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Keyword Elite 2.0: Review

Keyword Elite 2.0 ReviewIntroduction

I'm a long-time user of Brad Callen's Keyword Elite. I bought v.1.0 way back in March 2006, and I've been using it regularly ever since then. I use it to hone my keyword research, to test new niches for my AdSense sites, to carry out PPC research - and a whole host of other tasks.

I can't quantify it, but I am certain that Keyword Elite 1.0 ("KWE1") has paid for itself many times over in the 3-years+ that I've been using it.

Over that time, I got many free updates to KWE1 and I guess I was hoping that Keyword Elite 2.0 ("KWE2") would be another freebie. I was wrong! But when I bought and started using KWE2, I could immediately see that this was completely new software, with a new, improved interface and additional, powerful programs.

There are eight different "programs" in KWE2, each providing different information, and serving different purposes. And data is, mainly, interchangeable between them.

In this review, I'm not going to describe all the features of KWE2. These are much better described on the sales page with its comprehensive videos of each of the programs.

Instead, I'm going to focus on some of the strengths and weaknesses of each Program and then draw some conclusions at the end of the review.

The Interface

Here. for comparison, are in opening interfaces of KWE1 (on the left) and KWE2:

The interfaces of Keyword Elite v.1.0 and v.2.0

Now I know that looking pretty is not a main function of software, but the KWE2 interface is much easier to select from. The same functionality carries on throughout KWE2.

One nice feature about KWE2 is the ability to have the results of several different programs open at the same time. With KWE1 you could only work on one at a time. There's a lot more integration between the programs in KWE2, which is a great time saver.

Program 1: "Keyword Surge"

This is the starting point for most keyword research. It works in the same way as Program 1 in KWE1, in that it generates a load of keywords from one "root" keyword that you enter - but is a lot more powerful. There's more information generated in Keyword Surge - such as the number of searches per month. It would have been good to have also had the number of pages found by the search engines and thus the "Keyword Effectiveness Index" could be calculated.

Now here's a feature which, for me, makes KWE2 a killer application. From "Keyword Surge" you can (after, perhaps, filtering to get the keywords with at least x '000 searches per month) to select and drop a number of keywords into another Program.

For example, I produced a list of keywords for "dog training", selected those with more than 5,000 searches per month and dropped this list into both "Market Research Sleuth" and "Search Engine Dominator". I then went and did something else for 10 minutes and came back to find the results waiting for me. That's the way I like to work :-)

Program 2: "Market Research Sleuth"

This is the tool that Pay Per Click people will find invaluable. This Program shows you how many people are bidding on each keyword - and just who they are!"

Having dragged my filtered "dog training" keywords over from "Keyword Surge" I could see the actual AdWords ads that are appearing for each keyword - like this:

PPC info

What I found a little odd is that it was in this Program that I could get a comparison between "number of searches made" (demand) and number of web pages returned by the search engine (supply). We're always looking for relatively high demand and relatively low supply. That's what the "Keyword Effectiveness Index" is all about. Here's what "Market Research Sleuth" returned for me:

KEI Stats

In my view, these figures should also have been included in the "Keyword Surge" Program, rather than in the "Market Research Sleuth" Program. It would have made more sense.

Also, in "Sleuth", I found the interface a little "clunky". There are two panes in the window. The right-hand scroll bar for the top pane didn't work very well, and it would have been nice to be able to drag the bottom bar of the top pane bar to let me see more results.

I guess I'm being a little picky :-)

Program 3: "Adwords Time Machine"

When I was training small businesses in the "real world" I used to tell them that, when they were thinking of advertising in newspapers or magazines, to monitor some publications over a number of months and see which of their competitors kept on advertising in the same publication. If they were, this was a sign that the ad was working for them.

That's what the "Adwords Time Machine" does. Now I've got software that does the same thing - except that you have to wait over a period of months to see who's still advertising.

I guess that Brad Callen and his team have built up a database of results, because you can instantly see the past 6 months of advertising for a given keyword. Here's the results for my "dog training" keyword:

Adwords Time Machine

The blue bars show each month that a website has been running Adwords ads; the yellow star indicates when they changed their ad. When you click on a blue bar, or when you click on a link in the pane below, you can see the Adwords ad that they were actually running.

