Today, Google eliminated their external AdWords keyword tool.
Google still offers a keyword tool but are now calling it a keyword planner and are offering it up for use only to AdWords members. Want to know the good part? Joining AdWords is free, so you anyone can still use the keyword planner!
According to Google, “Keyword Planner has replaced Keyword Tool. With Keyword Planner, we’ve combined the functionality of Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator to make it easier to plan search campaigns. That’s why Keyword Tool is no longer available. You can use Keyword Planner to find new keyword and ad group ideas, get performance estimates for them to find the bid and budget that are right for you, and then add them to your campaigns. We’ve also added several new features with Keyword Planner.”
So not only is it not gone, it’s actually better!
Head over here to get started. You’ll need to create an AdWords account if you don’t have one.
To search for related keywords in a similar manner that you would with the old tool, do this:
Upon clicking “search for keyword and ad group ideas” you will be brought to this screen:On this screen, you’ll be able to enter your keywords. Leave the landing page and product category boxes empty. You will also see filters that you can set if you’d only like to search among results with a certain number of monthly searches or other criteria.
When you click the “get ideas” button, you will be brought to a results page. The first thing you want to do when you see this page is click the “keyword ideas” tab at the top. (see image below)Ok, now you are at a results page very similar to the old AdWords keyword tool. Here, you can see related keyword suggestions, the number of monthly searches each keyword gets, advertiser competition and average CPC. Remember, advertiser competition is NOT a measure of how difficult it will be to rank your site for that keyword.
You’ll be able to sort columns by clicking at the top of each column just like the old tool:
So that’s about all there is to getting the old keyword tool back. It didn’t really leave, it is just in a different place with a different name. You can still do basic keyword research just like you did before.
With all of this being said, I still believe that if you want to get serious about keyword research and want to save yourself a ton of time, Long Tail Pro is the way to go. LTP can turn several hours of keyword research into a 30 minute job. With the ability to quickly and accurately measure ranking competition, this tool is a must have for anyone looking to improve their chances of ranking in Google.