Published: 16/10/2013

Updated: 15/01/2024

Keyword Planner vs. Keyword Tool

The Keyword Tool widely used by online marketers was officially replaced by the new product – Keyword Planner on 28th of August. As Google representatives state, Keyword Planner which combines the functions of Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator, was developed with the purpose of making the process of creating new ad groups and ad campaigns easier for advertisers. So generally speaking, the new tool is supposed to bring even more benefits to online marketers than the Keyword Tool.

However, the new invention got its opponents as well as supporters so far. Certainly, it anyway takes some time to get used to the new tool and to get through the initial period of acquaintance when the drawbacks of the new product are given special attention. But for now, let’s take an objective look at the main advantages and disadvantages of the new tool.

Great news for some companies is that Keyword Planner allows selecting not only countries as targeted areas but separate regions and cities as well. Such an option is especially beneficial for those who are interested in local targeting. Note that “local monthly searches” and “global monthly searches” columns have been removed and replaced by “average monthly searches” column that is automatically related to the specific targeted region. Accordingly, “global monthly searches” option is still available by targeting all the locations.

It is possible to generate search volume, performance and cost data for up to 10000 keywords uploaded as CSV file and up to 1000 keywords entered manually. Keyword filtering options are available with Google Keyword Planner that allow detailed selection of the keywords to be included in the PPC account. There is an option to choose keywords based on average CPC, estimated search volume, keyword competition and some other factors.

There are also more methods for keyword ideas search in Keyword Planner. It allows searching for ideas relevant to the keywords or the landing page that you give in or you may simply select one of thousands of product categories.

As for disadvantages, it is impossible to get traffic estimates by device type with Keyword Planner. The search volume displayed includes the search volume not only for desktop and laptop computers but for tablets and mobile devices as well and is accordingly, higher compared to the search volume displayed in Keyword Tool. Hopefully, as Google representatives have stated, the problem will be solved in the near future.

Search volume data can only be processed for “exact” match type although Keyword Tool displayed data for “broad” or “phrase” match type as well. There are also some changes in language settings. If Keyword Tool would adjust the search volumes to the targeted region, Keyword Planner simply eliminates all the terms that do not relate to the chosen language what means that even some commonly used words may fall out of the list if they originally do not belong to the chosen language.

Certainly, whether the Keyword Planner is an improved version of Keyword Tool or not depends on the individual preferences of each user. But everything taken into account, it seems that Google made a good attempt to provide the online advertisers with better options for keyword and ad group ideas search. Moreover, an integrated wrapper gives the possibility for combining different keywords. Although the combination is strictly one-directional, it is still a nice feature that may save the users’ time.

Author: Ortwin Oberhauser

BSc Applied Computer Science
SEM / SEO & Conversion Optimization Geek

Founder of
Co Founder of International Film & Digital Solution Agency
film production . web design . app & web development data driven performance search & social media marketing ai and search engine content & visibility optimization conversion optimizing . datacenter for web data analytics
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