Google Updates its Keyword Tool to Keyword Planner

Adwords Keyword PlannerGoogle 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.

Keyword Planner - Search for keyword and ad group ideas

Keyword Ideas Tab

Keyword Planner Keyword Ideas


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.

Average Monthly Searches


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!

Source: How Keyword Planner is different from Keyword Tool

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6 Responses to “Google Updates its Keyword Tool to Keyword Planner”

  1. Saskia July 28, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    It sort of sucks big time, because the option to make it a broad, phrase or exact match, DOES NOT WORK AT ALL. It looks like you can now do it one by one (which is also annoying, but ok), but if you check one word 3 times in broad, phrase and exact, you will find 3 exactly the same results in search volume. There simply is no way to get search volume on phrase or broad keywords.

    What use is it, to know how many people searched for [book] or [buy book] and get no results because most people were searching for [buy book online]?

    Also, there is NO WAY anymore you get any suggestions, you simply have to step into the worlds minds (yes, all of them) and guess what they are typing in to search.

    I don't care how many people search for the exact "buy book" words (so I mean JUST these 2 words) when searches that include other words before or after are not being shown to me. This is totally insane and completely USELESS.

  2. Erik Kielisch July 28, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    It's a change for the worse. Keyword Tool was very easy to use. I've spent the weekend trying to understand Keyword Planner, and it's frustrating.

    • Erik Kielisch July 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

      I followed your guide to see broad and exact matches, but the traffic numbers don't differ for broad and exact. If a certain word gets 9,000 average searches in broad match, I see the same traffic for the same keyword in exact. Do you know how to fix this?

      • Jarad Collier August 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

        I could be totally wrong here but I think it could be because of this statement:

        With Keyword Tool, we showed you statistics for broad match by default with the ability to get statistics for other match types, like phrase and exact match. With Keyword Planner, you'll get historical statistics only for exact match. To decide what match type to use with your keywords, add the keyword idea to your plan and review the traffic estimates for each match type.

  3. Emily August 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    It limits your keyword search to 50 - I don't like that.


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