When you double-click on the magnifying glass to the left of the "Display URL" you can see other keywords targeted by the advertiser. Incidentally, a little quirk here - you have to double-click on the magnifying glass. This wasn't made very clear in the instructions. All the other clicks have been single clicks.

Program #4: "Search Engine Dominator"

There are some pretty unique features in the program. I imported my filtered "dog training" keywords into "Search Engine Dominator" and within minutes the analysis was completed.

Some of it, such as "number of searches" and "competing pages" (the demand and supply factors) were repeated in other programs, but the focus of this program is to establish how competitive keywords are, and analysing the web pages of top sites for each keyword.

The competitiveness is measured and calculated in three ways:

Est. Monthly Clicks: this is the estimated number of clicks you'd expect to get if you ranked #1 for the keyword in Google. Mouthwatering stuff :-)

Competitive Strength: this is a proprietary formula developed by Keyword Elite, so I can't comment on exactly what it measures. But it gives a "green light" for those keywords which are likely to mean less work to get highly ranked in the search engines.

Microsoft's "Online Commercial Intention" ("OCI") score: this is something which I've looked at recently. It's a fairly new online service from MS which measures how likely is a customer's intent to buy or ask for further information when they search for a particular keyword.

The last two services have to be selected for each keyword individually, because they consume a fair amount of online processing time. The OCI, in particular, seemed to take for ages, sometimes, to deliver a result. Typical Microsoft, eh! Here's screen shots of some of my results. First, the competitive analysis - still waiting for some of the OCI results!

Keyword Elite - Competition Analysis

Now some of the info on a selected keyword from the list above, showing stuff like Google Page Rank, backlinks and a load of stuff off to the right of this screenshot:

Keyword Elite - more competition analysis results

One problem with this interface is that it didn't always respond to me trying to select a keyword from the top pane to giving me info about the leading websites in the bottom pane. A bit annoying, really :-(

But, all in all, a really useful training tool to learn how to fine-tune your web pages to reach that elusive goal of ranking high on Google! One thing to learn from this particular program is not to aim for the most popular keywords, but to go for those which have less competition.

Program #5: "Adwords Competition Sniper"

This is another program for Adwords users. It's a little like #3 "Adwords Time Machine", except that this is right up to date, and lets you monitor on a daily or weekly basis just how competitors are performing with their Adwords campaigns. This has to be run continually in the background on your PC, and so needs a constant internet connection.

You need to enter both the keywords you want to monitor and the websites you want to track. It would have been nice to be able to import the websites from Program #4, but this doesn't seem possible. There's a bug in the software when, for when it should ask you for the website addresses, it prompts you, wrongly, to enter keywords! I'm sure this will get corrected in due course.

I haven't tested this program, but I'm sure that it will appeal greatly to heavy Adwords users.

Program #6: "Advanced Adwords Site Targeter"

Some websites running Adsense allow Adwords advertisers to specifically select their websites to run their ads on. Such sites have on their Adsense ads a message from Google saying something like "Do you want to advertise on this site?" To Adwords users, this is known as "placement targeting".

What "Advanced Adwords Site Targeter" does is, for the keyword you input, find websites that run Adsense ads. And, apart from giving you stuff like Alexa and Google PR rankings, that, really is all it does:

Keyword Elite - Adwords Placement Targeting

The problem is that not all websites running Adsense ads accept "placement targeted ads". In fact, as far as I know, the majority don't accept these.

And Keyword Elite's Program #6, as far as I can see, doesn't help to to locate the ones that do. OK, I'm a new user of KWE2 and maybe I haven't grasped how to use this program, but, so far, this one's a thumbs down from me :-(

Program #7: "JV Diamond Miner"

The basis of this program is to find websites aligned to your chosen keyword(s) who have newsletters. The objective is to find people who may be prepared to help you to promote your product - as long as it doesn't compete directly with theirs.

OK, "JV Diamond Miner" does, as far as I can see, a good job of locating websites in the "dog training" niche. I simply dragged my filtered "dog training" keywords into Program #7 (I really like this integration - what a great time saver!) and let it run..

Keyword Elite - JV Diamond Miner

It found loads of websites with newsletters. It shows the usual Google PR, Alexa Rank etc - and it also gave the URL of the page where an opt-in form was found. You just click on that link, and the web page opens in your browser (this applies to most of the programs in KWE2, incidentally). I sorted the list by Google PR and selected what might be a likely JV partner in the dog training niche. What did the page show? This..

