Do I still Use Market Samurai?

Do I still Use Market Samurai?

Last updated on
Review of: Market Samurai
Price:
$97 (with my 35% off discount)
Market Samurai

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4.5
On March 12, 2012
Last modified:June 22, 2014

Summary:

Market Samurai >> Used to be great, but is it still? Did Market Samurai bring 14,000 search engine visitors to Traffic Generation Cafe?

No one pours new wine into old wineskins.

If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.

That’s what it felt like when Market Samurai was going through its recent changes, caused by… well, not even Market Samurai team really knew what.

Was Market Samurai stretched to the limits and bursting at seams?

Did this once popular SEO tool outlive its shelf life?

Judging by the comments I’ve been getting lately, it certainly seems that way:

market samurai not great

I’ve been using Market Samurai to grow search engine traffic for Traffic Generation Cafe for over a year now and quite successfully I might add: my SEO traffic doubled in the past 6 months:

market samurai increases seo traffic

So the question is “How reliable MS data really is?

“Is it time to move on to greener pastures?”

I will address all these questions in a minute, but first let’s see why this post is relevant to YOU, no matter the niche, the experience, or the background – as long is you want to bring in search engine traffic.

Why Market Samurai to Begin With?

If you’ve been in the online world for longer than 5 minutes, you most likely fall into one of the following two categories:

  1. You already own Market Samurai.
  2. You’ve heard of it and it’s just a matter of time before you break down and download your own copy.

And why do most online business owners end up buying it?

Because they are told that Market Samurai is THE tool to have if they want more SEO traffic.

While I am not arguing with that statement whatsoever, the problem is that most of us are not here to become SEO experts.

All we want to do is to learn enough SEO to become dangerous.

To our competitors that is.

We want to claim our share of free targeted traffic search engines are capable of bringing to our sites; preferably, buyers with credit cards at hand.

The kind of traffic I drive to my review posts, like:

If someone is looking up a product by name, it’s most likely because they are about to make a purchasing decision.

All they are looking for a confirmation to validate that decision, as well as someone they feel comfortable buying from.

That’s EXACTLY where you want to be.

My Market Samurai Bite-Sized Tutorial

market samurai video tutorial

In the Market Samurai video below I’ll walk you through the basic functions of the software that you, an online business owner, need to know about to target that coveted search engine traffic.

I am not going to teach you everything there’s to know about Market Samurai.

Quite frankly, I don’t even know myself ALL there’s to know about it.

And I don’t need to.

All I need to get out of it is HOW to use it for my business quickly and efficiently.

>>Click here to download your FREE copy of Market Samurai

I run this kind of Market Samurai keyword research for almost every post I write.

Since I am putting all this effort into each and every post anyway, I might as well milk them for all they are worth in terms of traffic.

Ranking your posts for narrow targeted keywords in demand is the best way for you to leverage your content for traffic.

Market Samurai: Before and After

If you already purchased Market Samurai or have been looking into getting it, you might be concerned about all the recent changes the software went through.

market samurai changes

Here are my thoughts on it in random order:

1.  Market Samurai is not perfect.

2.  Sometimes it’s sluggish and unpredictable.

3.   It now relies on Bing and not Google for a large chunk of its data.

With that said:

4.   Market Samurai is still the only software I found that brings me the closest to an “all-in-one” SEO tool.

5.   It’s a one-time fee product; there are NO monthly charges (a rarity these days).

6.   It gets constant updates and Market Samurai team pays the bill.

7.   It gets the backlink data from Majestic SEO – excellent SEO service, but at a monthly price. I get it for free with Market Samurai.

Plus, Majestic SEO is a great Yahoo! Site Explorer alternative; I dare to say, the data might actually be more accurate.

8.   It still gives me the best bird’s eye view of my potential competitors and I don’t have to dig through a bunch of (free) tools to get it.

Bing issue:

So we all have been happily using Yahoo! Site Explorer for years.

It was great, free, and no one complained about data quality or reliability.

And now Bing owns Yahoo!…

Do you see where I am going with this?

If Yahoo! was good enough to provide solid data relied upon by most professional SEO’s, how’s Bing any different?

True, most of our target market still uses Google.

However, if you take a look at the difference between Google and Bing results, they are not that far apart.

If you must, you can always double-check with Google on any given keyword.

Personally, I don’t care.

I want quick and efficient results and Market Samurai gives me exactly that.

Market Samurai Marketing Takeaway

Market Samurai remains the only all-in-one SEO tool I’d recommend to any online business owner.

With all its pros and cons, it’s still the very tool that gets me over 14,000 search engine visitors per month.

>>Click here to download your FREE copy of Market Samurai

Market Samurai

Market Samurai Discount

Market Samurai comes with a 7-day free trial.

Even if you decide not to purchase it, the keyword research section will remain active and yes, free.

However, if you know that Market Samurai is the right tool for you, here’s how you can get a 35% discount on it:

>>Click here to download your FREE copy of Market Samurai

(but don’t purchase it right away)

Wait till Market Samurai emails you a 35% discount code – THAT’S the perfect time to join the Market Samurai community.

Just make sure you use the discount code by the end of your 7-day free trial; it’ll become invalid after that.

