Lukewarm may be overstating it. If Twitter sentiment is any gauge, the SEM world has not exactly embraced Google’s new Keyword Planner, which as of yesterday officially replaces the Keyword Tool. Looking at tweets over the past 7 days, “Keyword Tool” yields a sentiment score of 59 on Topsy.com compared to just 45 for “Keyword Planner.”
— Peter Macinkovic (@inkovic) August 27, 2013
Unlike the Keyword Tool, used by SEOs and PPC managers alike, users must login to an AdWords account to access the Planner. That’s just one of the grumbles heard around the Internet about the Keyword Planner. The Planner has no match type data for search volume (search volumes are displayed for exact match only), no device targeting, no local vs. global monthly searches, and the option to filter by “closely related” search terms is gone.
On that last point, however, Barry Schwartz noticed that Courtney Pannell of Google said the Keyword Planner team will be bringing the “closely related” feature back in the upcoming weeks.
Of course, the reactions aren’t all negative. There have been some positive comments about the Keyword Planner like the posts on this site, for example. There are new features such as more geographic segmentation and the ability to bundle geographic regions that allow local SEOs and ad planners to drill down to the city level to get keyword search volume data.
Users are able to upload more keywords from their own lists (up to 10,000 keywords) to get performance data. The Planner will also show search volumes by ad group, landing page and any other categorization you set up.
Still, search volume data differences between the two tools have been a source of contention, with the variances due to two key sources of contention — match types and device types being eliminated. Google explains the reason for the differences this way:
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 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 you average search volume for desktop and laptop computers by default.
It is likely Google will continue to tinker with the Keyword Planner, particularly in light of the “closely related” feature coming back. Users may get used to using the new Keyword Planner, or they may opt to use other tools for keyword research.
To learn more about using the Planner, check out Larry Kim’s article How to Use The Keyword Planner — The New Keyword Tool From Google AdWords.