Climate Change in Google Search: Keywords, Clusters, Trends and Leaders

The UN Climate Change Conferences are important events. Thousands of people meet to influence, discuss and agree on the current status and new activities for the future of climate change action. Many of the organisers are here in Bonn, a UN City that hosts over 1000 United Nations staff. Bonn is also where SISTRIX does all its work so in the spirit of helping neighbors we’re sharing SEO data and analysis to help content planners with their work.

In this article you’ll find data based on a curated keyword set of over 800 search terms. We’re sharing clusters, leading domains and the most visible articles in the sector. This data will help content creators understand, organise, target and craft their climate change content, just as Google likes it. The methodology is shown below.

cop28 – a trending keyword.

A bucket of climate keywords

By starting with a curated keyword set you can reduce any bias that is introduced when trying to brainstorm websites and keywords. Often the websites and brands that you think of are not the only ones that are competing for traffic in Google search.

Our list contains over 800 keywords and has a total average per month search volume in the UK of over 450000 making it a large and relevant set. The full keyword set is available for download at the end of this article. The methodology is also shared below.

The top domains for climate change topics

After harvesting, re-harvesting and curation of the keyword set we can look across the SERPs and evaluate the domains, and their positions within them. It takes a lot of time to do this by hand so we’ve used the built-in list processing feature in SISTRIX. The Top 50 domains for this keyword set, weighted by positioning and search volume, are shown below. The process was done both at the start, and at the end of the COP28.

Most visible domains for the COP 28 keyword set
DomainProject Visibility IndexPos 13 Dec 2023Pos 29 Nov 2023ChangeProject top 10 rankings

This evaluation is updating daily in SISTRIX and we’ll provide updates if major changes are seen.

As it stands now, Wikipedia is leading. At #3 the main UN domain appears to be cannibalizing the UNFCC organisation, which is at #5. The US space agency’s climate site at is at #2 in the UK data.

Search trends from the climate change sector

Using data from the SISTRIX TrendWatch project we’ve identified a number of recent trends in the keyword set.

Trending up – carbon credit scheme (UK search volume)
Trending up – what is a carbon credit (UK search volume)
Trending up – national adaptation programme (UK search volume)
Trending up – carbon credit market (UK search volume)
Trending up – financial flows (UK search volume)

The top URLs for climate change topics

The top URLs list is a chance for everyone to learn about what Google wants. The list shows the top URLs based on the assessment (weighting of position and search volume) of the keywords that they rank for. The evaluation is included in the SISTRIX list processing functions.

In total we identified over 42000 URLs ranking for at least one of the keywords. The Top 100 URLs are shown in the table below.