Have fun storming the search engines!

 

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

111 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. vinodh

    Ana,
    I agree that MS is a great tool. other tools are not reliable or expensive. I rectified my mistakes by using MS as identifier. it works for me. Further I dont write for search engines. further I dont comment in blogs for link juice. hence I dont mention my website.
    regards
    vinodh

  2. I haven’t tried Market Samurai before, I just heard of it last two weeks and here reading about it again, thanks for the review, I will try it and see how it works.

  3. I’m not sure if this has been asked already, but does market samurai provide “non – personalized” results? I will sometimes show that I rank high for certain terms or phrases with ms, but my traffic results are no better.

    Thanks in advance, Mark

    • Ana Hoffman

      Good question, Mark.

      Since MS uses search engines to draw their data from (used to be Google, now mostly Bing), most of the information will come from the data server closest to your IP.

      From that respect, there’s no such a thing as “non-personalized” search results, do you know what I mean?

      • Thanks Ana,
        I understand what you’re saying, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a profile (so to speak) that google gives results for “any location”. I’ve been giving this probably more thought than I need to, but at least at the end of the day, this affects everyone, right.
        Another thing that blows my mind is the (not provided) in google analytics. That’s another story, I’d love to hear your take on! :)

        • Ana Hoffman

          In theory, I agree with you, Mark.

          Yet in practice, even if a tool that shows completely non-personalized results existed, chances are our customers are not using it. So either way, we have to assume and hope that they see in their results (personalized in every possible way) exactly what we would hope for them to see.

          As far as Google “not provided” keywords are concerned, mine are at all time high right now: about 44% of all the searches.

          I let a bit of steam out on the issue in this post: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/semrush-review/

          Nothing we can really do about it, but what would blogging be without talking about problems we can’t really solve?

          • Ana,
            My thoughts too on the personalized search results. They say there’s a silver-lining… It’s something between website managers I guess. Sometimes my passion gets carried away with me!

            My (not provided) is about the same %, but I’d bet a good percentage is spam. lol

            Thanks for getting back with me, it’s great to share thoughts and ideas!
            I’ll check out your other post soon.
            thanks, mark

  4. Hi Ana, Been off doing a project for a while….. but I’m back ;-) Just wondering, when you’re doing a phrase to broad cut on your keywords shouldn’t you look at the number of searches in conjunction with this since if there are a huge number of searches at only 10% ptb this is better than a small number with a higher ptb ratio? no?
    The flippin’ “actions on selected” seems to have changed and there’s no “delete” there now…. struggling to find how I selectively delete stuff…. any ideas? Cheers Fiona

    • Ana Hoffman

      Good to have you back, Fiona.

      Logically, you are right: either way, you can get some targeted customers.

      On the other hand, it takes effort to rank your site for any keyword; so wouldn’t you rather maximize your effort and target the customers who are looking for EXACT phrase?

      I suppose there’s no exact science in any of this.

      When I look at my “Actions on selected”, I do see “Delete” as a choice at the very bottom.

  5. It’s funny, Ana, my Dad introduced me to Market Samurai when he was dabbling in internet marketing. I loved it and found similar things that you did (a bit unpredictable / sluggish).

    It was a few businesses ago, and I haven’t access to it in a while, and it’s great to get the refresher/reminder. :)

  6. Hey Ana, I love Market Samurai and so I was most interested to see how exactly you were using it. I learned quite a few tricks which I’m going to use the next time I fire MS up.

    Thanks so much for this tutorial.

  7. Mark

    interesting and informative as usual ana. can you tell me anything abot the rankranger SEO tool? it was highly recommended to me but there isn’t so much info about it online. have you had any experience with it?

  8. Great review Ana. I’ve used Market Samurai but after watching your tutorial, I realize that I wasn’t taking advantage of all that it offers. Time is of the essence and I appreciate what I was able to learn from you in such a short period of time.

    • Ana Hoffman

      “Time is of the essence” – that’s exactly why so many people end up not using MS, Sherryl. It looks too complicated on the surface of things and their tutorials are designed for people who do keyword research for living; seems like it anyway.

      Glad you took away some useful tidbits, and as always, thanks for coming by!

  9. BIG CHEERS ANA! (And to your community.)
    Your site pointed me to MS and I’ve been having a play. Powerful piece of kit, love the competition ananlysis quite aside from the keyword building module.
    Like many, I’ve been concerned at the Bing/Google debate – which is what found me back at your site today – but have to say I tend to agree with your reasoning to not get too knicker-twisted about this. With the best of these tools, they are ultimately a [damn good] guide to get us started on a new site or post. Call me an idealist but hopefully the value we can then add to the niche is what ultimately matters, garnering merited backlinks, or not.
    Tell you what though, and backlinks aside I’d say, when the exposure of a piece of content is less about quality but more about keywords – although the two would ideally go together – it doesn’t half show us how unsophisticated is the web. Much of the Google front-page competition in the niche I’m researching peddle dross!
    .. The more I research it, this SEO stuff reminds me of a bunch of kids in a playground, fighting for supremacy. Then again, thanks again – years late! – at last I’ve found a nice pair of gloves :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Content quality vs keyword-filled content has always been a problem, Guv, but we’ll let Google deal with that (if they ever do).

