The Great PPC Spy Tool Myth / Lie

May 26, 2009

I'd like to make a point regarding "spying" on your "competitor's keywords"... It is patently NOT TRUE, not possible, a bunch of hogwash really.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to spy into your competitor's account, impossible, period, fanciful thinking. Sure, you can guess at the keywords your competitors are bidding on, based on the "search queries" that are being tracked, these are the search queries that have triggered your competitor's ads... that's all, period, don't believe otherwise. Yet, and others blatantly misrepresent, when they say you can “see the keywords” your competitor is "bidding on". This is a blatant misrepresentation, and most likely confuses newbie's who believe that crap.

PPC Spy tools only show you the search queries that triggered ads, not other competitor's keywords.

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Chris said...

I am glad someone is finally speaking up about all these keyword tools that offer this "magic service". I see these tools helpful to get some keyword ideas maybe or to have easy access to competitors ad copy, but all that really does is to give you a base line to work off.

I tested Wordze for a month a few weeks ago and it was just crap. I had used it last year in spring and the quality was decent, but this time .. just crap.

George Lane said...

Yes, it is a stretching the truth to say the least.

However, I do find the less obvious intelligence these tools gather extremely useful (especially Keyword Spy's tracking feature).

For example, the ad copy - as you mentioned, landing pages, destination urls etc. Even the search queries themselves can indicate how tighly a competitor runs their campaigns.

Great post though - these guys sales pitches can thoroughly confuse newcomers. Thanks for busting the myth!

Anonymous said...

Even if there was a tool for "spying" on your competitors adwords (which there clearly isn't), i wouldn't use it. You're making the assumptions that (a) they're competently managing their account (b) that what works for them is what works for you. Neither is true imho. I truly don't understand the fascination with keyword spying tools.

Anonymous said...

And yet you review and recommend another spy tool (PPC Bully)here:

The guys behind PPC Bully are much more aggressive with their claims and marketing than Keyword Spy.

I like both tools personally and think they are very valuable tools to have in your tool kit.

PPCPROZ said...

I regularly utilize Content Bully for finding specific placements that are showing Google/Yahoo/Bing Ads, its a good tool.

I love using kwspy; I always begin new account research with a "reverse engineering" approach, as well as find brand keywords to begin with, and of course checking out the ad copy/destin urls of competitors.

If they would just admit to the simple myth that you can't really see what your competitors are bidding on! If there were not such animal as broad match, maybe maybe.

FF said...

Agree with the fact that it's impossible to spy on competitors keywords - it could be a good tool for seeing the bid volume for keywords and the monthly search for phrases/keywords

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