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Keyword Planner Screenshot

The time has come. As of yesterday, the Google Keyword Tool is officially dead. The sentiments are mixed as the tool has been frequently used by webmasters and SEO professionals across the world, but Google has offered a replacement called the Keyword Planner which has some advantages over the old tool. It also has some drawbacks associated with the switch.

In Google’s opinion, the Keyword Planner can accomplish all the important tasks the Keyword Tool could, as well as that of the Traffic Estimator. There are even some new features included which neither of the older tools offered. Matt Southern from Search Engine Journal broke down the pros and cons of being forced to make the change, which are shared below. Chances are in a few months you won’t even remember using the old Keyword Tool, but the transition could take some getting used to.

Positives

The Keyword Planner allows local SEO professionals and marketers to acquire keyword search volume data down to a city level with better geographic segmentation than the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator. It also has the ability to bundle geographic regions together.

SEO professionals and marketers are also able to upload up to 10,000 keywords from their own list to get performance data. The planner displays search volume by ad group, landing page, and any other categorization established by the user.

Negatives

The most common gripe I have heard about the Keyword Planner is that, unlike the Keyword Tool, the planner required users to be logged into AdWords before being able to use the tool. However, there are some functions removed from the Keyword Tool which will have a larger impact on how you view and understand the data.

The Keyword Planner does not feature match type data for search volume, device targeting, and doesn’t include global vs. local monthly searches. The ability to filter by closely related search terms is also missing, though Google has stated it will be back within the coming weeks. They explained the missing match types and device differentiation in a statement, which read:

In general, you’ll notice that the average search volume data is higher in Keyword Planner as compared to the exact match search volume data you got with the Keyword Tool. That’s because we’ll show you the average number of searches for a keyword idea on all devices (desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and mobile phones). With Keyword Tool, we showed the average search volume for desktop and laptop computers by default.

Anyone keeping track should know that Google isn’t afraid to shutter a beloved service or tool at their whim. We’re all still mourning the loss of Google Reader, but Eric Siu from Entrepeneur says we should also be gearing up to lose the popular Google Adwords External Keyword Research Tool.

The free tool for Adwords is commonly used by site owners to dig up statistics on keyword search volume, estimated traffic volume, and average cost per click, but the most loved capability was the determining which specific keywords a site owner should targer with their future optimization strategies and PPC campaigns.

Google hasn’t announced anything yet, so there isn’t a confirmed shutdown date or any known information, but rumors suggest it could happen anytime. Google has implied the Adwords tool will be combined into a new program referred to as the Keyword Planner, but it won’t necessarily be the same.

The External Keyword Research Tool essentially contained an assortment of disjointed workflows which gave the site owner a little freedom as to how they use the tool, but the Keyword Planner has one explicit purpose – helping advertisers set up their new PPC ad groups and campaigns as quickly as possible. But, the Keyword Planner doesn’t include ad share statistics or local search trends.

If the External Keyword Research Tool is at all a part of your PPC or SEO campaigns, you should likely begin getting to know the Keyword Planner now. You’ll have to eventually.

Do you use the AdWords tools ‘Google Keyword tool’ or ‘AdWords Traffic Estimator’? If so, this is news you’ll need to sit up and take notice of. Both tools seem to be being phased out by a new tool unveiled earlier this month, ‘AdWords Keyword Planner’.

Keyword Planner is a streamlined, focused way to launch new campaigns. Its easy to use wizard interface guides you step-by-step through the process of creating new campaigns and new ad groups.

Larry Kim, of Search Engine Land, has all the details of how to use the tool and what it is capable of doing. However, you may check your AdWords account and find no sign of the Keyword Planner. Right now, it’s only been made available in about 20-percent of accounts, but more accounts are being added all the time.