When conducting key phrase research little tips, tricks and tools can save time. Being a wizz at Excel helps, being able to create scraping tools is also great but sometimes you just need to copy and paste from sites to generate key phrase lists.

Google docs

I’ve come across a neat method of using the ImportXML function on Google Docs to extract lists from a web page into spreadsheet (from there you can paste into the Google Keyword Tool to get volumes). Credit goes to this post for the how to us http://ouseful.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/data-scraping-wikipedia-with-google-spreadsheets/.

First you need a page with data on, could be a list of products, table of locations, for example list of dog breads, list of football teams, or a list of settlements in the uk ordered by population.

In Google docs you then use the ImportHtml function specifying the URL, that you want to grab a table and which table e.g. the 1st, 2nd etc.

=ImportHtml(URL, “list” | “table”, index).

For example


A full explanation can be found on the help files http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=75507 which also show other uses and variations.

You hit enter and hey presto you have a nice table with all the figures separated out.

google docs import html

If you look into the “ouseful” blog, linked above, you can then publish from google docs into RSS, then to Yahoo pipes into RSS then use the RSS on your site as content.

You can also import from RSS and product feeds.