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New Google Keyword Tool vs. Old Google Keyword Tool

Google Keyword ToolAbout a 12 months ago, Google took their old keyword tools (Legacy Keyword Tool; Beta Keyword Tool; Adwords Traffic Estimator; Search Based Keyword Tool) and mashed up a single new tool, the new, improved Google Keyword Tool, and began beta testing.

So, what’s the difference?

Old Google Keyword Tool

In a nutshell, the old tool used data from regular Google searched and from the Google Search Network. That means that search data from second tier search engines (like AOL.com, DogPIle.com, and the like), ISP partners (like Comcast.com), Google Properties (such as Google Maps), and other partners (like Amazon.com) were all included.

New Google Keyword Tool

The new Google Keyword Tool only uses search data from Google.com and regional sites (like Google.co.in).

Which Keyword Tool is Better?

Depending on you point of view, this new data set could be better or worse. But it’s certainly going to be a more conservative traffic estimate. But good keyword analysis still works pretty much the same way.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Ren November 18, 2010, 2:45 am

    I heard there was a new tool, but didn’t know the difference. Thanks for clearing it up. Traffic won’t change, searches won’t change, but our decision-making data will. The more accurate the better.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 18, 2010, 3:48 am

    Ren, I agree. Lots of folks are fretting about it, but it’s really only the *data* that is changing. So if we can get MORE accurate data, we’ll be able to make better decisions.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  • Derek November 18, 2010, 6:35 am

    Wow, I did not know that the old one used data from other sources. I thought that the only change is the design. I was using the old one for as long as I could, but now only the new one is available.
    I guess the change you mentioned makes sense, because it is a google adwords tool. It should show take into account only searches made in Google.
    And about the design, it is OK. I just have to get use to it. I still can’t find how to make it show more related queries. The old tool showed so many related keywords and phrases.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 18, 2010, 11:41 am

    Yes, the changes are pretty significant. In my mind they are going to be better and, therefore, more helpful in site analysis.

    New design always has a bit of a learning curve. I mainly use the tool through Market Samurai for my keyword research (among other things). It uses the new tool to pull in data, but it works the same way internally, so no real change for me. I highly recommend the software. Inexpensive and saves me a ton of time.

  • Estava Morioka November 20, 2010, 12:44 pm

    Hi Alison, this is an eye opener for me. I need to start paying attention to keywords because I know mine are highly competitive. Does the old tool still exist, since the new one is only in beta?

    Thanks for educating me on this.
    Read Estava Morioka’s inCREDible post…Chicks with TattoosMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith November 26, 2010, 11:58 am

    Hi, Estava. About a year of testing, the legacy tool was switched off and the new tool became the official Google tool.

  • Pet November 29, 2010, 7:46 am

    Since 99% of my search traffic comes from google I freffer the new tool

  • Raphael Boos December 1, 2010, 4:20 am

    In my opinion the new keyword tool tries to manipulate you. We often used both tools parallel. In the legacy mode for the same query you had much more results and niches. The new version tries to concentrate on fewer keywords, often those that are suggested in a google search and those, that are important for adwords.

    If you do simple cross combinations of a two term keyword A B and B A: in the new tool you will often find only one, e.g A B with traffic and B A without traffic. IN the legacy you found A B and B A, both with traffic.
    Trying both combinations in the search engine has different results in anyway. This means, both terms are relevant. But Google wants us to use only A B.

    I think, through this, in the long term, google tries to concentrate search traffic on fewer terms and receive more revenue with adwords through this. Clickthrough rates in cpc programmes are on a historical low level and for Google it starts to become difficult to get more revenue. Concentrating on fewer keywords is the only possibility to get more revenue with the same customers.

  • Alison Moore Smith December 1, 2010, 1:10 pm

    Raphael, I appreciate your input.

    Search is an interesting market and one of the biggest problems I (and apparently, you) see is that Google has a definite conflict of interest between their services. Always best to take official positions with a grain of salt. You know, caveat emptor and all that.

    On the other hand, if what they say is true, I certainly prefer having stats coming only form Google, given that it’s by far the most used search engine. (Dogpile? Who uses that? The last time I searched HotBot was probably over a decade ago. 🙂 )

    As much as I hate anyone to have utter world domination, I hope Google can stamp out Bing! Microsoft is so territorial and unethical — all in midst of a raft of mediocre products — that I really, really don’t want them to be the master of my search.

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