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Adwords’ Keyword Tool replacement story (growthhacker.am)
108 points by lauren_redgrave 1370 days ago | hide | past | web | 34 comments | favorite

Well its not that bad, as I first thought. Here is what I know from playing with new tool for some time:

1. How can I see the exact match search volume? - The search number you see is actually exact match.

2. But why are the exact match search volumes higher/lower than those in the old keyword tool? - Because KW Tool was showing the search volumes in the current month. KW Planner calculates the average per year, so that's why the numbers are different.

3. Well, but it doesn't show the local search volume! - It does show ONLY local search volume of the country you selected in targeting. If you want to see global search statistics, then change targeting to all countries.

4. But but... it doesn't show search trends! - Yeah it does, just hover your mouse over that small graph icon right of the keyword. These new search trends are actually far more better, cause you can see exact names of the months.

Regarding #2, I don't ever recall Google giving current month's search volume data in the old keyword tool. As far as I know, they showed a rolling 12-month average which was usually 1-2 months behind. If you wanted numbers at the monthly level, then you would have to export your results to get the monthly breakdown. Even then, the export didn't include the current month's data. For example, if I exported some keyword data in July it would only show me up to May.

Also, the reason I found search volume data differing between old KW tool and new KW planner is because Google now lumps all device types into one number. Previously, they defaulted to Desktop and Laptop only, so you'd have to change your filters to get Mobile. Now they lump Desktop, Laptop, and Mobile into one number which accounts for the higher search volumes in the current tool.

Anyone complaining about how the tool got worse is not using it to improve their AdWords Paid Search campaigns, they are using it to scrape out keyword demand data for SEO.

Don't try and lump this in with legitimate Google complaints.

Why do you think paid search campaigns don't need more detailed data? Why do you seem to think SEOs shouldn't get data?

>Why do you seem to think SEOs shouldn't get data?

Because they pollute the real results. If you write your content for search engines and not for users then it's bad content.

You've been drinking the Google kool-aid. Google has always been the primary financier of web spam on the Internet. They knowingly profit from Adsense on spam sites. If they wanted to, they could end web-spam over night by banning Adsense accounts for spamming.

SEO is just another form of marketing. It is no more/less legitimate than PPC campaigns. In fact, PPC ads are far worse because Google does little to police them. As long as Google makes money, they don't care if you scam users. That's why they paid half a billion dollars in a settlement to the FTC for knowingly selling illegal pharmaceutical ads.

Like it is that simple. There are millions of adsense accounts. You can't hand pick everyone. Penguin 2.0 was supposed to hurt spam sites and judging by the fuss it created in Blackhat SEO sites it succeeded a lot.

They hand pick spam sites and remove them every day... There is an entire department dedicated to detecting spam.

They're pretty tough on spam, actually; far more strict than any other network I've dealt with.

They will manually remove sites for spam in their own search engine, but they don't ban the associated Adsense account. In other words, they are more than happy to pay you to spam other search engines.

One of my AdSense accounts was just banned (testing cloaked traffic to made-for-adsense sites), so I beg to differ.

Couldn't agree more. I run a small website and was ranked within first 10 results for some keywords in the past, because my content is very relevant to the niche and I did a lot of research to write it.

In the recent year or so, I have been pushed to 30+ place and top 10 results are completely useless junk websites that contain all the SEO and keywords, but really, really shallow information. I guess someone used Mechanic Turk or Fiverr to get someone to write about it for $5 and then slapped all the possible SEO stuff and now ranks well and earns money from AdSense.

Or maybe I was just punished because my website does not have AdSense on it...? I hope not.

Not that it will help, but Matt Cutts posted a request for people in your situation just yesterday: https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/372801217727979520

Well in theory the keyword tool reflects what users search for .

I'm quite confused with the new Planner - when I searched for a specific keyword in the old Keywords Tool it gave me around 40k global searches, but when I searched for the same keyword in the new Planner, it shows 10 (ten) global searches. I don't get it, there is some new algorithm or maybe the new Planner just doesn't have all the data yet?

The old tool defaulted to BROAD match, meaning you might get something like this:

phone - 1,200,000 home phone - 36,000

you would get really high numbers because people are searching for smart phone, mobile phone, landline phone, phone bill, et cetera and those are all counted under phone. Also, if you SUMMED the two keywords, you were actually double counting because home phone is already included in phone's count.

Google decided that this defaulting to BROAD match was causing confusion and double counting for people who didn't understand match types, so now when you get something like:

phone - 10,000 home phone - 12,000

because a lot less people just type phone or home phone.

More Detail: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/3141229

True. It is very confusing. Especially when they say that this value should be higher, because not only the standard devices are counted.

It depends on the match type. All the queries I have tried recently are bigger in volume for exact match. (Same country and language)

"Growth Hacking": It's not SEO sliminess, we swear.

And where before it was public, now it's only viewable when logged into an AdWords account. I used to refer clients to it for keyword inspiration when writing content for SEO purposes, but this is no longer an option.

You're saying Google made a change that hurts SEO? Isn't that what they're supposed to be doing?

Sadly. I also liked this option. I wonder how much it will affect people dealing with SEO.

It's irritating for losing query volume, but it became harder and harder to generate good ideas in the past few years.

Using tools like UberSuggest (ubersuggest.org) which runs off Google Suggest, or pulling from Google itself (http://clients1.google.com/complete/search?hl=en&output=tool...) is better.

Since Suggest is for users, and it shows the most popular, you can cream off suggested queries which may be based on query volumes. It's relative, but it'll do for now :)

It's very frustrating that they gated this feature. It's probably going to be great for more focused targeting (they can see exactly who wants to add what keywords to their web page). but as the OP states, there is about 1/2 of the features in this new version AND you need to sign up for AdWords.

Why not? It's free to have an AdWords account and you're not required to spend any money. I have one and haven't run a campaign in 5+ years.

So, on the topic of the (not provided) "data hiding" and now this... if it's just because of users using secure search, is this really as big of a travesty or a problem as its made out to be?

To me it looks like SEO/Marketing folk acting like it's the end of the world that 50% of clickthroughs are (not provided). And for them, it may be bad as they like having that data (which they certainly didn't have a little over a decade ago).

On the other hand though, if I'm using Google secure search, as a user, this seems like behavior that benefits me privacy-wise.

Am I missing some aspect here?

The search button says it all - "Get Ideas", not "Get Info". You can't even choose Broad, Phrase, or Exact. This is a shocking tool. I feel that in addition to its philandering with the NSA, Google is abandoning every principle it once stood for.

Oh, look. Google changed a service and now they're "abandoning every principle it once stood for".

Which has been said by someone, somewhere, (or some variation) for literally every service change Google has ever done. Stop it. You're adding nothing.

And they are not "philandering" with the NSA. They are subject to NSL's just like everyone else.

Couldn't disagree more.

Google won over developers in the beginning because they provided information on search, essentially making the SEO business possible.

Hiding information is a increasingly popular trend that SysAdmin's, above other people, should be wary and distrustful of.

If you vehemently demand that Google (or any other company) has absolutely no obligation to its community, then don't be surprised when you're left with absolutely nothing.

What next? You're going to demand that banks increase fees for the fun of it?

What are the alternative? We couldn't have all been so complacent that there aren't any good keyword tool alternative is there? Perhaps, it's time for a google scrapper? If google won't give you the data, maybe it can be inferred?

scrape it from where? That tool is the only real souce for how many local people are searching for a keyword

Exactly. Twas the only place I know to scrape from.

Google's post on the issue: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/3141229

It reads like "We're screwing you, so deal with it."

-1 for disabling zoom on mobile devices

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