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Search engines have become an integral part of people’s daily lives and day to day business activities.  Whether it’s seeking out products or services, doing research or finding contact information, search engines dictate who gets found, where and why.  With this in mind, we decided to take a look within the steel industry to see what gets searched most often, and any trends in how those terms are sought out.

Overall volume for these terms from August 2008 to July 2009 was estimated as follows:

steel keyword volumes

What came out of the result was an interesting collection of “steel” related keywords and some interesting trends in the search volume for those terms, like a surge in demand for the term “stainless steel” in April and June.

steel keyword volume graph

What does this mean to steel related businesses?  Well, that depends.  For many, it can be an eye opener to the amount of demand there is for information for products and services.  For others, it might be enlightening as to the importance of grasping an opportunity to control the conversation through making your site more available for search.  For example, the spike in late summer of 2008 for the term “steel prices” correlates almost perfectly to the spike in steel prices (below).


steel prices
(chart courtesy of:

The surge in demand likely meant a lot of things to a lot of different people and organizations, but questions on steel prices, and the conversation that surrounded it was influenced heavily by the top search results for that keyword.  While outsiders may think of the steel industry as a very traditional one, it is very clear that the Internet is a valuable tool for those seeking out steel related information, products and services.

Our methodology for assembling this data was as follows:

  • Utilize Google Keyword Tool’s general query results for the term steel to provide all recommended related terms and volume estimates.
  • Based on Google’s June volume estimates, the Microsoft Ad Intelligence tool was used to estimate volumes over the last twelve months.

A look at search engine demand for the top ten steel related terms over the past twelve months.  Based on the equation developed by Distilled and shared at SEOMoz, the Microsoft numbers were converted into an overall search market estimate for each month.

This report was originally published on the Capital Steel & Wire website. Special thanks to Netvantage Marketing for providing additional research.