Using The Negative Threshold

This tutorial explains the new Negative Threshold feature of the GTrends SE keyword research tool, and how to use it.

What It Is

This feature allows you to set a threshold (both for searches and competition) and apply special treatment to keywords that are below that threshold. You can make GTrends SE remove those keyword phrases from the list automatically, or not analyze them any further, or don’t do anything special except stating “Below Threshold” in the Verdict column. This frees up resources and can significantly decrease the time required to process a keyword list.

Negative Threshold Settings

You can configure the threshold options in the Settings window, under the Criteria tab. Here’s how they look :
Negative Threshold settings

And here’s what they mean :

  • Enable this feature – check this to enable this feature. If it’s not enabled none of the other options mentioned below will have any effect.
  • Less than X searches per day – the search threshold. Keywords that have less than this many searches will be considered below threshold. The default is 10, and you can enter 0 (zero) to ignore the number of searches a keyword has.
  • More than X phrase-matching results in Google – the competition threshold. Keywords that have more than this amount of competition will be considered below threshold. The default is 100 000 (which is quite a lot), and you can enter 0 (zero) to ignore this part of the threshold calculation.
  • Action – what to do with keywords that are below threshold. There are three possibilities here, all are pretty self-explanatory :
    • Just mark the keywords as below threshold.
    • Don’t check the keywords any further.
    • Delete the keywords.

    Choose whichever suits you best. The default is “Don’t check the keywords any further” – a middle-ground option that is faster than just marking the below-threshold keywords and safer than deleting them outright.

Choosing the exact settings is a matter of personal preference and what is needed in the current situation. Setting the search threshold higher and/or lowering the competition threshold number will cut off more useless keywords and make the research process faster.

On the other hand, if you use a very “aggressive” threshold configuration you might miss some potentially good keywords that just didn’t make it. Therefore I advise that you use a threshold that is more lenient than your good keyword criteria.


All Verdict values are recalculated when a keyword list is loaded from a file, and any configured threshold action will take effect immediately. This has one important implication – if you have set the Action to “Delete the keywords” and you load a keyword list that has some below threshold keywords, those keywords will not be loaded.

Another thing to note is that if you change the threshold settings while GTrends SE is running, it will only affect any newly checked keywords. Known verdicts will not be updated. If you want to recalculate them, you can either save the keyword list to a file and reload it, or select they keywords, right-click them and choose “Recheck keywords” from the popup menu (re-checking them can take a while).

Well, that explain how to use this feature to speed up your keyword research process 🙂

GTrends SE Major Update – Now With 140% More <Something>!

After lots of coding and some lots of days of testing, I proudly present GTrends SE 1.5. You can read about the new features below, or go ahead and get the update. On a related note, make sure you sign up for the GTrends SE newsletter (on the same page)! This way you’ll be among the first to find out about new updates, tutorials and other news.

Now, lets see how GTrends SE has been improved…

It’s Faster

How about getting more work done in the same time? The main new feature in this release is the “negative treshold” option. In essence, this feature allows you to set a treshold (both for searches and competition) and apply special treatment to keywords that are below that treshold. You can make GTrends SE remove those keyword phrases from the list automatically, or simply not analyze them any further. This frees up resources and can significantly decrease the time required to process a keyword list.

Here’s an example – lets say you set the search treshold to “Less than 10 searches per day” and the action to perform to “Don’t check the keywords any further”. As soon as the tool discovers that a keyword has only 5 searches/day, it will mark the keyword as “Below Treshold” and move on to checking other keyword phrases. It won’t waste time looking up competition data for a keyword that is useless to you.

You can configure this feature in the “Criteria” tab of the “Settings” window. And don’t worry, I’ll post a proper tutorial soon 🙂

On a related note, there’s now a “Speed” tab as well, which gives you greater ability to fine-tune speed-related aspects of GTrends SE.

It’s More Reliable

Not to say that it wasn’t reliable before 😉 , but the new version has had several bugs fixed. For example, when adding keywords, GTrends SE will now automatically filter out commas and other special characters. This will prevent the application from repeatedly trying (and failing) to process an invalid keyword.

Furthermore, the treshold feature, in conjunction with proper speed settings, should eliminate most of the “Forbidden” errors that some users have been getting. This is because the negative treshold can significantly decrease the number of searches GTrends SE has to do, thus ensuring it doesn’t look as suspicious to Google. I still recommend to keep the Google grace period to 7 or more seconds (though feel free to experiment if you want).

It’s More Customizable

In addition to the new options mentioned above, you can even set the colors that are used to highlight good/not good/below treshold keywords. You can find all appearance-related settings in the “View” tab of the “Settings” window.

Anything else?

By popular request, I’ve added the ability to re-check selected keywords – you can right-click the keyword list and select the aptly named “Recheck keywords” command from the popup menu.

There are probably other things I forgot to mention here, small interface changes, simple fixes and so on. Go and see for yourself 🙂

Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!

Getting Google Errors? Try Using A Proxy.

Looks like Google have gotten a bit trigger happy lately – some GTrends SE users have been getting errors in the “Competition” column yesterday, me included. This is because Google doesn’t want any automated tools checking their search results.

I looked around for a solution and made a few minor changes to GTrends SE to make this blocking slightly less likely. I also modified it to show “Forbidden” instead of “Error” when you hit a temporary block, so you know what the problem is. Get the new version.

The solution to these errors is to use a proxy. You can find lists of free proxies on the sites below :

Proxy4Free – I myself am currently using a proxy on this site.
ProxyList “fast proxies” – this site has several lists of proxies; the link goes to the list of “fast” proxies that also shows the uptime. You can use this parameter to determine how reliable a proxy is.

How to use a proxy with GTrends SE.

Another possibility is to install the TOR package (freeware) and use the address as the proxy address. Then you can switch proxies just by clicking the appropriate system tray icon and selecting “New Identity” from the popup menu.

I’d also recommend to increase the Grace period value in the GTrends SE Settings menu.

GTrends Update : Two New Features

New version is out, get it here!

I implemented two new features that were suggested by users –

Launch new instance
Now you can open more than one GTrends SE window. You can do this using the aptly named “Launch new instance” Start Menu shortcut. Note that as a tradeoff windows opened in this manner will not be able receive keywords from the Keyword Grabber extension.

Here’s a bit of info for the technically inclined – the new shortcut launches gtrends.exe with a /new_instance parameter. GTrends SE also supports another parameter – /add_clipboard – that will cause the tool to attempt to get keywords from the clipboard.

Searches vs Competition ratio display
GTrends SE can calculate and display this ratio in a new column on the main screen. You can enable this feature by checking the “Display ratio” box in the Settings dialog.

The ratio is calculated as Ratio = (Searches ^ 2) / Competition, which is consistent with the original definition of Keyword Effectiveness Index.

Using A Proxy With GTrends SE

To configure GTrends SE to use a proxy, open the Settings window by clicking the “Settings” button from the toolbar (it’s the next-to-last button). Then locate the “Proxy Settings” section.

GTrends SE Proxy Settings

Check Use a proxy and enter the proxy’s address in the Proxy box. The address should be in the form IP:PORT. “IP” is the unique numerical address of a server. If the address you usually use is a domain name, you can find the IP using this free tool.

The Username and Password boxes are just that. Leave them empty if your proxy doesn’t require a username/password.

Proxy settings take effect starting with the next keyword that is checked (yes, this means that if you set a proxy when GTrends SE is already processing a list of keywords, it will switch to using the proxy even if it’s only halfway through the list).