      Thanks for sharing your take on it!

  10. MS was a great when I first got it a few years back, but lately, I’ve been having so many issues with it that I barely use it anymore. It was definitely good for keyword research, but I never relied solely on MS and generally use a combination of tools for all my keyword research, backlink checking etc
    My main issue with MS is that it crashes and it freezes way too often, even when the amount of data that needs to processed is small. Annoying!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Many other commentators mentioned the same problem, Alice, but I was fortunate enough to somehow escape that; my MS hardly ever froze on me.

  11. I used to love Market Samurai, those guys over there developed on killer tool. They used to provide a good service to. I’m not very happy with them any more and have since gone over to Brad Callen’s niche finder. I’m glad it’s still working for you though.

  12. I downloaded MS and I’m hooked! What a great tool. The keyword rank tool is such a time saver. I have been contemplating paying a company to do this for me, but not now i’ve found this little gem! I will be purchasing a full copy!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Truth is MS is what most SEO companies use themselves, Nicky, and charge an arm and a leg to do it. lol

  13. Hey Ana good review, but I would rate 2 stars after their changes. I recently purchased other software to do keyword research and rank tracking. Market Samurai still have the edge, but annoying warning messages and limited data processing makes it useless. It is like you are using a beta version of a Free tool. What I think is that they never had recurring charges so it was getting difficult for them to handle the large number of users increasing their costs. That is why they are slowly making the software annoying. It is just my personal opinion…

    • Ana Hoffman

      For whatever reason, I don’t really experience the same problems, Ahmad – maybe has something to do with an internet connection?

      Sure, every once in a while it freezes (although hasn’t happened to me in a while), but so does any other tool I use. I accept that is a side-effect of using this type of software.

  14. Ruan

    Once again Ana has put out a positive outcome to something that got ripped out of proportion caused by poor souls that believe everything they hear and to make things a little worse is they each add their own version or bits and pieces to add to the hype. Unfortunately it all ends up exploded in the small inexperienced minds of newbie start-up bloggers that “follow the lead”.
    It’s like:
    “I have been taught to do it this way by my dad whose been taught this way by his dad whose been taught this same method by his granddad. I don’t really know WHY we are all doing it this way but they all did it this way and so am I.”

    Sad I must say…

    Anyway, thanks Ana for clearing up for so many people that Market Samurai still RAWKS the blogging and SEO world despite contradicting belief from many “guru’s”. Look at the stats guys and gals and decide for yourself…
    Traffic Generation Café is living proof!
    MS will DOMINATE my journey when I change things quite a bit for the better on my side and I just can’t wait to get started…soon though…very soon…

  15. Ana Hoffman

    Dropping in rank is not all that unusual, David; happens all the time.

    If you are consistent with it though, your rankings will most likely go up again.

    SEO is still great at getting targeted traffic, I agree.

  16. Hey Ana,

    Thanks for your insight and MS tutorial. Very helpful indeed.

    Off topic – Am I dumb or you don’t have post dates on your articles? I discovered TGC few months ago and I finally have some time to read older posts too. There are some really interesting traffic generation techniques that I would like to try, but how can I be sure that they are still applicable? Any help around this?

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are right, Jeremy; I took off the dates to see how it works for my readers.

      If I have any posts that are outdated, I usually remove or update them.

  17. Ana Hoffman

    Thanks for the thumbs up, Jim.

    Affiliate marketers generally don’t like to mention that the keyword module will remain active and free after the trial – for obvious reasons. lol

  18. I’m sorry Ana, I have to disagree with you on the MS thing. Some of the data I rely on to choose keywords is wildly inaccurate.
    The intitle and inurl figures are just way off the mark. I know because I ran the same sets of keywords through keyword scout and that get results from Google.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I don’t really use that data, Andy; I don’t find it that relevant to my keyword research. Just because they mention a keyword in the title or URL, it doesn’t mean that they know what they are doing or that I can’t outrank them.

  19. Thanks for this. I was using Market Samurai last night for the first time in a couple of weeks and wondering if I was just doing it out of habit, if I was too lazy to find an alternative (answer=yes) or if the data I was pulling together was worth anything. Your post helped put my mind at ease.

    • Ana Hoffman

      There are plenty alternatives, Dave, but they all come at a (monthly) price.

      I haven’t found any problems with MS data, so I’ll keep using it.

  20. Hey Ana!
    In taking some of your previous advice to heart, I went to fiverr and contracted to have an article on my blog processed via Market Samurai – the dude took my money but later wrote he was “unable to process” my order – he claimed it did not meet with MS’s specs. Whaddayathinkathat?

    • Ana Hoffman

      The way Fiverr works is the providers don’t get paid until they deliver the work, Dave. So your money should still be sitting in your Fiverr account.

      Yes, it happens every once in a while, but don’t let it discourage you; just try someone else.

  21. Scott

    Hey! I finally watched the video you made here too. I learned a few new things that other video tutorials haven’t shown. This is really coo and I can’t believe how much I love looking at this stuff.

