Google recently replaced its Keyword Tool with Keyword Planner in a bid to make it easier for marketers to plan their search campaigns.
Keyword Planner combines the functionality of Traffic Estimator and Keyword Tool – which is no longer available – and can be used to search for new keyword ideas or get performance stats.
Below, we’ve listed some of the key changes.
Device targeting no longer offered
In line with changes made recently to AdWords campaigns, Keyword Planner doesn’t let users target mobile devices specifically. As a default, all devices are targeted, which means that average search volumes may seem higher than they were with Keyword Tool and its exact match option.
Google confirmed it has a feature in the pipeline that will allow users get device specific traffic estimates.
Match type data scrapped
Using Keyword Tool, marketers were given broad match statistics and had the option of getting additional data for other match types, such as exact match and phrase.
However, Keyword Planner only presents historical statistics for the exact match type. Now, marketers can add a keyword idea to their plans and review traffic stats and estimates for each match type. This has been introduced to resolve the issue with Keyword Tool in which the overlap between broad and phrase match keywords wasn’t taken into account.
Data column changes
Google has brought about a number of changes to the data columns that were featured in Keyword Tools. The columns ‘Local monthly searches’ and ‘Global monthly searches’ have both now been replaced with a single column – ‘Average monthly searches’.
‘Ad impression share’ replaces ‘Ad share’, allowing users to search for possible impressions.
‘Search share’ has disappeared completely, and the accuracy of cost-per-click data has been improved with the ‘Approx. CPC’ column becoming ‘Avg. CPC’.
Two other columns have been removed from the interface, but their data can still be accessed elsewhere. ‘Local search trends’ is gone, but search volume trends can still be accessed when the user hovers over the column titled ‘Avg. monthly searches’. Similarly, while the ‘Extracted from webpage’ column has disappeared, users can get the relevant webpage data when downloading historical statistics.
For specialists in reputation management or companies operating search engine optimisation campaigns, it’s essential to be aware of changes to keyword data on Google.