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WordButler: New Keyword Tool Not Quite Ready for the Big Leagues


I recently saw an ad for a new keyword tool called WordButler. Rarely do I ever click on ads, but I’m always on the prowl for tools that are missing from the other tools we use.

So I signed up for a seven day free trial for WordButler and gave it a test run.

How WordButler Works

I have to say that I really like the simplicity of the WordButler interface. There are some drawbacks to this which I’ll explain later, but those can be overcome without overly complicating the functionality of WordButler.

When you open up the program you’re given three basic options: Build a keyword list, get keyword suggestions or estimate keyword traffic.

WordButler start screen

Suggest Keyword Ideas

The “Suggest Keyword Ideas” allows you to do a broad search for keyword much like the Wordtracker Related Keywords feature. That’s where I usually begin my keyword research process so I started there.

Click the link, type in your keyword in the box that pops up…

WordButler input screen

and wait a few seconds for the result (it’s pretty fast!):

WordButler result screen

You can check the keywords which you want to estimate traffic or save for later.

Build a Keyword List

Once you have all your keyword ideas together you can build yourself a keyword list. Whatever screen you happen to be on at the time, there is a “New Project” drop down. Click that and select “I want to Build a Keyword List.”

WordButler new project drop down

Enter your keyword in the popup box like before and let the list be built.

WordButler Keyword List

This is the most powerful part of the program. You’ll want to note that adding singular versions of words will only give you the singular result. WordButler doesn’t account for plurals or stemmed variations. If you want alternate variations you’ll have to run those searches separately.

Up top you can create or add your negative keyword list. Just type or paste the words in the box either individually or separated by commas and your negative list will build, removing the keywords from the list below.

You can then go and individually delete words, or select on any phrase and add it (minus the actual core term) to the negative list.

When you’re all done, you can export it into a spreadsheet for later viewing.

Estimate Keyword Traffic

This is really nothing more than an import function. Take any list of keywords you have, pop them in and hit OK.

WordButler Keyword Import

You’re immediately brought to the Estimate traffic screen which is available from each of the two research options noted above.

WordButler Traffic Estimator

What I didn’t like about WordButler

As I said before, I really liked the interface to WordButler. There is a lot of potential here, but they’ve got quite a bit of work to do.

Unrelated results

The first problem I came across was when looking for keyword suggestions. About 3/4 of the suggested results were travel related keywords (cheap travel, car rentals, direct flights, etc.) I wasn’t sure how these pertained to “school supplies” so I tried a different search. Both “baby bedding” and “motorcycle batteries” produced the same list of travel terms as well. Obviously this is a bug that needs to be fixed.

Poor quality results

Most of the words that actually were related to my search weren’t much use. Words like “accessories,” “supplies,” “materials,” and “store” don’t really provide me much of anything valuable. On the other hand a Related Keyword search on WordTracker gave me many more ready to use terms such as “classroom supplies,” “educational supplies,” “teacher supplies,” etc.

I honestly wouldn’t have much use for this section. It doesn’t provide me anything that Quintura or L3xicon doesn’t, and both of those are free.

Lack of results

Moving on to building a keyword list, the first problem I came across is that it produced no results for “school supplies”. I tried multiple times and got nothing.

Deleting keywords

If you want to delete keywords from your list you’ll either have to do them one at a time or hold the control key down and click all the words you want to delete. A better option here would be check boxes. It would also be helpful to have a deleted keyword list so you can review what’s been deleted and re-add keywords that may have been deleted on accident.

Another problem is that whenever you delete a keyword you jump back to the top of the list. With each delete you have to scroll to find your place. Very annoying. The same happens when you add words to your negative list.

Negative keyword list

You have to be very careful with the negative keyword list. I found two issues which can cause major frustration. If you add a keyword you have the option to remove it, but removing it doesn’t refresh the list below. That makes removing the keyword somewhat frivolous since it has no effect. The even bigger issue is if you type in a keyword list and accidentally add an additional comma and space after the last negative word (i.e. “free, uk, “). That last space will remove your entire list. And since you can’t just remove that space from your negative list, you’ll have to start your search all over again, including any edits that you’ve done.

I liked the fact that you could click on a keyword and add it to your negative list, but the application of that didn’t always make sense. Say I clicked on “baby bedding and papa smurf”, the words “and papa smurf” would be added to the negative list. This means that I’m not removing any phrase with “papa smurf” unless the word “and” is with it. This feature needs some tweaking to allow individual words to be added when you want to add a negative.

For the most part, adding keywords to the negative list worked, but I found in one case I added “india” to the negative list and the phrase with “in india” wasn’t removed.

Traffic estimator

When you’re viewing the estimator there is no way to remove keywords. You can go back to your keyword list but it would be a nice addition to be able to remove the keywords from that screen. Right now you have to navigate back and hunt for any keywords you decided to remove.

I’m not sure what the traffic estimator is based on. That’s a hard number to quantify and I would much rather see daily or monthly search volume figures.

Save and export

I have three major issues with the save and export feature. First, I’m not given the option to name the file. That’s a pretty basic necessity. The other two issues are with the export file itself. The data was not aligned properly which meant I had to go in and move things around to get it to line up.

WordButler keyword export

You can see that the data is misaligned starting on line nine and then again on line 30. Look even closer and you can see that some of the data is in date format, rather than the raw number.