    Anyone reading this comment, sit down and watch the 16 min video. Then watch it again :)

    My only gripe with MS right now is speed. It might be the age of my laptop, but it times out pulling up competition. This does happen less on my faster iMac. Does this happen with you Anna?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think you might have an SEO waiting to come out in you, Scott. lol

      Yes, speed is definitely affected by your computer, as well as your internet connection speed. When I do consulting for clients and run MS searches with them, my searches are generally loading a lot faster.

  22. Ana,

    I really love your site, there is really a boat load of great information there. I am very new to blogging and doing the whole keyword research thing, but learning everyday ! Looking very seriously at Market Samurai and will probably purchase very soon :)
    Just need to do my due diligence first, but just wanted to send a thank you for your great blog, honesty, and super information.

    Ernie Minor

    • Ana Hoffman

      Couldn’t have ended the day on a better note, Ernie; thank you.

      PS Interesting idea for the header! lol Spelling mistakes definitely take away from it though.

      • LOL ! FYI ……….. I Fixed It. My site still needs Tons of work, but I am learning. I guess that is just one of my many mistakes before I get it right. There is so much to learn I really don’t know where to start, but since I found you site I am getting some direction. I hope you don’t mind my header :) I’m sure it will change again soon. If you have any suggestions on what step I need to take next they would be greatly welcome. I am not sure If I am even ready for MS yet, or what product would help me the most.

        Thanks Again Ana & God Bless,

        Ernie Minor

        • Ana Hoffman

          I don’t mind at all, Ernie.

          I think the best way to learn is to study other sites and take away the best from them. Of course, in the end you’d still need to make your site feel original; otherwise, your readers won’t be too happy with you. lol

          As far as where to start: you definitely need to work on your overall concept first. It looks like you are quite unsettled about it. And yes, Market Samurai can help you find the niche that is in demand.

          That’s precisely how I found traffic generation niche as a matter of fact.

    • Gary Anderson

      @Ernie:
      If id helps any, I think Market Samurai will be one of the best $100 to $150 you’ll ever spend. Considering the one-time Price, the Learning Curve and the competition / backlink info you get, it is unbeatable!!! I Loce my MS!! :)

      Gary.

      P.S. This is my sincere opinion! Notice I left NO backlink in this comment. Cool?

  23. Hi Ana! Gary Anderson here. I must say that I agree 100% with your assessment of Market Samurai. It really is the absolute best seo software for an over-all / everything in one place solution with a medium sized learning curve (in my opinion anyway).

    However, I’ve recently obtained the entire SEO Powersuite package by Link Assistant (it was a Christmas Gift… Pretty cool huh?). It seems to have a fairly big learning curve because it will do an incredibly large amount of stuff…. and there are 4 separate pieces of software to learn and use!!

    Have you used any parts of the LinkAssistant stuff? If so, any comments?

    Thanks Ana!!
    Gary Anderson II
    aka- @GanderCo

    • Ana Hoffman

      I do use SEO Powersuite, Gary, and love it.

      The problem is that it takes way too long for it to analyze backlinks. For instance, I haven’t yet been able to run my own backlinks through the system; each time I tried, SEO SpyGlass said it would take upwards 3 days to finish the project.

      Plus, it doesn’t do keyword research.

      Market Samurai is definitely the best for quick projects.

      • Well DANG! Maybe you shouldn’t be having 367,000 links! (LOL! Just playing!)

        I wonder if the reason SEO Spyglass takes so long is partly because it collects way more link info than Market Samurai? I’m not sure, I’m not well experienced yet with SEO Power-suite. :)

        Gary.

  24. Much of the problems that MS is having/ has is based in changes from Google. As an active SEO consultant, I still do used MS quite a bit. It has solid rank tracking, in fact I have found that it has been more accurate than Open Site Explorer. The competition module provides a great deal of information as well.

    Is is the powerhouse that it was a year ago. In my opinion, not so much. Is it cheaper and easier to use that many of the tools out there? I find that it is. What I really like about it is that it can give you a quick snapshot of where you stand and what you might need to do to rank for any given keywords.

    Ultimately, I agree with you Ana. It is a tool that I would recommend for the non-SEO person that needs to do a bit of SEO.

    • Ana Hoffman

      And that’s exactly my point, Matt.

      Not all of us want to dig deep into SEO. We’ll settle for solid and steady traffic from the search engines, and Market Samurai is just the tool for the task.

      If my sole purpose was to take over Google, I’d look into something more powerful.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  25. Blessing

    Can someone help me with this issue of Market Samurai, i have heard a couple of times, i don’t really get it, i need an explanation, how does it affect my blogging career.

    • Ana Hoffman

      It essentially helps you to get search engine traffic, Blessing. If you go to their home page, I am sure you’ll get more info on what it does.

  26. I guess MS had or has issues because Big G wants to punish it and probably is going to slash every seo service of the same kind. It doesn’t want to be analyzed, so to speak. But I don’t think it’s done to protect its way of providing results, much more to protect the fact that they push those results which are paid for. Just look at how a search results page appears, full of ads or sponsored results. And well above the fold which is not allowed to publishers. At this point I guess it’s pretty clear to everyone that Big G wants to rule the web and provide results not really relevant but high paying.

