Google retired one of my favorite tools not many months ago. It was the Google RSS reader. I had been using that tool for many years, and finding a replacement was problematic. I still don’t like the new tools that I have found as much as I liked the old Google RSS reader. However, life goes on, forward and onward as they say.
Well, here we are again. Google has announced the retirement of another favorite tool, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. In this case Google has announced a replacement tool. Be aware, however, that it isn’t exactly a replacement, and it is no secret that the new tool is designed specifically to streamline the work of finding keywords to put into the Google AdWords Pay-Per-Click campaigns.
The Google Keyword tool has been around for ten years now. It has been used by millions of people. It was an “external” tool, and many people could use it without logging into any accounts. The Planner is different. It belongs to the AdWords family, and is an internal tool. That means that only people logged into their accounts can use the tool. It is still free to create an account, and you don’t have to have any PPC campaigns in your account to use the Planner, but realize that you can only use it if you are logged in. That will be an inconvenience to many people.
How is it Different?
The Planner feels different from the Keyword Tool because the interface is quite different. The boxes to select broad, phrase, or exact is gone. The filters let you choose the location of your search, down to the city if you want. This feature is going to help a lot of local businesses. But, it makes the utility different than what users were used to. The filter lets you select results by excluding words that have more than a specific amount of search traffic per month, or less than a certain amount of search traffic per month. It even lets you search using the cost per click of search terms.
What is very different about the tool is that it now includes not just desktop and laptop traffic, but also mobile search results. The first page of results only returns exact match traffic, which I believe is an advantage to this new utility. However, once you have selected the term to be part of your plan, then when you download the results, the default is broad, and you have to find the hidden menu to select exact again. This made the utility very frustrating to me at first. It is also limited to 50 search terms that can be input in the search field at one time. The keyword tool used to support up to 2500. For me this was a huge limitation.
All in all, the new tool can sort of be used like the old tool was for keyword research, with a little bit of upfront learning.
What Are The Alternatives?
The alternatives to moving to the new utility, is to not do keyword research-which would probably really reduce the traffic to your blogs and articles, or to purchase a separate keyword tool that could do the keyword research for you. Many tools are very expensive, and some even have a monthly fee associated with them. However, these tools can often save time and do the keyword competition analysis for you.
Does the Keyword Planner Bring Anything New to the Table?
The Planner is a combination of the Keyword Tool and the Traffic Estimator, so the ability to estimate new traffic to your site based on the terms that you select is built into the new utility.
It also has a feature that could possibly enhance your research and the speed of that research many times over. This feature can target users and keywords to a very narrow and specific range.
The Planner’s Secret Powerful Feature
Most people who do keyword research only look at the search volume of the keywords they want to target, but if they understood how to target specific buyers and specific terms, they would end up with less traffic, but it would be highly-converting traffic.
The new planner has a feature that streamlines and enables the ability to ultra-target specific buyers and buyer terms, that isn’t found in the old Keyword tool. Anyone that learns to use this new feature will definitely profit from the new Keyword Planner.