What is Keyword Volatility?

By Altay Gursel | June 5, 2020
Home / Search Engine Optimization / What is Keyword Volatility?

Keyword volatility is the long term sustainability of a keyword. Most content marketers forget the fact that keywords have a shelf life on the web.

If a keyword becomes a very popular search term online and quickly loses its popularity we can call it a volatile keyword.

No matter how much evergreen a keyword is, eventually at some point it will be obsolete. People either will not search for it anymore or the search volume will be near to none.

You may think the keyword of “laptop computer” is evergreen since they are in the market already a long time. However, I want to remind you “floppy disk” which is rarely any search interest since no one needs them anymore.

If sometime in the future modern science classifies the liver as a group of multiple organs instead of one giant organ, the term liver is likely to be obsolete.

Keyword volatility is a useful indicator to define the long term profitability of a keyword. If you believe your targeted keyword will be around for many coming years then your keyword is not volatile.

Why is it important for content marketing?

Because it directly affects the lifetime profitability of the content. We all want to write content that brings in visitors as much as the content is on the web.

It is hard to assign a numeric value for the keyword volatility. However, you can use common sense to estimate how many more years or decades your keywords can continue to drive traffic.

Here are 3 keywords compared in terms of the keyword volatility aspect.

Canon < Canon Powershot < Canon PowerShot SX530 HS Digital Camera

For instance, the keyword “Canon” is more likely to be around than “Canon Powershot”. Because the first term represents a brand while the second describes the category of the product that Canon produces.

Canon at some time in the future may decide not to continue to manufacture the products in the category of Canon Powershot.

It is safe to assume the keyword “Canon” is less volatile than the keyword “Canon Powershot”.

When we look at the keyword “Canon PowerShot SX530 HS Digital Camera”, it describes the exact model one would buy from the store.

Needless to say, it is going to be the most volatile one in these three keywords. Because in a couple of years Canon very likely to stop manufacturing that exact model completely.

Who knows even Canon in the future can be out of business and we may not search for it anymore.

Do you think I may be wrong?

I would suggest you researching IBM. It was one of the most popular tech companies, but today hardly anyone remembers it.

Although it looks like long-tail keywords tend to be more volatile since they are more targeted, it is not every time true.

Names of today’s popular people are also volatile keywords to follow. Since they are likely to lose their popularity in the future.

There is also seasonal keyword volatility an important consideration for niche sites. If you build a blog about snowboarding you can expect having most of your traffic during the winter months and significantly less traffic during the summer months.

If you build a website in a seasonal niche, you should consider it beforehand.

Either don’t build a site in a seasonal topic or build a second seasonal site that works reverse in seasons. For instance, having a snowboarding blog and surfing blog is likely to balance each other’s inconsistency in traffic.

Certain niches like “Christmas Gift Ideas” peaks during the Christmas, and gets a lot less traffic other times.

People are so much focused on keyword search volume and keyword competition, they ignore other important keyword metrics that affect the profitability of a website.

Keyword tools although they provide useful information limits people’s creative thinking.

Many content marketers think a niche profitable if a high search volume and relatively fewer search result available.

However, how long the keyword is likely to be around is equally important.

Because we wouldn’t like to profit from the content only for a short period of time. The compounding effect of content marketing can only work for us if our earlier published content works for us for many decades.

All in all, keyword volatility is an important consideration to take into account while building websites.

Finding the right keywords makes the difference between being successful in SEO or achieving nothing. You need to have the right tools in your arsenal to do comprehensive keyword research. I would recommend checking out my list of best keyword tools that can help you discover low competition keywords you can rank for.