    Look at what happened to Scroogle, they killed it because people using it were having search results without being profiled and tracked. They should change their headline from don’t be evil to don’t get caught.

    It might be it’s all cool in the business world but I’ve already left the G wagon except for emails. And planning to do the same with FB. I don’t really like being dictated how to do things.

    It might be a coincidence but after I used a couple of programs for seo analysis my rank went down and earnings accordingly. That’s why I think they’ve decided to punish everyone who tries to understand how they work, they want to decide what to show to users according to their desires and don’t wanna get caught.

    I might be wrong though but that’s the feeling I have.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Adaptation is where the power of a successful business lies, Andrea.

      Whatever Google is or isn’t, our audience is still largely there, and we’ll have to figure out ways how to keep up with them.

  27. Good news and bad news.

    So, after posting, I opened up MS — the same one I spent TWO HOURS yesterday trying to get a single search to work — and it had yet another upgrade.

    And guess what, I actually was able to search for a keyword.

    Bad news is that it shows just how wrong a very important search set was a couple of months ago.

    Other bad news — from experience — in a few days/weeks, it will choke again.

    I’m hoping to be wrong, because this is the most inclusive tool I’ve ever used. Oh, yea, and I already paid for it. Crossing my fingers…

    • Ana Hoffman

      They do have a lot of upgrades, which of course is a good thing – since Google releases new algo updates daily or even a couple of times per day.

      I really do hope you’ll have a better experience with it, Alison.

      • Thanks.

        I agree upgrades are a good thing, but when you get multiple upgrades every month — sometimes multiple upgrades in a week’s time — there is something wrong with process or testing.

        I’ve had a working product that broke immediately after upgrading.

        As software/hardware engineers, we understand how a “fix” can cascade through to be a complete mess. My feeling is that they are sincere in wanting to provide a good product, but in their anxiousness to fix bugs, they release fixes too soon, causing more problems.

        Well, it worked yesterday. Hopefully it will keep working today!

  28. I’m glad to see this review, but a bit disappointed in the recommendation. I’ve owned MS for a couple of years and used to love it. For the past many, many months, I’ve rarely been able to get it to work at all. And I really get no help from the MS support. (My problems are shared by many.)

    My copy either:

    (1) hangs (usually while accessing the google keyword tool)
    (2) show no results (even for the most popular words imaginable)
    (3) give results that have lots of zeroes and/or are obviously very faulty

    Before realizing the problems, I created many posts USING the faulty data. For example, using “golden rule” keywords that were completely off the “golden rule” grid — when calculated accurately.

    For the past week, I’ve been looking at alternatives. MNF doesn’t work on Macs — and I’m not willing to emulate. Been looking at Long Tail Pro today.

    As much as I love MS (and I do), a great tool that doesn’t work is NOT a great tool.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Hi, Alison – I do see your point about MS hanging sometimes.

      It used to do that for me as well, but I haven’t had any problems with it for a long time.

      Also, I’ve never experienced the “faulty keyword” issue.

      Not sure why we are having such a different experience with it.

      Saw your other comment; will respond in a sec.

  29. Ana
    I love MS
    i use it everyday.
    The backlinks using Majestic for a long time has better superior to Yahoo
    as they have been slowing dying.
    Majestic claims to even have more accurate backlinks than Google.

    I also use Google keyword tool and Traffic Travis.
    But I have you MS to get #1 out of 80,000,000 competing pages.

    Like so many things it is not the arrow but the archer.

    Don

    Maui, HI

      • I forgot to also tell you Ana that I have been using Thesis for about 3 years..For SEO it does magic…It makes a dumb person like me look good at SEO…and cant wait to see the new 2.0 version. I saw J. Shoemaker started using it… Also on some of the complaints also about MS..Google is playing lots of games with PR and other things..Lots of the other tools are having the same problems. Wonder is the boyz over at google does this to make the SEO people mad.
        Thanks for all you do
        Don
        Maui, HI

        • Ana Hoffman

          I do love Thesis as well, Don; haven’t seen Jeremy’s site yet, but will check out.

  30. Anna, I’m confused by the AC Rank Anaylsis on my site. It’s showing that one of my keywords is Elisabeth. It does not show any keword I’m trying to rank for. Do you understand what I could be doing wrong?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Ana Hoffman

      AC Rank is the same as PageRank basically, Elisabeth, so I don’t see how it would help you to learn what your rankings are.

      I did however check out your rankings on SEMRush and you do rank for some nice keywords (car seat reviews, best car seat, etc) – nothing on the first page, but close enough.

  31. Another goody from Ana. I didn’t buy MS until late last year so I missed out on the glory days. I must admit that I was a bit bummed when I discovered they can no longer use Google data but you are right… the results aren’t that much different on Bing. I figured since I invested my money, might as well make the best of it! :)

  32. Thanks for the review of Market Samurai, Anna. I have been using this program for quite some time, and I personally find the ability to look at the back links of my competition show up in the first page positions of Google, to be the cats meow. From an SEO campaign perspective, knowing what the top competition has done for back linking makes it quite easy to decide if the keyword is worth going for and if so how much work it will take. Anna, you are a lot of fun in your videos hope that you can keep them coming.

