The Google AdWords Keyword Tool has long been in the toolkit of most search engine marketers, regardless of whether they used Google AdWords. In fact, it was one of the first keyword tools available freely to webmasters in order to find keyword suggestions and build keyword list.
But users using this free tool are now seeing a notice stating that in the coming months the external Keyword Tool will no longer be available. Instead, they are steering users to their new Keyword Planner that they launched earlier this year.
The keyword planner is actually a combination of the Keyword Tool plus the Traffic Estimator, so pay per click advertisers on Google can see not only the suggested keywords but traffic estimates at the same time, along with some other relevant data Google includes.
Unfortunately, a lot of the data that we are used to seeing from the Keyword Tool hasn't been integrated into the Keyword Planner, such as the ad share statistics. Google says they are working on adding a new column to give insight into ad impression share data.
The local search trends and search share columns of also been removed. However, some of the other data has been changed to only be available when you search for specific data or access your historical statistics.
The new Keyword Planner tool is still free for use. However you must have a Google AdWords account, and be logged into that account, in order to use it.
Google launched the new keyword planner tool May 20 and their blog post stated that the sun would be setting on the keyword tool and the traffic estimator in about 60 days. That means the tool could be vanishing in as little as 2 to 3 weeks.
If you aren't signed into Google AdWords, the tool page itself now states: “In the coming months, the external Keyword Tool will no longer be available. To get keyword ideas, sign in to your AdWords account and try Keyword Planner.” So there could be a couple more months before it officially retires.
It's sad to see yet another valuable Google tool go by the wayside. However, since most search marketers have an AdWords account anyway, it shouldn’t be much of an issue for those wanting the data the new Keyword Planner still provides.