Most visible URLS for the keyword set
(link to external URL)
Link to SISTRIXTop KeywordTop 10 keywordsShare of Visibility
www.nationalgrid.comTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect841.25% SISTRIXgreenhouse effect841.08%
www.epa.govTo SISTRIXprevalent meaning690.95% SISTRIXprevent climate change510.93% SISTRIXprevent climate change530.89%
climate.nasa.govTo SISTRIXmitigation520.73%
climate.nasa.govTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect380.72%
www.un.orgTo SISTRIXprevent climate change510.71%
www.nrdc.orgTo SISTRIXprevent climate change400.61%
www.europarl.europa.euTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect470.54%
www.un.orgTo SISTRIXnet zero390.54%
www.nrdc.orgTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect510.49%
en.m.wikipedia.orgTo SISTRIXghg400.46%
www.nationalgrid.comTo SISTRIXnet zero200.41%
unctad.orgTo SISTRIXunderdeveloped countries200.40% SISTRIXgreenhouse effect240.37%
www.nationalgeographic.orgTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect370.35%
www.eea.europa.euTo SISTRIXprevent climate change220.35%
www.eea.europa.euTo SISTRIXmitigation180.34%
www.epa.govTo SISTRIXcarbon emissions180.32%
www.nationalgeographic.comTo SISTRIXprevent climate change290.32%
climate.nasa.govTo SISTRIXpercentage of gases in the atmosphere110.29%
www.offsetguide.orgTo SISTRIXcarbon offsetting150.29%
oceanservice.noaa.govTo SISTRIXhow to help the environment110.28%
www.unep.orgTo SISTRIXprevent climate change260.28%
www.iberdrola.comTo SISTRIXmitigation220.27%
www.un.orgTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect200.27%
en.m.wikipedia.orgTo SISTRIXunderdeveloped countries190.26%
en.m.wikipedia.orgTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect240.25%
www.investopedia.comTo SISTRIXcarbon credit160.25%
www.unep.orgTo SISTRIXhow to stop climate change250.25%
en.m.wikipedia.orgTo SISTRIXcarbon offsetting210.25% SISTRIXnet zero170.24%
carboncredits.comTo SISTRIXcarbon credit140.24%
unfccc.intTo SISTRIXadaptation160.23%
www.carbonfootprint.comTo SISTRIXcarbon offsetting160.23% SISTRIXgreenhouse effect diagram120.22%
www.nationalgeographic.comTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect100.22%
www.eia.govTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect220.22%
climatekids.nasa.govTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect diagram150.22%
amp.theguardian.comTo SISTRIXcarbon offsetting190.22%
netzeroclimate.orgTo SISTRIXnet zero190.22% SISTRIXco2 emissions110.21%
ourworldindata.orgTo SISTRIXghg180.21% SISTRIXhow to stop climate change220.21% SISTRIXcarbon offsetting150.21%
www.worldwildlife.orgTo SISTRIXmitigation160.20%
www.britannica.comTo SISTRIXghg180.20%
www.northwestern.eduTo SISTRIXprevent climate change150.20%
www.noaa.govTo SISTRIXgasses130.20%
davidsuzuki.orgTo SISTRIXprevent climate change220.20% SISTRIXhow u doing120.19% SISTRIXgreenhouse effect80.19%
ec.europa.euTo SISTRIXcarbon emissions120.18%
friendsoftheearth.ukTo SISTRIXprevent climate change210.18%
en.wikipedia.orgTo SISTRIXco2 emissions150.18%
en.m.wikipedia.orgTo SISTRIXgasses100.17%
www.nationalgeographic.orgTo SISTRIXadaptation110.17%
www.unep.orgTo SISTRIXunited nations100.17%
en.m.wikipedia.orgTo SISTRIXpercentage of gases in the atmosphere130.17%
dictionary.cambridge.orgTo SISTRIXoffset define80.17% SISTRIXcarbon offsetting130.17%
ourworldindata.orgTo SISTRIXco2 emissions100.17%
www.epa.govTo SISTRIXco2 emissions110.17%
www.epa.govTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect160.17%
www.climate.govTo SISTRIXprevent climate change120.17% SISTRIXco2 emissions120.16%
dictionary.cambridge.orgTo SISTRIXgases definition90.16%
www.wri.orgTo SISTRIXnet zero160.16%
royalsociety.orgTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect130.16%
www.c2es.orgTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect130.16%
www.un.orgTo SISTRIXburning meaning110.16% SISTRIXcarbon offsetting140.16%
www.merriam-webster.comTo SISTRIXgasses100.15%
www.britannica.comTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect160.15%
unfccc.intTo SISTRIXmitigation140.15%
climate.nasa.govTo SISTRIXgasses90.15%
www.un.orgTo SISTRIXunderdeveloped countries80.15%
databank.worldbank.orgTo SISTRIXgreenhouse gases definition70.15%
scied.ucar.eduTo SISTRIXpercentage of gases in the atmosphere110.15%
data.worldbank.orgTo SISTRIXunderdeveloped countries140.14%
www.nrdc.orgTo SISTRIXclimate change solutions90.14%
www.nationalgrideso.comTo SISTRIXnet zero110.14%
www.climate.govTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect70.13%
unfccc.intTo SISTRIXkyoto50.13%
www.merriam-webster.comTo SISTRIXoffset define70.13%
www.southpole.comTo SISTRIXcarbon offsetting70.13%
www.merriam-webster.comTo SISTRIXadaptation70.13%
en.m.wikipedia.orgTo SISTRIXgasses names60.13%
www.iea.orgTo SISTRIXco2 emissions100.13%
unfccc.intTo SISTRIXfinancement meaning80.12%
www.nationalgeographic.orgTo SISTRIXpercentage of gases in the atmosphere120.12%
scied.ucar.eduTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect100.12%
www.un.orgTo SISTRIXadaptation80.12%
climatekids.nasa.govTo SISTRIXwhat are greenhouse gases120.12%
www.greenclimate.fundTo SISTRIXfinancement meaning60.12% SISTRIXcarbon offsetting90.12%
www.techtarget.comTo SISTRIXgases definition110.12%
ourworldindata.orgTo SISTRIXgreenhouse effect110.12%
unfccc.intTo SISTRIXdiversification50.12%