It would also be nice to export without saving first. But in this case, you can just copy your keywords and paste them into a spreadsheet or import them into Wordtracker.

How WordButler compares to Wordtracker

The two programs are vastly different so I won’t even attempt to do a direct comparison. but I will compare some various results.

In my search for “baby bedding” WordButler estimated that the keyword will generate between 2300 and 2800 clicks a day. On the other hand, Wordtracker only estimates that keyword received 568 searches in a 24 hour period. This is a pretty big discrepancy between the two. In order to get 2300 clicks a day the traffic volume would have to be between 5-20,000 a day. I just don’t see that keyword getting that many searches.

Another example, “baby boy bedding” shows 7 searches per day in Wordtracker but 44-50 clicks per day (Google) according to WordButler. I think it’s clear that WordButler is over-estimating.

I wanted to see how different the databases were so I typed in a very niche keyword, “brass casting.” Wordtracker produced a total of 10 results while WordButler gave me over 100. That’s quite impressive. On the flip side of that, when I ran the traffic estimator only four of the keywords showed any traffic estimates, again compared to Wordtracker’s 10.

On this issue, I think WordButler has the advantage. It is obviously providing keywords that Wordtracker isn’t finding and even if search volume is low, these keywords can be very important for niche industries.


I found it funny that WordButler fetches results from the “Google secret database”. I’d ask where this secret database is, but I guess that’s the point… it’s secret.

I actually liked WordButer a lot and think it’s got a lot of potential. Unfortunately it’s got of bugs to fix. I’m not sure it would ever be a replacement for Wordtracker, my keyword tool of choice, but it can be a nice addition to fill in the gaps that wordtracker leaves.

For right now, though, I’m not ready to shell out another $147 per year. Fix the issues and knock $50 off the price tag and then we’ll talk.

Update: I just received an email from WordButler stating that they have fixed the bugs I’ve mentioned here are are working to implement some of our other suggestions.

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

13 Responses to WordButler: New Keyword Tool Not Quite Ready for the Big Leagues

  1. Pingback: PPC News Roundup for 7/23/2008 | The Adventures of PPC Hero

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  3. louis says:

    Great , thanks for the article,so many keyword tools out there! We’ve all bought sub-par tools and regretted it , so many false reviews saturate the search results , you are easily fooled into thinking the tools are perfect and the best in the world ! Though some are just plain useless!

  4. Chris says:

    Their "free test drive" is a scam. I signed up for and and got nothing but a pitch for their product. If is said "risk free test drive" that would be different – because there IS a difference (risk free vs. free). Great post. Thanks. I’ll stick with my current solution.

  5. Star Riley says:

    Thanks for the review S.D I was going to buy wordbutler. In Fact to be honest I may still buy it after all whats 147 if your making money really making money with PPC and not just rapping like some folks, if it does provide just one insight per year it should be worth $147 unless this PPC game is just a hobby. lol.

    Your Online Friend.

  6. Mike says:

    Thanks again for the feedback. I would strongly urge you to give WordButler.com another try. We just released a significant upgrade and if you want to rapidly build a killer keyword list, I know that there is no other tool that compares.

    This is the only tool that we use at MindValley for PPC and we generate about $1M in month per sales. So, don’t blame the tool if you are not seeing the results. We know it works incredibly well.

  7. Excellent review. Thank you for that!

    The sales copy at wordbutler is very well written and there is some pedigree with the owners and developers. I was definitely tempted to dive straight in and buy without the sensible check for decent reviews.

    However, like all good business people, I did the obvious search for reviews, and glad to say I’m super happy with your genuine post.

    I may still be tempted. After all, for the small yearly price, if it only finds a few profitable keywords that other research tools cannot find, then it is well worth the cost.

    I am going to play about with the free limited time version and see how it feels in my hands.

    Once again, thank you kindly for the honest well written review. I’ll definitely be back for more. Wishing you the very best of success.

    John Adams

  8. Michele says:

    Yeah, They also offer a 7 day trial that does not eventuate. Left my name and email and every time it takes me to their sales letter, emailed them 3 times, no reply. No 7 day free trial.

  9. Rusty says:

    I looked at this tool and though very interested from the sales copy, I want to wait for better pricing like you suggested.
    Great review!

  10. Bob says:

    I was looking for a good tool and thought I found one… However, after thinking I was going to give it a try with the free trial, I found that it was not available. I was almost tempted to purchase anyway, but I felt that they put me in a position that if I didn’t purchase they would sell my email address.

    Being a old internet user, but new to internet marketing, I thought it was misleading to use the word “FREE” and not be able to find the download. Perhaps this is the type of marketing campaigns they suggest we use in our approach to internet marketing.

  11. keyword blarney says:

    Nice information, thanks, I was ready to try it out, and was just not convinced about the quality of the service, the price was ok, if everything they claimed was accurate, but from reading your article I can see that it was not as accurate as it could have been.

    Anytime you see a monthly fee in the balance, you have to wonder if it is worth the price, because there has to be continuing value, at least if I were offering this service I would want to keep my members coming back for more.

    thanks for the great comparison

  12. Jake Working at Home says:

    The reported shenanigans with not providing the eval copy offered in the initial sales pages takes the sheen off their credibility, enough to stop me plopping down the cash.