Search data is commonly considered the most important component when planning a content strategy. You may be aware that search engines have evolved so much in the past few years, and they have changed their methodology of ranking sites. But the most important thing needed to rank is still content. Better content.

So, to develop proper content that gets a higher ranking in SERPs, you need search data because it provides real time data on what users are searching for. While some marketing professionals do not consider it as important as other traditional market research methods, many are still creating strategies based on search data.

According to research, 52% of marketers agree that search data is the most true and unbiased source of information on what customers want; 31% neither agree nor disagree, while only 17% disagree.

Let’s take a closer look into what marketing professionals say about search data.

Is Search Data An Unbiased Source Of Truth? What Marketers Say

In our survey, we asked marketers whether they consider search data an unbiased source of truth.

Many marketers believe that search data is an unbiased source of truth that helps them build a content strategy that successfully ranks their sites on search engines. Let’s analyze some of their responses to gain insights into their views.

Marketers Who Agree

When asked his opinion on search data, Travis Lindemoen, Managing Director of Nexus IT Group, says: “For marketers, search data is a gold mine. Search data reveals a lot about what customers want and can help you figure out how to position your brand for growth and even which words to use in your campaign.”

Similarly, upon asking if search data is an unbiased source of truth, Tim Cannon, Founder of Paramount Quote Insurance Advisors, said: “I do agree search data is an unbiased source of truth for marketers. The reason being is that marketing is meant to target the highest volume of consumers and bring them into the sales funnel. When you research keywords, it gives you exactly what you need in order to market properly. This results in high volume targeted traffic and has the potential for more conversions.”

Marilyn Gaskell, Founder & Hiring Manager of True People Search, has also shared his opinion about search data. He says: “Keywords provide an unbiased source of truth for marketers. They provide a view of what is the trending search these days. For marketers, keyword searching is best for success in their niche. They can provide true value to your business.”

Zack Elliott, Chief Marketing Advisor of Rediocaca, shares his opinion about the importance of search data. He says, “No matter what type of online business you are in, knowing how many people are searching on Google is essential. If no one is looking for what you are selling on the internet, there is no use in selling it. Therefore, it is essential to have accurate keyword search statistics on hand.”

Marketers Who Disagree

However, there are also some marketers who have a different opinion. Here are their points of views: 

Joy Olivia Miller, Marketing and Content Specialist at TBH Creative, says: “Frustratingly, search data—especially in terms of keywords—isn’t a completely unbiased source of truth for marketers because there are other factors at play. Just because you think your page should rank for a term doesn’t mean it will, even if it’s amazing. Other factors come into play because of bias.”

Similarly, Daniela Sawyer, Founder of, also shared his opinion in this regard. He says, “I do not agree that search data in terms of keywords provides an unbiased source of truth for marketers. The algorithms that examine, sort, and rank consequences for seeking queries are inherently biased; this is, they give priority to outcomes that fit certain standards.”

Another experienced marketer Scott Steward, CEO & Founder of Hi Collectors, also says: “Unfortunately, the data collected by search engines is not always complete. The information in them is limited by the number of queries that are made.”

“Results from search engines can be biased and are not necessarily the most accurate representation of wants and needs for a product,” Scott explains.

Morshed Alam, Founder & Editor of Savvy Programmer, also agrees, saying: “There is no such thing as an unbiased source of truth when it comes to marketing. Every time somebody searches for something on the internet, they provide data that can be used to create a more precise profile of them as customers.”

“This means that marketers can target potential customers with greater accuracy, but it also means that people’s privacy is increasingly at risk,” Morshed adds.

What SEO Experts Say

SEO experts also have differing opinions about whether or not search data is an unbiased source of truth for marketers. Here is what they say about search data:

Andrew Steven, Co-Founder of High Voltage SEO, agrees that search data is an important and powerful marketing tool. He says: “It is no doubt an extremely powerful, fast, and empowering method of market research overlooked by the wider marketing industry. The limitation is with understanding the intent of a user, particularly shorter phrases, leaving themselves open to a lot of interpretation.”

Similarly, Brian Piper, Director of Content Strategy at the University of Rochester, also argues on the importance of search data. He says: “Search data can come from lots of different sources and can inform a variety of decisions, from content to UI to IA. Search data is the best way (other than user surveys) to learn what content your users want and are actively looking for.”

But, Andy Crestodina, who is a Co-Founder and CMO of Orbit Media, disagrees with Andrew and Brian’s statement, and here is what he says: “I don’t think that search volume data is useful. It drastically underestimates the traffic potential of a page. A page that ranks high for one phrase is very likely to rank for dozens (or hundreds) of other closely related phrases.”

Why Marketing Professionals Are Varied In Their Opinions About Search Data

Now, you can see that the majority of marketers know the importance of search data. But why are marketing professionals varied in their opinions about the bias within search data? Marketing professionals are divided into two groups when it comes to their opinions. The biggest reason behind their different opinions is the search data’s accuracy. 

The tools, including Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs, that marketers use to derive or collect search data from search engines actually don’t provide accurate data in real time. This is because Google, Bing, and other big internet search engines keep changing their algorithms regularly. With every change, the accuracy of these tools decreases by a bit.

For some marketers, this is a big issue, but not for others because they have devised other ways to compensate for the inaccuracy in their marketing campaigns. 

For example, some marketers rely more on clickstream data than on search data for decision-making purposes. In short, there are many factors that change marketers’ opinions about search data, but mostly it depends on how much value they get based on its accuracy.

The Bottom Line

When such a large number of marketers rely on search data, it is wise to consider their opinions.

You can’t read people’s minds, but you can pay attention to what they search for, and the best way to understand the audience is to look at search data.

It’s the closest thing to objective information about what people are interested in and where they are getting their news from. If you want to create a content strategy that will truly help your business achieve its goals, you have to use search data.