E T R A F F I C

A lukewarm response to the Google Keyword Planner may be an overstatement. If we use Twitter sentiment as a gauge, the SEM community has not really embraced the New Keyword Planner, which as of August 27, 2013, became the official replacement for the Keyword Tool. An analysis of tweets over the past week shows that the sentiment score of “Keyword Tool” was 59 in comparison with “Keyword Planner” at only 45.

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Dissimilar to the Keyword Tool, that is used by both PPC managers and SEOs, to access the Keyword Planner a user must have an Adwords account and login to it. This is only one of the complaints that has been circulating around the internet regarding Keyword Planner. The Keyword Planner does not provide search volume match type data and search volumes are only shown for exact match, there isn’t any device targeting, and there aren’t any global vs. monthly searches. In addition, the ability to search terms that are “closely related” has been removed.

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However, officials at Google have stated that their Keyword Planner group will reinstate the “closely related” functionality in the near future. Certainly, the reaction is not totally negative. There have also been some positive comments in regard to Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner has several new features, like increased geographic segmentation and the capability of bundling geographic regions that permit local ad planners and SEOs to obtain the volume of keyword searches at the city level. In addition, users have the capability of uploading an increased number of keywords from their private lists, which can be a maximum of 10,000 keywords, in order to obtain performance data. The Keyword Planner will also display search volumes by landing page, ad group, and other categories that you are able to set up.

Nevertheless, discrepancies in data for search volumes in the tools has resulted in some contention, with these discrepancies resulting from two main sources, device types and match types being removed. Google’s explanation for the reasons for these differences is as follows:

Generally, you will observe that on average, search volume will be higher on Keyword Planner as opposed to the search volume for exact match that you obtained from the Keyword Tool. This is due to the fact that Keyword Planner displays the search volume for a keyword on all types of devices, including laptop, desktops, tablets, and all types of mobile devices. By default, Keyword Tool, displayed the search volume for laptops and desktops.

In all likelihood, Google will continue to come up with new versions of the Keyword Planner, especially since they plan on bringing back the “closely related” functionality. Users may become accustomed to making use of the Keyword Planner, or they may choose to make use of other third party tools.

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