Google Keyword Tool Has Officially Been Replaced By Keyword Planner

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google keyword tool

The Google Keyword Tool, used by SEO professionals the world over, has officially been retired. While the sentiments regarding this change have been mixed, there are positive and negative aspects to being forced to use the Keyword Planner instead of the Keyword Tool.

Google themselves explains that the Keyword Tool no longer being available is a result of the Keyword Planner having the combined functionality of the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator. They have even added new functionality. Here are the other key positives and negatives of this change.

Positives Of The Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner allows local SEO and SEM professionals to get keyword search volume data at city level with better geographic segmentation and the ability to bundle geographic regions.

Users are able to upload up to 10,000 keywords from their own list to get performance data. Keyword Planner will show search volumes by ad group, landing page and any other categorization set by the user.

Negatives Of The Keyword Planner

Unlike the Keyword Tool, the Keyword Planner forces users to login to an AdWords account in order to use it.

The Keyword Planner has no match type data for search volume, no device targeting, and no global vs. local monthly searches. At this time the option to filter by closely related search terms is gone, but Google says it will be brought back in the coming weeks.

In regards to match types and device types being eliminated from search volume data, Google had this to say:

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.

How do you feel about the Keyword Tool being replaced by Keyword Planner? Will you get used to it or look for other tools to use for your keyword research?

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • John Bonds

    Can’t believe they actually made it mandatory to use this tool. They atl east allow options, I mean we are in the USA.

  • Kamilah Beltran

    I compared some previous searches I performed with the Google Keyword Tool and I see a major discrepancy. A particular phrase I search on before had 18,000 searches and now only shows 70. I’m going to have to figure the difference between the Tool and the Planner. So far I’m not sure I’m liking it.:(

    • Suki

      I’ve had the same thing happen. I had done a bunch of keyword research, putting the results into a spreadsheet for future reference. I’ve since gone back and tested a few keywords using Planner and the results are very different. Gosh, what a pain.

    • Tom Brewer

      Anyone figured out the answer to this? I’m having the same issues!

  • Dan Vernon

    The ability to drill down into local data is a welcome new feature but I’m puzzled why they’d get rid of device targeting. With one hand Google giveth…

  • Aniket Chaubey

    Hi Matt,

    Do you confirm Google keyword Planner show the exact result of locally or globally?

  • Dan Horton SEO

    As with all Google changes this will take some getting used to. I’m not certain the data set is right yet for keyword numbers. However, they fact that Google have implemented such an update means there will be more to come for keyword discovery.

  • Zac Lloyd

    I guess we don’t have any other choice to get used using Keyword Planner. As Kamilah mentioned, I’ve also noticed totally different number of for certain keywords and it’s not as so functional as keyword tool

  • Richard Marsh

    Having used the keyword tool on a more than regular basis, I can safely say I’m not impressed with the keyword planner. Well done Google, yet something else I don’t like.

  • Ros

    The most important results for me are exact match search volumes. From what you say, the figures will be inaccurate in this area and will show much higher results. So what’s happening with ‘long tail’ keywords? In the Google answer above, these match type choices are not addressed, just devices. I’m not happy… far!

  • Jomer Gregorio

    When I first used it few weeks ago. I too became confused about it. But even though we don’t like this update. We don’t have a choice but to adapt to this change.

  • Chris

    I hate it. The search volumes are highly undervalued. I checked the search volume given against what I am currently getting and the “real” results are far more than the ones given in the keyword planner. Not sure if the volume is calculated by the amount of clicks to the top ad placement, but a possible reasoning. Therefore, it is not a reflection of the amount of traffic going to the organic listings.

    I personally think that SEMRush gives more accurate search volume. I just grab my competitors site and then check the keywords that they are getting traffic from….also giving me the search volume.

    Once again…..Google hating down on SEOs.

  • jeffrey Magner

    This tool might be great for adwords campaigns, but it’s a complete mess for SEO only purposes. Can someone please point me to a good SEO keyword research tool? Google’s is now CRAP.

    I experimented with the local area geographic segmentation aspect of the tool. In other words, how many people in Denver and surrounding cities were searching for a specific phrase. But clearly this is broken. The results showed all sorts of cities – Atlanta, Philadelphia, Raleigh, NC….etc…

    Unfortunately this appears to be another buggy half-baked Google update. Yikes.

  • freedom4kaz

    The new Keyword planner SUCKS!! The number of relevance to word searches is drastically difference. The program is harder to use and not very user friendly. It seems GOOGLE likes to make things harder for users. Even the new YouTube format sucks!! Hey GOOGLE, stop trying to reinvent the wheel. The tools were great, just the way they were!!

  • Channarith HUN

    It a very good new KW tool, easier and better than previous KW tools .

  • Mit

    Google only shows one search volume now and the numbers are insanely different form the numbers in the old tool. This makes me wonder if Google has been giving me bad data for many years, or if their new data is trustworthy. I just hate Google more with every change they make.

  • Jay Mason

    This clearly shows Google’s deliberate move to try to coerce people into paid for adword campaigns instead of natural SEO. Despite the fact that google exists and grew initially because of natural search – without natural search it would not have the opportunity to generate revenue from adword campaigns. Google has long put rehetoric forth that natural search will always be their priority as the main search function, but they have been steadily making move after move to make SEO harder and adwords easier. The Keyword planner is predictably generally more limited in functionality for SEO professionals and they’re should be a revolt against it. The modus operendi of Google is now very different from the ethos that originally grew Google out of a garage operation – but lazy greedy Google corporate executives who had nothing to do with the pioneering and more humanitarian nature of the original google, really don’t care about any of that. If you don’t like what Google is doing, don’t use it. If everybody revolted and used other networks, then Google would be forced to respond accordingly. But at the moment its predictably operating like the monopoly it is. The keyword planner is comparatively crap compared to the keywood tool, and Google knows it!

  • Mebel Jepara

    But even though we don’t like this update. We don’t have a choice but to adapt to this change.

  • Steve Lucas

    Google is notorious for taking something that works perfectly fine that people like and then changing it. Look what they did to gmail. They decided that we were all too stupid to sort our own mail. Now, they have taken away a tool that most of us liked and replaced it with a piece of shit that nobody likes. Makes you wonder…in all their wisdom…what they will do next. Me personally? It sucks and I will not use it. I will go back to a paid tool if I have to.

  • Keith Schilling

    Would be nice if they broke out mobile into the various devices, or at least top 3, for targetting. Mobile is exploding, they’ve got the data, they should put it to good use and let us get more relevant numbers to target them.

  • Search Engine Pro

    I’ve been trying to warm up to Keyword Planner, but still don’t care for this combined tool for a few reasons:

    – Google again forcing users into their way or they highway situation
    – Keyword Tool was great for gathering exact match keyword data (quick and simple) and keyword ideas
    – I’ve save hundreds of queries over the past couple of years… Keyword Planner data does not come close
    – Fewer results, based on historical data I’ve compiled over several years

    This is clearly not a clean integration of two tools…I hope Google offers users the ability to just use the old keyword tool.

  • Kursi Tamu Jati

    good tools kw, thank for sharing

  • Bhavik Vyas

    After reading this. I opened the keyword planner tool.i think its hard to evaluate the parameters locally.
    feature like broad, exact match filters are gone.