Keyword Elite - JV Diamond Miner

OK, so I've found a site with a newsletter in my niche? Why would the website owner want to help me. Well, here's the cunning strategy.. On the web page that people go to when their subscription to the newsletter is confirmed, there's a lot of "dead space". So you contact the owner and offer him some sort of reward (maybe affiliate commission on your product) for putting a little bit of HTML code on that web page.

So, how do you contact them? Well "JV Diamond Miner" has a little "Whois" link next to each website. The chances are that the "whois" info on their domain name will give you that contact info. Here's what I found in my test:

Keyword Elite 2.0 - JV Diamond Miner

So I now have the information I need to contact the owner of this site and try to set up a deal.

Just one point about "JV Diamond Miner" - it didn't always turn up accurate info. Sometimes when I clicked on a link to a site which was supposed to have an opt-in form, it didn't. So a little more hard work is needed. Maybe the search algorithm could be improved?

Program #8: "CPA Magnet"

"CPA" is "Cost Per Action", and it's a broader definition of affiliate programs where the only action which produces a result is a sale. "CPA" schemes can also pay you for other actions, such as sending a company a sales lead, or maybe sending them someone who fills out an application form for something.

"CPA" is a revenue generator that a lot of affiliate marketers overlook.

When I ran "CPA Magnet" for my "dog training" keyword I was, quite frankly, astounded at the speed at which it returned results. OK, the only CPA stuff it found in this niche was in ClickBank - all the old conventional affiliate schemes! But it ran blindingly fast! Here are some of the results, which I sorted by the size of the affiliate commission per sale:

Keyword Elite 2.0 - CPA Magnet

I don't know whether or not you can make it out in this screenshot, but the URL is a ClickBank hoplink with "xxx" where your ClickBank ID should go.

"dog training" was not a good example, because it only produced ClickBank products. So I tried another search using "loans" as a keyword. This is a better example, because it shows networks that pay out on a "per lead" basis as well as "per sale"

Keyword Elite 2.0 - CPA Magnet

So how is this program so helpful? Well, from my experience, to find CPA opportunities, apart from "payment per sale", you normally have to sign up for each network before you can search for CPA opportunities. "CPA Magnet" shortcuts this time consuming task.

A definite "thumbs up" from me for this program :-) It's a really useful tool for affiliate marketers.


OK, that's a quick run through all the different programs in KWE2. What else? Oh yes..

Keyword Elite 2.0 - User ManualThe User Instructions

Personally, I found the eight videos on the Keyword Elite sales page to be extremely helpful in highlighting the features and the possibilities with each of the programs. I'll be revisiting the sales page from time to time to make sure that I haven't missed anything.

The User Manual which was delivered with the software was a 60-page PDF, which went through each feature of each program in outline detail. I hope that Brad Callen will, before long, come up with some more in-depth training videos for his customers.

One annoying thing about the PDF is that the contents page doesn't have hyperlinks to each section. C'mon, it's not exactly rocket science to do this!

Using the User Manual combined with the sales page videos, I found it easy to use KWE2

Software Installation

I had no problems at all. The download file was about 7 Mb in size, the installation took about 60 seconds, and I was using KWE2 within 5 minutes of having paid.

The Price & The Payment System

KWE2 costs a little bit more than KWE1 did, but it's less than $200. Now here's a word of caution..

There's some forced continuity built in to the pricing structure. It's certainly not hidden - there's a big prominent box on the sales page explaining it.

"It" is membership of Brad's "Search Marketing Elite" club, which costs $39 a month, with the first month free. I've had a good look around the club, and there's some excellent content and training there:

Search Marketing Elite Club

For me, though, the great bonus of the Club was the free copy of "SEO Elite", Brad's first (I think) major software product. I've told myself for a long time that I ought to get it, but it seemed a little pricey. Well now I've got it :-) Incidentally, although there's a review of "SEO Elite" on this site, it was written by a guest reviewer, Olivia Blair.

Now I know that some people will think "forced continuity - not for me!" and disregard the whole package because of that.

I think they would be making a big mistake if this was the only reason for not buying into KWE2.

