The end of last week saw one event which many in the online marketing community had been dreading, as the Google Keyword tool was officially replaced by the Google Keyword Planner.
For a number of reasons, many SEO, SEM and PPC professionals have looked unfavourably on the Keyword planner, not least the fact that users have to log in to Google Adwords to use it, whereas the Keyword Tool could be accessed simply by anybody online.
Some have complained that the Keyword Planner does not show search volume for match type data, but only provides it for exact match queries. The Keyword Planner also fails to offer device targeting or monthly searches comparison for local versus global searches.
Another widely publicised omission is the option to filter the data by ‘closely related’ search terms, but this differs from the rest as Google will be bringing the feature back in the coming weeks.
So, a feature from the Keyword Tool is already coming back by popular demand, but not everybody in the search community is dead against the keyword planner. Some have commented on brand new features, like increased segmentation or the ability to group different regions, as favourable additions. Greater granularity to show search activity by city is a significant step and will allow SEO and PPC managers to gain a greater awareness of their audience and the search activity in the most relevant towns and cities.
The all new Keyword Planner also allows users to upload as many as 10,000 keywords from their own lists, improving the efficiency and convenience of capturing performance data; and while search volumes cannot be displayed for match type data they can be viewed by several new criteria including ad group, landing page and a number of other categories.
Which side of the fence are you? Do you think the new Keyword planner will improve the way you study search volumes and keyword date, or does it represent a backward step in comparison to the Keyword Tool? Are the changes a help or a hindrance?