Where Is The Google AdWords Keyword Tool?

Posted by Carol on 7/04/14 11:19 AM

Mid last year, Google retired its keyword tool.

It was replaced by a new tool - the Keyword Planner.

Don't be fooled - although they sound the same, the keyword planner is quite different.

Some things you need to know:

  • You now need to have a Google AdWords account to access the keyword planner
  • You can no longer target key phrases by device
  • Search trends only show trends that correspond with your location settings - previously it showed this along with global trends
  • You will no longer see local search trends

Some of the pros and cons of the keyword planner are:


  • Simpler and cleaner interface
  • You can now see search volumes at a more local level - in Australia, previously you could only see search volume at a country level - not state. This is a great bonus for local business.
  • The keyword planner divides keywords into suggested ad groups. Whilst these are not always the most appropriate, it gives insight into the words Google think are semantically related
  • You can search by category - this may help you uncover keywords you may not have thought about. 
  • You can now use to keyword data to get traffic estimates - the keyword tool and traffic estimator have now been combined
  • You can now multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas


  • No ability to understand  differences in search patterns between desktop and mobile devices - device targeting is now gone. With increasing searches on mobile and the rise of mobile apps this is an issue.
  • Less visibility on potential traffic for different keyword match types - the ability to select broad and phrase match keywords has been removed.
  • Average monthly data is calculated over a 12 month period - so this is not the place to get local search trends.

In some ways there is less functionality and in others there is more.

Have you used the keyword planning tool? Do you like it better? Feel free to comment below.

Personally I preferred the old tool because it gave me more granular data on match type keyword volume which was handy for calculating potential search volume for AdWords.  However, I do like the ability to see search volume at a city level.

The keyword planning tool certainly giveth but it also taketh.


Topics: PPC & AdWords

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