Keywords Usage Explained

1. How is a keyword counted?

Each keyword is counted once monthly, per search engine index, regardless of when it has been added during the calendar month.

2. What is a search engine index?

Each search engine index has a different set of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Therefore, to obtain search rankings for one keyword in two different search indexes ( and, the data has to be obtained from two different sources. This is why one keyword (e.g. black shoes) counts for two keywords when followed in two search engine indexes ( and

Some examples of search engine indexes are:

  • New York (Local)
  • New York, New York 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 (Mobile)
  • [English]
  • [French]

If, for example, you were following one keyword in the above 11 search engine indexes and you had purchased 500 keyword rankings for the month, it would decrease your Keyword Usage Counter to 488 (500 – 11).

3. How often is keyword rank data collected?

Rank data is collected every day for each keyword being followed at a National Level (e.g.,, and every second day for Local and Mobile search engines (e.g. New York New York, New York 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017). Remember, keyword position data is collected at the web page level for both on-site and external content.

4. What happens when I delete a keyword?

When you delete a keyword or keywords your Keyword Usage will be affected in the following month as the keywords will have already been used in the month you are currently in.

5. When does the counter reset?

The Keyword Usage Counter resets on the 1st calendar day of each month.

6. What if I go over my Keyword Allowance for the month?

If you are going to go over your Keyword Allowance for the month, the system will warn you upon adding any additional keywords. You will have to agree to adding the keywords, as well as the overage rates to be charged. Please refer to your contract for your keyword overage rate. You can always choose to upgrade to a higher tier with a better keyword rate compared to the overage rate. Emails will also be sent to the Administrators of the account, notifying them overages have been incurred.

7. Keyword Allowance vs. Keyword Allotment

Keyword Allowance - the total number of keywords available to an Agency to use across clients and web presences.

Keyword Allotment - an arbitrary guide which can be used to assign and monitor a specific number of keywords to each client. For example, if your Keyword Allowance is 5000 you may Allot 1000 keywords to each of 5 clients.

gShift provides email warnings when Keyword Allowances and Allotments are surpassed.

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