Old Google Keyword Tool Gone – Oh My!

September 28th, 2010 by Paula Keller French

New Google Keyword Tool vs. the Old Google Keyword Tool – that is the question, or at least it was before the legacy tool, that I kept bookmarked ever since Google started encouraging SEOs to use the “new” tool, suddenly disappeared this past Friday.  We knew the day would come. We knew we wouldn’t like it, but now we’re forced to use it.

The biggest internal debate I’ve had with myself is which one to trust.  No doubt you’ve noticed by now the vast difference in the keyword values that it displayed. Many wonder what is the cause of this. Now that the legacy tool is gone, I am even more curious, as I previously simply ignored the other tool’s existence. After digging through blogs and forums, I finally found “Google’s Answer” to this question. AdwordsPro shares this in the Google Help Forum.

“If you use both the previous and updated versions of the Keyword Tool to search for keywords, you may notice differences between the tools for statistics on Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches. This is because the previous version of the Keyword Tool provides search statistics based on Google.com search traffic and traffic from search partners, while the updated version of the Keyword Tool provides search statistics based on Google.com traffic only.  We’ve updated these statistics based on user feedback, and hope you find them helpful for keyword selection.”

User feedback showed they wanted less data instead of more data? While many SEOs, myself included, tend to use Google as the tool by which we measure all, I still don’t want to ignore the other engines. In addition, as with any research, I’d rather have data coming from a larger sample than a smaller sample, so we can get a bigger piece of the pie.

While now we don’t have the luxury of choosing which one to trust, we’re just going to have to stick with what we’ve got.

Google Adwords Keyword tool is a hot-button topic around here at Search Influence. In fact, as I write this, I received a ping from collegue Melanie Aleman: “Is the Google AdWords tool working for you?” While I knew it was likely giving her some sort of error in this case, I thought to myself how many different ways I could take that question. No, in fact, the Google AdWords tool doesn’t seem to be working for me, but working against me.

Another issue with the keyword tool that I have yet to even mention in this post is the disparity between numbers when you are logged in vs. logged out. Stay tuned for a post that digs deeper into this question, if we can ever get to the bottom of it, that is, as the answers posted on forums don’t quite seem to be right on the money.

I found this question and answer in the sidebar Help section on the new keyword tool.

“Why do search traffic statistics vary between keyword tools?

Search Traffic Variations

The Keyword Tool combines search data across Google.com and all affiliated search properties. Data from the tools may vary due to the ad group you’ve selected to research, or whether you’ve accessed the tools from outside of your account. Numeric data between the tools may also differ due to rounding.”

But why…

“Data from the tools may vary due to … whether you’ve accessed the tools from outside of your account.”

I attempted to do a quick test to see just how different the numbers are displaying today, but currently Adwords is returning an error and I’m unable to even log in.

So while we may have the answer to why the new tool displays different results than the old, the question remains if it’s going to be beneficial, and only time will tell.

Thanks to Caitlinator and BenedictFrancis for the great photos!