Google Keyword Tool: New Data, same old Smoke

A recent update to the AdWords keyword tool has caused a lot of excitement amoung search marketers, and certainly the introduction of search volume figures (as opposed to an indicator) is welcome.

The Good News

The granularity of data has increased significantly. Rather than measuring on a scale of 1 to 10, we now get from 16 (the lowest I have found so far) to tens of millions and everything in between.

The change does, in my view, make the Google keyword tool better than any other out there.

But I am still Hacked Off

Having compared data with a good few of our AdWords campaigns, it just does not seem to make full sense. The tool seems to over inflate some queries and shrink others.

Google has always done its best to restrict search volume data through “smoothing” type algorithms to make the data pretty much meaningless for all but the most frequently searched queries.

Whilst the new data is a huge improvement it still has this word “approximate” associated with search volume as well as the occasional appearance of “insufficient data”.

Surely if you are reporting figures from last month, then it’s simply a case of reporting what people searched for? In which case there should be no need to be in any way “approximate” about it. And whats the occasional appearance of “insufficient data” about?

I have to interpret this as implying that some sort of masking algorithm is still at work. Much as we love them, Google just don’t seem to be able to let go.

The Attacat Mandate for a Better Keyword Tool

  1. Show actual recorded search volumes, just like the Overture tool used to do. No approximations/blurring/muddying/bs please.
  2. No “Insufficient Data search volumes” it was either searched on or it wasn’t.
  3. Accept that many advertisers are interested in phrases getting very low search volumes often they are commercial gold dust.
  4. Give the researcher more ability to control the results that come back ֖ sometimes I want to use the tool as a brainstorming tool in which case I don’t mind the suggesting and filtering that goes on currently. At other times I want to know about all the sub phrases of a phrase (in the same way that the Overture keyword tool used to work) to help me structure my Ad Groups effectively and ensure our clients end up with top performing campaigns. (This could be as simple as making match types work intuitively).
  5. Optional Extra – Show search volumes for different match types for us geeks.

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