    Hope that all goes well in the search for your new home in San Francisco.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I still think it’s one of the best SEO tools currently on the market, Paul.

      Thanks for your best wishes!

  33. Very thorough explanation Ana. The video really complemented some outdated video tutorial on MS site – and I couldn’t blame them for that since the team is very busy in putting up a true quality product. Also, the new interface is as intuitive as the previous versions and if it happens that you have a question, the team are fast to reply to your question.
    Regarding the price, if you sum it up, MS is a huge money-saver as compared to other tools combined. Some might argue – oh Google adwords tool is free. Then go ahead and try grinding keywords research for hours, plotting them in excel :) or use MS to save this precious time that you could use to market your site.
    Thanks for this post Ana. BTW, followed you on Twitter already – and goodluck on your house hunt!

    • Ana Hoffman

      MS is definitely a huge time-saver, Kukzee; I can’t imagine having to dig this info out using any free tools out there.

      And thanks for the best wishes!

  34. So is this tool completely worthless or is it still worth purchasing? I know I have it on the list to buy once I am able to get a little bit of scratch.

    Right now it is a pain in the ass to use my Analytics, AdWords, Google Webmaster tools, and Alexa to try and eek out some traffic. But having a typical Bloggers budget (none!) I have to do it this way – and I’ve managed a bit of success doing this.

    For me it is still Google – and trying to build up my social networks to try and drive additional traffic to my little slice of the web. I’ve given up on Bing as it is VERY particular on what it will even index! So I focus on what will work and not what people won’t use.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I do understand a tight/no budget, Jason.

      However, this is one of those (very few I might add) tools that I strongly recommend to buy as soon as you can.

      Also, you can use the keyword module for free.

  35. Hey Ana,

    I used Market Samurai amd it was a great program. I personally never bought it however. I ended up going with SEO Suite for the expanded tools and research options it provided. It is more expensive, unless you caught their holiday sale, but gave more options and allowed to specifically target keywords competitors were using.

    I haven’t used Market Samurai since the change, but I hear its still good for keyword research, but if you are wanting more, going to have to pony up for something else.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve never personally used SEO Suite, Sam, so can’t honestly compare the two.

      However, for my needs, I never found that I needed any more info than what Market Samurai provides.

      The only other SEO tool I use and LOVE is SEMRush.

      Between the two, I am covered.

      Thanks for mentioning SEO Suite though; I’ll keep it in mind in case I need to “expand”.

      • The things I end up using the most, aside from keyword research, are the back link tracker and competitor keyword research. Very handy I have found for overall SEO and seeing what the big guns are using.

        You’re welcome Ana and keep up the great work, love the site.

  36. This was hands down one of my favorite SEO tools in my arsenal until they switched to Bing. I’ve gone from using it daily to using it every couple of weeks. I agree the problems and issues aren’t their fault and they are doing there best with the situation they were dealt.

    I’m sort of hoping if I stop using it for a few weeks it will miraculously go back to the way it was! :) (ostrich, head in sand?) LOL

    • Ana Hoffman

      What exactly bothers you about it, Warren? Is Bing vs Google issue really that crucial in your opinion? Or is it something else?

      • I have no interest in where I rank on Bing, the quantity of traffic they send is so small compared to Google. I always want to know where I rank in the eyes of Google however as they send me 60% of my traffic. I was using Scroogle to check as well and you no doubt heard they just pulled out as well! :)

        Ps. I just wanted to tell you (because I didn’t on the posts themselves) how much I love your new “monthly income reports” you’ve started doing. Especially the traffic stats. Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished. Looking forward to watching you grow!

        • Ana Hoffman

          I do agree about the rankings, Warren.

          However, that has no effect on the main modules of MS: keyword research and SEO competition.

          As long as those two keep on working, I feel that I am well-covered.

          And glad to hear you find my income reports helpful!

  37. Peter

    Hi Anna
    here is a person who uses MS along with Google keywords,below is a copy of his latest webinar where he really goes into detail on how to get those illusive keywords that don’t cost you a dime.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for the link, Peter.

      Of course, Market Samurai does a whole lot more than just keyword research.

  38. Hey Ana, just wanted to let you know that the changes to Market Samurai from Google to bing were real small and most have already been corrected.

    The data being pulled from Bing is very little and mostly affected the keyword research module.

    Personally I rarely use the keyword research module since what I feel is the most important and most powerful feature of market samurai is the SEO competition module which allows you to analyze the top 10 results which is what your true competition is.

    Here’s an article from Pat Flynn where he posts some Q and A’s with Eugene the CEO of MS http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/is-this-the-end-of-the-market-samurai-dynasty-direct-answers-from-the-ceo/

    • Ana Hoffman

      Judging by the comments from people who strongly dislike the recent changes, Joshua, it almost sounds like they’ve never actually tried to figure out if those changes are really that big of a deal.

      Some people just go with the hype and repeat what is said in the media and Market Samurai competitors.

      Thanks for the link to Pat’s post; haven’t seen it yet.

  39. Hi Ana,

    I’ve tested the free trial, and I have almost bought Market Samurai several times. But, when I read about the recent changes, I ended up buying Long Tail Pro instead. It might not be as detailed as Market Samurai, but it’s very fast and it gets me good results in many languages (I’m starting a Norwegian business) and it logs me into AdWords and uses the exact numbers from AdWords and that’s a very important part of why I bought it.

