What kinds of searches work well vs. poorly on SparkToro?

Our database is built on search data, clickstream data, profiles’ self-descriptions (the bio/profile field in most social media websites and the about page on someone’s website), and the connections between websites, podcasts, YouTube channels, and social profiles (i.e. the links back and forth between them). Thus, SparkToro tends to excel when an audience is describable based on their online behavior or what they might be searching for online. And, conversely, our tool isn’t so great if the search format, keywords, or structure isn’t on target.

For example, SparkToro’s great at finding data on audiences like:

  • Real estate agents (because they tend to use these words in their bio/profile text)
  • Snowboarders (because they tend to search for snow and mountain-related keywords online)
  • People who search for San Diego real estate (because they type this keyword into Google)
  • Home cooks who look for pasta recipes online (because this is a popular, high-volume search term)
  • Fans of the website, narratively.com (or most any website with substantial traffic, as these audiences tend to share, link-to, talk-about, and follow these sites)

SparkToro isn’t so great at finding data on audiences like:

  • Men between the ages of 19-35 (because we don’t collect gender, age, or other demographic or personally identifiable information. We can and will show you aggregate demographic information on a given audience, but you cannot search by demographic.)
  • People who own homes (since homeowners rarely share their ownership status on their web profiles or in web content)
  • Individuals with a particular blood type (since this information is rarely shared online)
  • Consumers who’ve had bad experiences with a particular airline (as this rarely shows up in data types we can collect and tie back to profiles)
  • Businesspeople who wear formal attire to their offices (as, again, this isn’t commonly shared/talked about online — though one might infer this attribute from various professions that are in online bios/profiles: lawyer, banker, etc)

When attempting to get data about an audience through SparkToro, it can be helpful to first consider attributes of that audience that are shared by that group in their online profiles and shares. If a word, phrase, behavior, or website is indicative of the audience you want to reach, SparkToro can usually help you find it.