Per usual, Google can’t seem to sit still. I suppose that’s a good thing considering that tech in general moves at the speed of…well, tech. Yet another change to the search giant’s web services is coming down the pipeline. The company is shutting down its popular keyword research tool and replacing it with the Keyword Planner. If you are heavily involved in AdWords or SEO, you have probably used this tool a lot, and (like myself) may have been a bit apprehensive about how good the next iteration will be. After all, wasn’t the tool working just fine?
Judging by the way the tool works and its name (keyword planner), it appears that Google is meshing the services provided by the old keyword tool and the traffic estimator tool that was also a part of AdWords.
If you don’t interact with Google a lot on a deeper level than its search engine or its browser, you are probably unaware of the fact that the organization is constantly in beta mode. Unlike the billion-dollar juggernauts of our parents’ time, Google routinely launches products that aren’t really in a finished state or that perhaps could have been thought through more. Such is true with most tech-related services. They can always be made slightly better than the version released a month ago.
As it relates to the Keyword Tool, there are a variety of ways that it could be better designed to do what it was originally intended to do — help people select keywords for their AdWords ads. Google has been moving progressively closer to that goal by introducing iterations of the tool with better features like ad group ideas. The keyword planner is one more step in the direction of making AdWords a little bit more user-friendly and logical in terms of what it does and how to have the most success with it.
What Does This Mean If You Use The Keyword Search Tool?
If you are an AdWords user…
Choosing keywords for your campaigns will be much easier. With the old tool before ad group ideas were added, keyword additions to a campaign was less than organized. If you weren’t savvy to the notion that only similar keywords should be added to your ad group, your campaign probably tanked right away because the tool suggested tons of keywords that had little to do with what you were selling. A lot of extra effort went into discovering that, “hey, just because you typed in headphones and the tool suggested ‘oversized pink fluffy headphones’ doesn’t mean you should use the keyword.”
After the addition of ad group ideas, it was a little easier to target your ads because the tool was telling you that only this group of keywords should be associated with an ad group. Integration with AdWords was still a bit cumbersome. The tool also didn’t emphasize enough that keywords needed to be grouped by related words.
Another benefit is the usability aspect of the new planner. It resembles more of template for choosing keywords for a campaign rather than a multi purpose tool that can also be used for AdWords. Users see only the options related to the tool and there are even helpful links to the right of the planner in case you are completely lost with how to use it.
Among other additions that make the planner better for AdWords users are the ability to upload bulk keywords from an external file and customization options that allow users to filter out data that isn’t needed. Additionally, the tool does a better job of associating steps in the process with goals that advertisers may have.
If you are an SEO…
Many Google keyword tool users don’t use the tool for AdWords at all. Instead, a common tactic is to get the information from Google and then use it to optimize a website for search. While the basic information that can be gleaned from the tool for SEO can still be found in the new Keyword Planner, the new tool wasn’t improved with this use in mind. SEOs can still make use of the new filters such as the ability to exclude keyword data by number of monthly searches as well as include/exclude filters.
Have you used the new Google Keyword Planner? Do you see any drawbacks?Improvements? Join the conversation by dropping us a line or commenting below.