    I still believe that Marketing Samurai is awesome, and especially based on what you’re saying and from what I’ve been reading from Pat at Smart Passive Income. But I have been a little sceptical for a while :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I understand, Jens. It all depends on your goals and how you want to get there.

      Market Samurai provides me with all the “shortcuts” I need for my business, but I know it might not be the perfect tool for everyone.

  40. Ana,
    I will take exception on the Bing thing. I know there is a lot of talk lately and people have been trying to imply that somehow Bing is as good. Most do this by saying, look at their growth rate, the problem is they are not viewing the statistics correctly.

    In fact the stats show that since at least November 2011 there has been little movement in the search engines.

    Case in point:
    Google Sites 66.2% 66.4% 0.2
    Microsoft Sites 15.2% 15.3% 0.1

    Comscore shows that Jan 2012 Google.com commanded approx 66.2% of internet search engine searches, and 66.4% in Feb 2012. Microsoft 15.2% and 15.3% respectively so Microsoft grew by 1 point and Google by 2, not much to brag about there eh? This of course means that the other search engines in total lost market share if you will.

    If we look at the stats for Jan vs. Dec we would see the following:
    Google Sites 65.9% 66.2% 0.3
    Microsoft Sites 15.1% 15.2% 0.1

    Even then we are only extremely small incremental changes here.

    So, even though I know Market Samurai is touting Bing as the great replacement and the up and coming search engine, I’m sorry but I truly find that statement to gbe quite misleading. Bing is no where near Google and although they did grab a chunk of market share in the early days, google is and will remain the top engine.

    I’m not implying that we should ignore Bing, absolutely not, but at the same time I am disappointed that Market Samurai is attempting to paint a picture that is clearly not correct.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Chances are Bing will never get anywhere close to Google in popularity, Doug; I completely agree.

      However, popularity of a search engine has very little to do with keyword research.

      Market Samurai still uses Google keyword research tool for their keyword research module and Majestic SEO for their backlinks.

      As far as I am concerned, that makes it just as usable, if not better (I prefer Majestic SEO stats over Yahoo Explorer stats).

  41. Thanks for the walk through, Ana. The principles underlying Market Samurai are sound, and the phrases people use are the same for Bing and Google. I’m convinced that coming up with winning search phrases is thinking like a search engine user. I imagine myself as a searcher and come up with really long-tail search phrases. “Why my monkey stole a French motorcycle,” for example, is low competition but also is a BAD phrase for a title. A check on a search engine verifies which choices are best. The real selling point for Market Samurai, in my humble opinion and I don’t have it (yet), is that it automates the process. Bing, Google, it doesn’t matter. The words competitors use when they write titles and on-page strings, AND the words searchers use, are not going to change that much from one search engine to another. The reasons that Bing, Ask etc. differ from Google doesn’t have to do with vocabulary. Those engines weight site age and other factors before they send traffic (I know, I just started getting Bing and Yahoo searches after 10 months). Vocabulary is universal, Google doesn’t have a monopoly on how humans use words, and that’s all you have to worry about when devising title, H1, H2, etc.

    • Ana Hoffman

      In a way, I agree, Astro – when researching keywords, we need to think like the users who might actually be using those keywords to find us.

      However, I came to realize that some people are much better than others at phrasing their searches. For instance, when I Google something, I often don’t find what I am looking for because I am phrasing my search so poorly.

      In those cases, I have to ask my husband how he would search for the answer and he always comes up with search phrases I’d never think of using.

      That’s why keyword suggestions are so important to someone like me!

      And yes, automation is great. As I pointed out in the post, most of the times these tasks can be done through a bunch of free tools, but the amount of time it takes to do that kind of research is counter-productive to say the least.

  42. Great video Ana!

    I have been haring a great deal about Market Samurai and all the benefits and read a great deal about it. But yes, really never got down to going into the details, guess as it was paid and you do have other tools around with which presently you can manage. Perhaps I don’t know the goodies it contains :)

    But as you say that even after the free trial is over the keyword research section will remain active – so that does sound tempting :)

    Will check it out real soon and thanks for sharing :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Let’s face it, Harleena: if we want search engine traffic, we better invest some time into keyword and competition research.

      It might be a slow start, but once you get the hang of it, you won’t know how you ever managed without Market Samurai! lol

  43. Scott

    I’m impressed with Market Samurai and I’ve known of the product for years now. I remember trying for free long ago. It’s not until recently that it’s come back into my life and I believe it can be used for so our work online. With it being a one time fee, it’s a great tool to have overall. I’ve used Google Adwords search tool in the past and it’s helped me out a lot but MS is going to do so much more.

    I’ll be back to watch the video for sure or I’ll watch it on AppleTV.

    Cheers :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I definitely noticed a trend in my search engine rankings when I stop using Market Samurai for whatever reason (laziness or lack of time most likely), I don’t do so well with ranking my new posts, Scott.

