As an SEO guy I’m always interested in new tools. I got signed up for LSIgraph’s premium account after using the free version several times.

I’d even recommended it in a previous blog post to people looking for latent semantic index keyword tools.

No one likes reading hundreds of words of fluff, so I’ll get right to the point. I was disappointed.

In the free version you get to enter a seed word and receive a list of related words with traffic estimates. Not a lot of bells and whistles, and honestly this isn’t more information than you’d receive with other free keyword tools such as Ubersuggest. (And Ubersuggest is free straight up — not free for only a limited number of searches.)

The related keywords list didn’t seem to be different than any other regular keyword tool, and I was expecting it to be different because presumably it’s based on latent…semantic…indexing.

But that’s the free version, I told myself. Surely they’re holding back the goods for the premium version, and that must be awesome. So I paid the fee and got access to paid LSIgraph.

What’s different in the paid version of LSIgraph?

When you get related keyword results, you get another column next to the traffic estimates that gives each keyword an LSI score to show how related it is to your seed word. That sounds cooler than it is.

If the numbers were occasionally surprising, or not things you would’ve thought of before, that score would be a useful metric. But in every case of research I did, the score aligned with common sense.

That is to say that the conclusions you’d draw with it are the same as you’d draw with any other keyword tool just by looking at traffic numbers and your understanding of words.

UPDATE: LSIgraph has now added the ability to search by language and country. I applaud the additions of new features, but will say that for me personally the language search seems very niche and not something I’d use in 99% of cases. Likewise for country: location searching would be a lot more useful if it allowed users to get specific in terms of cities or major areas.

Speaking for myself, I rarely have need of search volumes in other countries, and often have need of more localized search volumes than national figures. In other words, getting search volumes for Philadelphia, PA USA for instance would be way more valuable than simply all searches in the USA.

On a separate pane on the right hand side LSIgraph premium shows you the top search results for your seed word. This can be helpful to get an idea of who ranks for that topic in case you want to research them.

But since you could’ve simply opened another browser tab and done the search yourself for free, I don’t consider this a feature that justifies itself as a paid one either.

The last premium feature is being able to save keywords you manually select into a project “folder” that you can access later. This is legitimately useful, especially if you’re doing research for different clients and want to save lists for each one.

However, since in my opinion this is the only meaningful feature of the premium version, it’s not enough to justify the fee. Consider that most SEOs doing research are already in the habit of saving data into spreadsheets, so the ability to save this data in itself is a periphery thing compared to the research itself.

You’re using a tool for raw data. If the tool isn’t giving you data you can’t easily get elsewhere, the value of that data diminishes.

There’s so much hype surrounding LSIgraph that at first I thought I must be missing something. “Obviously there’s more to it and I just haven’t clicked around enough to find it,” I thought. Unfortunately I went everywhere you can go when logged in, and this is the extent of it. As I continued to use it to mentally get my money’s worth from it, I couldn’t shake the confusion at why everyone was recommending it.

Just being honest here; I don’t say that to put anyone down.

Also, while poking around I also noticed there’s no clear way to cancel the software. I assume you’d have to submit a ticket to do so, but I don’t see anywhere to do that, either. Again, to be honest, that’s pretty disconcerting.

LSIgraph seems fairly new as software goes, and it’s possible they will add more features going forward that make it truly robust. But at the time of writing this I’d recommend people stick with other free tools where you’re not limited to 3 searches.

Since this blog is about helping people break through hype and fluff, I can’t honestly recommend this tool beyond its free version at this point.