Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How Google’s Keyword Planner Differs from the Old Google Keyword Tool

How  is Google's Keyword Planner different from the now obsolete Keyword Tool?

One of the exhilarating things about being an SEO is how fast and often things change. As most of you already know, Google's Keyword Tool has been retired and replaced with the Keyword Planner. Here is my take on what changed and some tips on getting down to the information you need. Please leave your comments and suggestions. I'd love to hear what you think about this change.

Key Differences between the Keyword Tool & Keyword Planner:


    1. Keyword Tool's default results showed broad match statistics. Keyword Planner's default is for exact match statistics. [see Tip #1 below]
      Single matchbook
      Exact Match Results

      Collection of matchbooks
      Broad Match Results


    2.  Keyword Tool showed statistics for desktop & laptop searches only. Keyword Planner shows search statistics across all devices.
      Laptop and desktop computers
      Statistics for Searches from Desktops & Laptops Only
      Versus                Multiple digital devices
                                           Searches across all devices
    3. Keyword Tool showed local & global monthly searches. Keyword Planner shows average monthly searches based on your specific Adwords targeting settings.    
      Flags of the World in a globe shape   Versus     American Flag

    4. Keyword Tool showed "Approximate Cost-Per-Click." Keyword Planner shows "Average Cost Per Click" and claims the data will be more accurate. I would love to hear your opinions about that!

The following columns once available in the Keyword Tool have been removed:

    Expired Stamp
    • "Ad Share" - Note: Google says it is working on something to replace this, but there's nothing there yet.
    • "Search Share"
    • "Local Search Trends" [See Tip #2]
    • "Extracted from Webpage" [See Tip #3] 



A Few Tips on using the new Keyword Planner:

    1. The only way to see traffic estimates for broad and phrase match is to add a keyword to your "Keyword Plan" and review traffic estimates there. You can no longer do research without logging into a Google Adwords account. If that chaps your hide, try some great alternatives to Google's Keyword Tool:  Wordstream's Keyword Tool, UberSuggest, SEMRush, SEOBook's Keyword Tool

    2.  The only way to view search trend data by month is to either scroll over an icon (which is impossible to share) or to export your keywords. To export, click the "Keyword Ideas" tab and then the download icon in the upper right of the dashboard. Select :Segment statistics by month" and "Excel CSV."

    3. Biggest Bummer: You cannot select specific keywords and download just those to Excel. You have to download the whole lot of them and sort through them in Excel.
      Mr. Yuck Face
Now, let me know your thoughts in the comments. What do you think of this change in Google? What do you use for keyword research?