Last week, Google AdWords officially combined its new Keyword Planner tool with its long-running Keyword Tool. These features, both previously listed under “Tools and Analysis” in the AdWords interface, are now just listed as “Keyword Planner.”
The Keyword Tool had been an invaluable way to research keywords, both to find new ideas, as well as to cite prospective search volumes. Versus a tool like Google Insights for Search, the keyword tool provided finite numbers which, while approximations, were extremely useful when discussing keyword volume with clients or when trying to determine which keywords to prioritize (Google Insights for Search does not contain any hard numbers). In addition, the keyword tool could show you volume by match type, enabling those in the know to get around the broad match estimates (which can often have nothing to do with the actual word being researched). The Keyword Planner makes finding volume by match type a much more arduous process.
And, in the new way the Keyword Planner DOES give you the option to search for new ideas, it no longer allows you to require that your initial query be included in the results, making it much harder to find the close permutations that could so often be big wins in search.
If you can’t tell, we’re upset about this development, as are many many search professionals worldwide. We hope that Google will bring back the old tool, or at least add its capabilities somewhere in the new tool (especially seeing results by match type and requiring the inputted keyword or phrase to be included in the results).
We’d also like to add that Google AdWords gave no warning that this would happen, nor did it include any instructions on how to use the new Keyword Planner, though it appears to have recently added some instructions. Originally, it just said that to get to the Keyword Tool, click on the Keyword Planner. When you clicked on the Keyword Tool, you got taken to the Keyword Planner.
As search marketers, these are the kind of tools that we build our best practices around and run our companies around. Google, we’ll spend more money if you don’t take them away!