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 🙂

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