Congratulations to National Grid for their highly visible URL. Here’s the development of the Visibility Index for that URL since it started ranking in 2021:

The Visibility Index shows stable growth to a value of 0.2613. This might sound like a low figure, but it’s bigger than the total visibility of 99% of all websites in our UK data set. The visibility is the result of a large informational content project under

For more leading content from other sectors, see our Visibility Leaders project and our SectorWatch publications.

Key topic clusters in the keyword set

Using the SISTRIX auto-cluster feature, the following topics are shown as clusters.

Topic clusters in the keyword set
Cluster nameNumber of keywordsTotal monthly search volume5-year traffic trend
greenhouse effect107213060flat
ghg (greehouse gases)9768181flat
prevent climate change8646000flat
what is mitigation569791flat
net zero4275235rising
carbon emissions3916388flat
how to stop climate change3314771flat
carbon ofsetting3329664flat
co2 emissions3245293flat
carbon credit2819002rising

The keywords are all from the UK search database and include mobile and desktop searches. More detail is available in the SISTRIX Lists cluster feature.

Intent and SERP features

Most of the keywords in the list have an informational, or ‘KNOW’ search intent. This analysis is based on the features that appear in the SERPs.

Videos appear in one quarter of the results.

Also appearing are Knowledge Panel boxes, Google Scholar boxes and, in 99 cases, a Google app box. In all cases tested this was Google’s dictionary application.

The features “People also search for” and “People also ask” (PAA) are the most prominent, followed by images, which appear in three-quarters of the results.

A Google application appearing in the SERP for “protocol meaning.”

There were very few indications of commercial “DO” intent seen in the results.

News media in the environment

SISTRIX tracks organic search results, not Google features such as Discovery or News, where many news media sites get lots of traffic from Google. News media sites also appear in the SERPs though, especially when a topic becomes newsworthy. The image below shows a snapshot as of 28.11.2023. We reviewed the data again at the end of the conference, on the 13th December, and there was no significant change.

Relative Visibility of news media domains in organic search at 28.11.2023

The news domains are from a tracker of over 70 that we use in our top domains analysis.

Keyword research methodology

The data here comes from the many sources and evaluations that are used in SISTRIX for our Google product. This report uses the Google UK data.

As is typical we start our keyword research process with the official source of the topics – the UNFCC website’s key informational directories – to harvest the first set of keywords.

We only used keywords for which the directories are ranking in the top 20, and only those with an average monthly search volume of 50 or more.

We then hand-curated the list to remove any brand searches and generic terms that are only loosely related to the UNFCC in search, such as “finance”. We have left in the dictionary-intent searches asking for specific climate-change terms but generic word meaning searches have been removed.

In the second stage we took keyword environments for the top 10 UNFCC-specific keywords. This includes keywords for which all the URLs in the Top 10 of the SERP are ranking and it’s a very good way to use Google to expand a keyword list.

Finally we processed the keyword list to find the Top URLs ranking for that list and we harvested from 10 of the top URLs. Again, this is a sensible way to ensure that the complete keyword environment, as used by Google, has been captured. Learn more about the basics of keyword research in our article “Keyword Research Made Easy“.

Note: All the data required is based on Googles keyword ranking and URL relationships. No other tools were used in the process.

The full keyword list is available in a Google Sheet here or as a CSV here. Feel free to take a copy, and build awareness for our neighbours’ project.

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