Google Adwords just upgraded (6/29/2013) its Adwords Keyword tool to now default to their new updated version called "Keyword Planner". They've essentially combined the functionality of the Adwords keyword tool and Traffic Estimator tool to give birth to this Keyword Planner tool.
Keyword Planner is different from the Adwords Keyword tool we've all come to know and love in the following ways:
More Difficult to Get Keyword Match Type Search Volume
If you've used the Google Keyword tool as long as I have, you've come to learn that you can get traffic estimates for broad match, phrase match and exact match. Many SEOs I know rely on the Adwords Keyword tool to get traffic estimates based on what they think is the best match type to use for determining what keyword to target. Some use broad match to compile research recommendations whereas others insist exact match search volume is the way to go.
Well, Google seems to think none of that matters to you. With Keyword Planner, you only get historical statistics for EXACT MATCH. It's not as simple as checking the check boxes anymore for Broad, Phrase and Exact. You can now only add ONLY ONE keyword match type to your report at a time.
The way it works is you select the "Search for keyword and ad group ideas". Next, you click the Keyword Ideas tab. After that, on the right-hand side you will see a drop-down allowing you to change the match type of the keywords. At the moment, you can't add Broad match, Phrase match AND Exact match keyword types to your plan. You have to decide on one match type to add to your plan which... kind of sucks in my opinion.
Search Volume Estimates Will Be Higher
Average search volume estimate will be higher in Keyword Planner because it's showing you the average number of searches for a keyword on ALL devices. This differs from the Adwords Keyword tool which showed average search volume for desktop and laptop computers by default.
Say Goodbye to the Local Monthly Searches and Global Monthly Searches Columns
Say Hello to the "Average Monthly Searches" column instead. Google states this helps you simplify the search volume data.
Average Monthly Searches - The average number of times people have searched for this EXACT keyword based on the targeting settings that you've selected. The number is calculate based on the the 12-month average of the number of searches for the EXACT keyword based on the location and Search Network targeting settings that you've selected.
So basically, Average Monthly Searches is a 12-month average for a given keyword based on that keyword being Exact match for the given settings you've chosen in the Keyword Planner tool.
No More Ad Share Column
The Adwords team is working on a new column that will give you insight into ad impression share data.
No More Search Share Column
This column has been retired by the Adwords team altogether.
No More Search Network Column
This column has been replaced by the network option within the targeting settings. To get data for the entire Search Network, select the "Google and search partners" targeting option.
No More Approx. CPC (Search) Column
This column has been replaced by the "Avg. CPC" column. You'll get more accurate data in the average cost-per-click column than you did in the approximate cost-per-click column.
Local Search Trends Column Removed
This column doesn't appear in the Keyword Planner interface. However, you can still get search volume trends segmented by month when you download your historical statistics from Keyword Planner.
Extracted from Webpage Column Removed
This column has been removed from the Keyword Planner interface. However, you can still get the webpage the keyword idea came from when you download your historical statistics from Keyword Planner.
Does it Suck or is it Good?
I think the Adwords engineers made Keyword Planner in efforts to help us provide better traffic estimates to ourselves or stakeholders we're working for. They've definitely simplified it. If you've ever done traffic estimations on behalf of clients, you were totally just pulling numbers from the Keyword Tool, making assumptions and providing your best guess. It was an estimate based on estimated data! The next time a client asks for keyword estimates, your job will be much easier and straight-forward.
What Do You Think?
Do you like the new Keyword Planner? Do you think it is better than the Adwords Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator Tool? Drop a quick comment below!