semantics, pattern recognition, and predictive analysis to recognize and classify frequently used words, phrases, and questions related to a topic, and build entities. 

The natural language processing capabilities of Google help it to understand the word patterns along with the syntax and intent. 

Moreover, the continuous updates to the Google algorithms make it smarter and capable of providing the exact data required by the users. 

Related Read: Top 7 Content Creation based local SEO ranking factors that can impact your business

Semrush – Where does Semrush get its data

Semrush is a popular SEO tool that helps businesses to identify the most relevant keywords for their niche. The tool has more than 22.3 billion keywords in its database, which makes it the largest keyword database in the world. 

 Apart from listing out the keywords, Semrush also provides data such as intent, monthly search volume, trends, keyword difficulty, and CPC data. Semrush reports also give insights about domains, sub-domains and top-ranking URLs for the keyword. 

Semrush reports help users to compare the content from multiple domains and assess their strengths and shortcomings. You can undertake gap analysis and learn what works or what does not work for your industry. 

Semrush collects its keyword data from 

  • Third-party vendors provide keyword and search engine rankings data for 500 million most popular keywords 
  • Proprietary machine learning algorithms to collect information about the websites listed in the top 100 positions for a keyword. 
  • Semrush collects both organic search and Paid search data to analyse changes in domain rankings in organic and paid search and present a complete picture of a website’s visibility on Google.
  • The neural network algorithm of Semrush combs through the purchased and collected data to analyze patterns and understand the audience’s behaviour in an accurate manner.  

Semrush refreshes its data once every month to maintain a high degree of quality across its databases and ensure the users get access to updated information on domain rankings for various keywords. 

Related Read: Can You Rank In Google Without Backlinks?

Ahrefs – Where does Ahrefs get its data from

Ahrefs is the most recommended SEO keyword tool for beginners as well as experienced SEO professionals. They are the leaders in the industry and provide accurate reports on keyword movement, backlinks and competitor analysis. 

Ahrefs has a database of 17.3 billion keywords that helps digital marketers across the world discover a multitude of keyword ideas and analyze their traffic potential and ranking difficulty. 

Ahrefs keyword explorer helps you to search for the relevant keywords and choose the ones with high traffic potential and low ranking difficulty that can drive traffic to your website. 

Ahrefs gathers its data from

  • Their proprietary search crawlers work 24/7 
  • Clickstream data to maintain their large database of search queries with estimated search volume and advanced keyword research metrics. 
  • Google API for AdWords (Google keyword planner)

Ahrefs updates its database continuously to maintain the accuracy of data. The keywords are updated based on their popularity. The most popular keywords are updated daily while the ones with low popularity are updated once every one to two months. 

Ubersuggest – Where does Ubersuggest get its data

Ubersuggest is another online SEO keyword tool by Neil Patel. 

The tool gives crucial information such as keyword suggestions, domain rankings, backlink data, and content ideas. Ubersuggest is a budget-friendly SEO tool for digital marketers, bloggers, and businesses that are looking to optimize their websites with the right keywords. 

Ubersuggest gets its data from

  • Google keyword planner API for Adwords
  • Suggested keywords from google suggest
  • Moz API data 

Ubersuggest provides keyword ideas related to your seed keyword along with their search volume, CPC, paid difficulty, and search difficulty. These details make it easier for you to choose the right keywords that are easier to rank both for organic search and PPC campaigns. 

To summarize, we can say that SEO keyword tools collect data from 5 major sources, which include

  1. Google Ads API (Google Keyword Planner)
  2. Clickstream data
  3. Browser extensions and plugins
  4. Third-party tools
  5. Proprietary tools (infographic of 5 points mentioned) 

Some companies use a mix of all of the five sources, while others use one of them. The accuracy of data provided by these tools depends on what sources they use and how they analyze and present the data.

How accurate is the data from the SEO keyword tools

When you compare data from different SEO keyword research tools, you can observe certain discrepancies in the monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, and other metrics. 

The differences are due to the methods used by these tools to aggregate the data and present it to the users. It is critical to note that though SEO keyword tools use advanced algorithms to segregate and analyze data, they cannot be 100% accurate.

Most keyword tools get their data from Google Adwords. No one including Google can make accurate predictions of some metrics such as keyword difficulty and organic competition as there is no single factor that can determine these metrics. 

Each tool has its set of strengths and weaknesses. For example, Semrush has the world’s largest keyword database, while Ahrefs is a good source for backlink data. 

It is to be noted that most of the information given by SEO keyword tools is mostly accurate for high-volume keywords while they are not so accurate for keywords with low volumes. 

You have to choose a tool based on your requirements such as budget, keyword requirement, and the metrics that you need.  


Keyword data is important for businesses and digital marketers. There is no use in creating content if no one is searching for it. 

Keyword data from SEO tools help you to identify the accurate keywords that your target audience is using and optimize your content accordingly. No matter, whether you want to rank for organic search or plan a PPC campaign, being equipped with the right keywords can make a sea of difference. 

There are numerous SEO tools that help you to get keyword data. Google keyword planner, Semrush, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest are a few of the popular tools used by most digital marketers. 

These SEO tools get their data from 5 major sources, analyze it using their algorithms and create a database of keywords with relevant metrics such as monthly keyword usage, keyword difficulty, PPC cost, etc. 

The accuracy of data from these SEO tools is a topic of discussion in SEO circles. Every tool has different algorithms to segregate, refine and analyze data and hence the outcomes are also different. 

Huge discrepancies can be observed between the data provided by various tools for the same keyword. It is crucial to remember that the data provided by these keyword tools are just estimates and suggestions and take them with a pinch of salt. 

You can compare the data given by different tools to arrive at your own estimate and choose appropriate keywords that convey the message and match the search intent of your audience.