Finding longtail keywords for your niche is easy. Finding keywords that you can rank on page 1 of Google search results – trickier. If you are a newer site with few backlinks and content — your job is even more difficult. Your new site lacks authority in the eyes of Google.

Doug Cunnington’s Keyword Golden Ratio (KGR) is a great method to simplify selection and validate keywords that you can rank for. It helps you develop content on rankable topics that are in demand.

Go to our affiliate SEO guide for related SEO tips..

What is KGR

The objective is to find keywords that are below the KGR maximum value of .25 when you divide the searches with the keyword in the title, by the number of monthly searches. These keywords are in-demand but underserved. KGR works on the idea that keywords in a post title are a very strong ranking and competitive signal.

Keyword Golden Ratio Method

A good KGR keyword has two main characteristics:

  • Less than 250 searches per month
  • A quotient of .25 when you divide the number of posts with your keyword in the title by searches per month for that keyword.

Sounds complicated. It’s not.

Let’s take a look at the simple process in detail.

How to Find KGR Keywords

There are only 2 steps to finding KGR keywords.

1) Find topical longtail keywords

You can use AHREF or other premium tools to find keywords that fit your topic. There are also Free tools to find searched for keywords with buying intent for your niche.

The best way to find keywords to target though is to look to your competitors. Find what keywords they are ranking for and create better content on the same topic. You can get this data from AHREF SEMrush and other paid tools. A free tool like Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.

Beyond competitive research there are many tools to give you good keyword ideas. We maintain a full list of keyword search tools for affiliate marketers.  Among the free tools are:

Soovle: An autocomplete engine that uses data from Google, Amazon and other search engines

Answer the Public Provides data from Google autocomplete in the form of questions.

Answer the Public for KGR

2) Evaluate keyword search and intitle: volume

A) Finding Search Volume for your Keyword

You will need to find the search volume for your newly found keywords. Some tools like AHREF, Ubersuggest provide the keyword volumes as you are exploring keyword ideas.

You can also use the  Chrome/Firefox extension Keywords Everywhere for this, though they now have a small fee for the tool.. There is also Keyword Surfer a new free keyword tool that is also a browser plugin.

Select the keywords of interest with less than 250 monthly searches. Keep in mind that keyword volumes can vary quite a bit from tool to tool and that some show US and Worldwide separate, others combine the info.


The final, and most important step, is to look at the actual search results. You want to check a number of factors …

  • Do  the ranking pages have the same search intent. What is the actual topic and depth of the articles?
  • Are the sites ranking all e-commerce sites or super-large companies?
  • Are there lots of sites like Quora ranking?

The best keywords will be about the same topic you plan to write about, not dominated by large sites, and have other affiliates and community sites like Quora.

B) Finding the posts with the keyword in the title

You use Google Search Operators to find the number of articles with the keyword in the title. Google has a number of search operators that filter search results. You can precede any search term with one of the modifiers followed by a colon. You will use the Google search modifier allintitle to determine the number of pages with your keyword in the title.

To do this simply enter allintitle:”YourKeyword”. Google will report the number of matching pages below the search box.

Google search can be a very useful tool for content marketers. Here is some detail on other Google search operators like allintitle: that are useful …

Go to our Google Search Operator guide for more info.

kgr calculation

Calculating Keyword Golden Ratio

It may take looking at a few keywords to find those that match the KGR specifications. The easiest way to do the calculations is to just create a spreadsheet with 4 columns:

  1. keyword
  2. searches-per-month 
  3. allintitle
  4. KGR-Result

Then add/replicate a formula in the KGR-result column which divides the two columns.

allintitle / searches-per-month

Doug Cunnington has a spreadsheet already created you can grab.

KGR Spreadsheet

That’s it!

Perfect VA work by the way.

KGR and Higher Volume Keywords

As the amount of monthly search volume goes up the fixed ratio of .25 will result in too many sites with a matching title to compete with. If there are 1000 monthly searches for the keyword and 250 with the keyword in the title you will still be at the .25 KGR ratio. However, the number of posts is much higher at 250 and it will be much harder to get to page 1 for a new site. This is why the KGR method stops at 250 monthly searches.

You can just reduce the KGR ratio value to keep the same relationship as the search volume goes up.

Monthly SearchesKGR Ratio
1500 .04

KGR and Higher Authority Sites

Consider going to a higher number of monthly searches and a lower KGR if you have some backlinks and higher domain authority. A few of my sites have strong backlink profiles and decent authority. They can rank for more competitive terms.

I try to keep the number of documents to compete with around 100 for higher authority sites. I use this sliding KGR table for these sites.

Monthly SearchesKGR Ratio
1500 .07

At the end of the day, KGR is a tool to create a short-list of low-volume keyword opportunities that will rank quickly.  It is a clever idea to use the allintitle as a variable – and it works. There is also a motivational benefit. It is always a great feeling to see your posts on page 1 of search results. Best of all its free. Just use one of many free keyword tools as a starting point.

If you want to outsource your KGR research we provide this service at Prosociate.

My practice is to use KGR to get candidates and profitable article ideas. Then apply other factors like:

  • The content domains authority
  • The buying intent of the keyword
  • Current content topic goals/needs
  • Review of competitive posts


What is the Keyword Golden Ratio (KGR)

The KGR method is a way to find keywords that are underserved and easier to rank on page 1 of Google search results.

How Does KGR work?

The KGR method works on the premise that low-volume keywords that have few posts with the keyword in the title of the page are underserved.

What monthly keyword search volumes are used?

The maximum number is recommended to be 250 monthly searches. This can be adjusted based on unique factors.

What is the actual formula to findr a KGR keyword.

You divide the number of pages with the keyword in the title by the number of monthly searches. The target result is < .25

Resources for KGR Keyword Research

Keyword Related Google Modifiers

Intitle:keywordFind keywords in page titles.
allintitle:keyword phraseFind phrases in page titles
 intext: keywordFind keywords in page text
 allintext:keyword phrase  Find phrases in page text
 inanchor: keywordFind keywords in anchor texts
The allinanchor: keyword phrase
Find phrases in anchor texts
Find keywords in URLs
allinurl:keyword phrase 
Find phrases in URLs