      I usually have to go back and do the keyword research and re-optimize those posts. Much easier to do it right off the bat. lol

      • Scott

        Sounds like you’re ranking over time though. While using it for a short time I can see the potential for getting ideas for topics to write about and explore. It really makes you ask: Where can I add value here?

        I’m amazed to have watched a blog post climb the rankings with the seo competition section. So, for me it’s something that’s going to be used much beyond keyword research for niche or mini sites.

        ABO – Always be optimizing
        I think it’s something that anyone with a serious blog should have as a resource. Which is a good reason to be come an affiliate some day.

  44. Very nicely done Market Samurai Tutorial, Ana.

    I was impressed more-so with the fact that you did not “Beat around the bush” with long drawn out methods, and instead put forth an easy to digest way of using the tool.

    Yes, Market Samurai has had it’s ups and downs in recent times. Though, the adaptations needed to be made.
    My honest opinion is that, the Market Samurai team would still be working behind the scenes as we speak.
    As far as SEO keyword research is concerned, Market Samurai can help you to achieve some great results.
    Not just in deciding on which Keywords to go after, though, just as importantly if not more-so, it helps in your decision making of which keywords(terms) may NOT be worth pursuing. The amount of time and effort you save by having obtained this information, is quite considerable.

    To those people reading this who are “Sitting on the Fence” as far as deciding to give Market Samurai a test run, or not, my honest opinion(After being a previous fence sitter) is, just to give the free version of Market Samurai a run!
    It won’t cost you a penny, and the chances are you may be pleasantly surprised.
    Just a word of advice, though.
    Firstly, to avoid any unnecessary slowing down of the program, make sure your PC, laptop etc has the appropriate running requirements(RAM —-Ghz) as specified at the Market Samurai support page.

    Secondly, when you first get the tool up and running, either you can follow Ana’s video above as it is a big time saver and will get you on the right path.
    Or, if you have the time to do so, you can go to the Market Samurai support forums to see their comprehensive set of video tutorials covering all MS modules.
    Starting with the first videos, then working your way through.
    Of course you are on a 7 day trial, so don’t spend too much time poring over the videos, rather put what you learn from them into practice on the MS tool.

    Is Market Samurai some sort of Keyword Magic Wand? No, there are no such tools or systems out there(Though, some people make that claim).
    Will it get you some great results? If you are willing to put in the time and effort required, yes it will.
    What you put in you will get back, as far as results are concerned.
    One additional piece of advice, it’s not “How much time” you spend using the tool that will get you the results you desire, it’s HOW you use the tool.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Very good point about eliminating useless keywords, Daniel.

      There were quite a few times when I thought I found a great keyword until I ran it through MS just to find out that it’s certainly not worth the work.

      I definitely agree that for MS to run efficiently, the requirements for the computer need to be met. Dial-up internet connection might not be a good choice either.

      Really appreciate your input, Daniel!

  45. The thing that Market Samurai really changed from Google to Bing is the “competition” metrics. These are generated by checking the search engine’s indexes for a particular keyword – for example “Title Competition” is ranked by seeing how many sites have it in their meta titles, URL Competition by the URL and such forth. Although Google & Bing have pretty different ranking algorithms, their indexes are more or less the same – as you say, largely due to Bing’s buyout of Yahoo so I wouldn’t be overly concerned about how reliable the information is.

    The thing to worry about with the competition metrics from Market Samurai is how actionable it is – there may only be twenty websites targeting a keyword, but if those websites are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft, The Guardian and so on, you’re going to have a hard time ranking on page one for it! That said, MS is a great piece of kit and I absolutely love it for keyword research, both on my site and for my clients.

    • Ana Hoffman

      You brought up a good point, Ben.

      Here’s my take on it: it’s not the number of competitors we need to worry about, but rather whether those competitors are SEO-savvy or just happened to rank on the first page because the search engines didn’t have a better alternative.

      I never really pay attention to metrics like SEOC for that reason. Even if a search shows several million competitors, I know it doesn’t mean much on its face.

      Thoughts?

      • Hi Ana,

        You’re exactly right – it’s not really about knowing how many sites you’re up against, it’s about knowing who you’re up against. My personal favourite way to check these things is the keyword difficulty tool from SEOMoz, but there are a couple of other ways you can check the competition out with Google Docs or even Excel.

        And now I’ve got an idea for a post! Have a good day.

  46. I think the problem with Market Samurai is that the team didn’t ask for feedback from its users. I bet they would have undone some changes if they would have bothered to ask some opinions.

    • Ana Hoffman

      They didn’t really have a choice, Jack.

      Something went wrong and they had to fix it. The only way it could be done was by switching to Bing.

      They knew that this would cause a lot of questions and dissatisfaction, but that’s what it had to be.

      Personally, I give a lot of credit to MS team. It’s a huge endeavor to run a business like that without a monthly subscription.

  47. Market Samurai is no doubt one of the most popular marketing tools in the Internet marketing community. This multipurpose tool is the start of most projects to many, including me!

    Market Samurai was dependent on being able to get data from Google. Over the past few months Google has been changing how that data gets delivered, and in some cases if it gets delivered.

    It’s not like Google isn’t always changing. They are but more often than not the changes are slow and often unnoticeable.
    At the end of the day, its about being “tightly coupled” to one “source”.