Not that I didn’t know. Not that I couldn’t have guessed. But when you see it in black and white on an Excel spreadsheet…
While doing keyword research for a client building a site which includes games for kids, I spent some time reviewing the full list of potential keywords I had amassed around the topic of “kids games online”. Of the over 500 keyphrases I had in the list, the primary words that jumped out again and again were “free” and “fun” – free online games for kids, free kids online games, fun games for kids online, free virtual worlds for kids… Now, it makes sense that those words would appear; after all, I had indicated them when starting to build the list. But I had also included the word “safe.” In my list of 500+ words, the word “safe” appeared 14 times. Most of them at the very bottom of the list with very few searches. 5 of which Google claimed had no searches whatsoever.
You could say that the majority of searchers here are the children and not the parents, and what child cares about “safe”? True – I don’t have demographics for the numbers. But that the proportion of parents who are looking for games for their children (especially when you see that plenty of phrases state that the searcher is looking for games for “young kids” “preschool” “under 6″) is that low?
What are our priorities when looking for online entertainment for our children? That it be fun? That it be free? Or that it be safe?
And what sort of games are we looking for – or are our children looking for when we’re not around? True, there were plenty of “learning” and “educational” searches (we can probably guess what demographic was searching for those). There were “disney” and “spongebob” and “virtual pets” and “train” game searches (all nice and innocuous). There were “cooking” and “typing” and “surgery” (good way to learn new skills). There were also searches for shooting games (maybe not the most educational, but it’s debatable whether violent games cause violent behavior) and 260 estimated searches by Google for “love games for kids online”. Virtual boyfriends and girlfriends? I didn’t bother to check what came up on a Google search.
There are a lot of entertainment options for our children out there. Fun? Free? If it’s being billed as a game for kids, it probably is.