If payment had to be made using a normal credit card processing system then I, too, might have had doubts about buying. But since payment - including rebilling - is handled by ClickBank, canceling recurring payments is very easy and very certain. CB don't mess around!

Incidentally, the whole ordering / payment system worked very smoothly for me. There is an "upsell" followed by a "downsell" (some PPC training videos), but I didn't bother with either of these. However, some people might be interested in them.

Conclusions & Recommendations

OK, so what's my verdict on Keyword Elite 2.0? Here's some key points..

What I Liked

YES!Integration between the programs It is a huge time saver being able to use "Keyword Surge" to generate, sort and filter a mass of keywords and then be able to just drop this filtered list into other KWE2 programs

YES!Multi-program operation Being able to run and use multiple programs at the same time made for very efficient operations. KWE1 didn't have this ability.

YES!Easy-to-use interface Apart from a couple of bugs, the slick interface makes KWE2 very easy to use.

YES!New, powerful keyword ranking tools The "Keyword Effectiveness Index" is a well-established keyword ranking system. But it has its limitations. I really like the three measures of competitiveness in "Search Engine Dominator". I'll be using these quite a lot.

YES!The ability to see Adwords ads and their history This is a great way to learn how to put successful ads together. Learn from what works, rather than from theory!

Clearly these are not the only things I like about KWE2! But I've picked out the points which are important to me. So what about the other side of the coin..?

What I Didn't Like

They are fairly minor points compared with the good points:

:-(Lack of some data in "Keyword Surge" I would have like to have more criteria on which to filter my generated keyword list other than "Searches per Month". Having the KEI data in here would be helpful - and yes, I know that it is calculated in "Market Research Sleuth", but it could easily be incorporated in "Keyword Surge"

:-(Minor bugs / inconsistencies in the interface Some of them I've pointed out above, but there were other minor instances. I hope these get sorted out in future software updates (which are free, by the way)

:-(User Manual / Training The manual is detailed in that it covers all the features of KWE2, but I would like to see more training and advice given on how to use the data effectively. I hope that Brad will remedy this weakness in due course. In the meantime, you can learn a lot from the videos on the sales page.

:-("Advanced Adwords Site Targeter" As I explained above, this simply does not deliver what is needed - i.e. sites which will accept "placement targeted" ads. Knowing that a site uses Adsense isn't enough. I think that someone else sells software which only finds sites which accept placement targeting. Maybe Brad should look at it and beef up this rather weak part of KWE2

I know from my experience with KWE1 that Brad is very good at tweaking and updating his software, and his updating mechanism is very slick. I'm sure that, based on user feedback, such as this, that he'll correct some of these bugs / weaknesses.

Final Recommendations

Despite the relatively minor weak points - and despite the forced continuity! - Keyword Elite 2.0 is a superb market research tool and a vast improvement on V 1.0 (which I've used a lot).

So, should you consider buying it?

Yes if..

  • You are serious about your internet marketing and want to improve the performance of your sites
  • If you use (or are planning to use) pay per click advertising, such as Adwords
  • You want to find a range of cost-per-action opportunities in addition to pure affiliate sales marketing

No if..

  • You are a complete newbie, still waiting to put up your first site (unless you are an "advanced newbie" and are raring to get started!)
  • You are the sort of person who buys the latest stuff and never uses it
  • You'd have to sell your first-born to afford to buy it :-)

If you've managed to read down to here - well done! I know that this has been a long review, but there's so much to cover in Keyword Elite 2.0

I hope that it has helped you to make a reasoned buying decision.

One final point.. at the launch of KWE2, many internet marketers were offering huge bonuses to people who purchased through their affiliate link. Have they put the software through the same sort of rigorous testing that I've done. Possibly not.

I'm certainly not offering any bonuses. If I did, this would not be the impartial review I've tried to make it!

So now have a look (or another look if you've already visited it) at the sales page for Keyword Elite 2.0 - and be sure to watch all the videos:



Disclaimer: These reviews are for educational purposes only. The reviews given here are personal opinions, and other people might have different views on the products reviewed on this website. You should make any buying decisions based on your own judgement. No guarantees of income potential are given or implied; such income potential is dependent on your own skills and resources. Graphics and text on this website are © Traynor Kitching & Associate, York, UK and other authors, where indicated. Send comments and questions to