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How accurate is keyword search volume in Ahrefs?
How accurate is keyword search volume in Ahrefs?

Many people wonder if the search volume keyword metric provided by Ahrefs is accurate. Let's find out.

Helen avatar
Written by Helen
Updated over a week ago

Before we answer this question, there are a few important things to consider:

  1. Search volume does not always translate into traffic. Many searches on Google result in no clicks or go to ads.

  2. Search volume in any SEO tool, including Ahrefs, is always an estimation. Only Google has access to the exact data.

  3. When conducting keyword research, you should not solely rely on search volume as the deciding factor. Ahrefs' Traffic Potential metric predicts organic search traffic much more accurately.

What is the source of keyword search volume data in Ahrefs?

The primary source for keyword search volume data in Ahrefs is Google Keyword Planner, but our search volume estimates will rarely match those in GKP.

The search volume data in GKP is not completely accurate due to the following reasons:

  1. It groups together keywords with similar meanings.

  2. It rounds search volumes into buckets.

In 2021, we discovered that GKP drastically overestimated search volumes 54% of the time. Therefore, data from Google Keyword Planner should not be used as a benchmark.

To "ungroup" similar keyword clusters and refine search volumes from GKP, we use several additional sources of data. Custom click-through rate (CTR) distribution models help us convert search volume data into clicks on organic search results, allowing us to make organic search traffic estimations.

Is Ahrefs search volume data accurate?

The short answer is yes; it's relatively accurate compared to "Impressions" in Google Search Console.

Our study revealed that Ahrefs' Search Volume estimates were roughly accurate for 60% of the studied keywords compared to "Impressions" from Google Search Console. In comparison, Google Keyword Planner's Search Volume estimates were roughly accurate in 45% of cases.

Bar chart showing Ahrefs is more accurate than GKP

Some 3rd party studies have also proven that Ahrefs keyword data is an accurate estimation.

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