Google has recently put the kibosh on its ever famous Keyword Tool and replaced it with a new tool called the “Keyword Planner.” The Traffic Estimator tool has also been combined and replaced with this new tool. Google felt that having two separate tools that allowed users to identify new keywords and ad groups, gather traffic estimates, and chose competitive bids and budgets was cumbersome. To simplify the process of building more successful campaigns, the Keyword Planner is aimed at integrating components of the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator.
Keyword Planner an Improvement?
On Google’s support page – aimed at addressing some of the concerns of new users – Google mentions that there is no longer an ability to get “broad match stats by default” that also included phrase matches and exact matches. Instead, Google notes that because there is a large overlap between broad and phrase match keywords, the Keyword Planner’s ability to get historical statistics for exact match only is more helpful to users.
The new tool also has eliminated targeting for mobile devices like tablets and smart phones. This comes at a surprise especially since Google has published a lot of content about how context affects search for PC or mobile users. They say that they are working on a feature that will allow users to get traffic estimates by device type but it seems that given the mobile climate this was a feature that did not need to be cut out.
Still a Viable Keyword Research Tool?
If you ever did a search for “free keyword research tool” there was almost always a chance you would stumble upon Google’s keyword tool as a resource. Given the new changes it still appears that Google is still providing pay-per-click users and organic keyword researchers a good resource for their keyword ideas. The tool still provides details about the exact search query given in addition to other keyword ideas, the average monthly searches, competition, and average cost per click (see screen shot below for term “SEO”).
Users Unhappy with New Tool
Web Pro News has mentioned that there are a lot of Twitter users complaining about the new tool and disliking its interface. Search Engine Land also wrote a post titled “Google Keyword Tool Is Officially Dead, Keyword Planner Gets Lukewarm Welcome” that somewhat expresses the sentiments of the online community as a whole. One Twitter user even went so far as to say the tool is like a new step-parent that is simply harder to love.
The responses to the Keyword Planner are not all negative; its ability to allow hyper-localized segmentation to the city level is getting positive praises. Regardless of the feedback from the users, Google will likely be listening to the responses from its critics and fans and making changes to continually improve what continues to be its greatest resource of revenue.
What are your thoughts on the new tool? Will you use it and did you have a particularly strong bond with the old keyword tool?
Thanks for reading,