And not only the software companies are to blame. Even when I do keyword research for clients, will often include Keyword Difficulty numbers for reference. However, when I do include difficulty numbers in the orders I deliver I also make myself vulnerable to something like this happening, KWFinder updating their formula, SERPs changing (which happens regularly, because of Google Dance or whichever other reason), etc. I then tell you to trust me, and when you go double check keyword difficulty, KWFinder might show a Keyword Difficulty twice as high. This, in fact, just happened with a couple of new clients, and deal with their frustrations on what was actually decent work on my end, but unreliable from KWFinder. Nevertheless, here I am annoying my own clients, while KWFinder, annoyed by Moz, annoys me, while I annoy their support team. It’s a vicious cycle.
In reality, I actually only use KWFinder’s Keyword Difficulty to filter out high competition keywords (I do love their interface, as a matter of fact), and I find their queries to be quite “cheap”, in terms of getting large amounts of Moz data available to me on a daily basis without actually having to pay Moz for it myself. It’s even unusable for that at the moment, and I can only hope they will fix it soon enough before I have to develop other, more reliable methods to process large amounts of keywords for a certain niche.
What should we do now?
I will actually be using Ahrefs for Keyword Difficulty for a few days, at least. I use it for a lot of other things, but don’t like using it much when doing keyword research, for anything other than exporting the organic keywords of sites. I don’t like their difficulty formula that much and I find it quite skewed, but it will be a better alternative than any other tool for the next few days, at least until this gets patched.
Will this happen again?
Absolutely. Monthly searches, keyword “ideas”, trends, SERP results – anything that these tools get from an external sources is likely to have something go wrong with it. And, as bad as it sounds, that is both expected and part of the job. No keyword research tool is perfect and a human touch is required regardless, really, so might as well accept these annoying bugs and f*ck ups as a necessary evil. As pissed as I am with KWFinder, in the end of the day their interface does make my job a lot easier and the fact that events like these are likely to mess everything up every once in a while is something we’re best accepting and taking it for what it is.