Search Based Keyword Tool - What's New & Improved?

November 19, 2008

What is new and improved? Isn't the search-based keyword tool, reported by really the same as the adwords keyword tool we are already familiar with?

First off, it must be noted that there was a significant update to Google Adwords Editor, which now has a "keyword opportunities" tab, another name for the keyword tool. We have tried this keyword tool within Editor, and it works seamlessly. Our only complaint... it does NOT support adding Negative keywords, a glaring oversight imho, as negative keywords are the heart and soul of a successful adgroup.

When searching for "keyword opportunities" you can now prefilter the results, by competition, monthly searches, ect... this not really that new, as the old tool showed you these stats and you then could sort columns according to your preference before adding keywords. Not really new.

What may be new to the keyword tool is the data set and integration into the tool? "leveraging search query data relevant to..." For those sites that are using the free google analtyics service... their data will most likely be pooled into this dataset, for reuse by your competitors. It has been said that this phenomenon is a "cannibalizing tool", effective to help your competitors find your valuable keyword data and push up bid prices, helping out google. No one is forcing you to use GA. You may wish to consider using private analytics services, that are not too expensive, for your tracking needs. I've had good experience with pmetrics, and hittail. "Your competitors won't have access to your keyword lists. The Search-based Keyword Tool cannot be used by your competitors to obtain information that appears within your AdWords account" The dataset is an aggregate, yes, but when used in your niche, it is gold, even if you can't "get inside" a specific competitors adwords account.

"The main difference between the Search-based Keyword Tool and the Keyword Tool currently in AdWords is that the former generates keyword ideas based on your website, and identifies those currently not being used in your AdWords account." Is this really a change? Didn't the keyword tool, when used within your adwords account, notify you of keywords that were already in your adgroup?

"(Ad share) Frequency with which an ad for your website appeared for a given query. (Search share) Frequency with which your ad appeared in the first page of search results." are interesting new metrics shown in the new search based keyword tool. Until now, this data was only available on an account, campaign or adgroup level using the reporting features. This is certainly new and interesting information, available at the keyword level. The metrics available in reporting are called: impression share IS, lost impression share due to rank (lost IS Rank), and lost impression share due to budget (Lost IS Budget). These new metrics are called "ad share", and "search share", similiar terms, but informing us the reason, eg. rank or budget, behind the data.

*Also, note that the new tool is only available for US or UK advertisers.

The level of detail search is certainly advanced, take a look at this:
It is now possible to generate keywords based keyword position in the page you are querying, ie. in metatitle only, in keyword only, or in both keyword and page title (the default setting). If you wanted to use the tool with more specificity you may wish to target in page title only. This capability was certainly NOT available with the old keyword tool.

"we encourage you to sign in with your AdWords login information so that you view results directly customized to the websites you're advertising through AdWords. If you're signed in with your AdWords login information, then the URLs for which you advertise will be shown in a dropdown menu. Choose the website you're interested in". "When you sign in, the Search-based Keyword Tool will base its results on your website, examine the keywords you're already using, and filter out any potential duplicates so that it only recommends new keyword ideas.The beta search based keyword tool requires that you be logged into your adwords account. I see that if I am logged in with my MCC account, which handles mutiple child accounts, that this tool will "not recognize" my child accounts, a minor bug, but an important one, as I do not know my child accounts login and password information.

Currently the tool is in Beta, but we can assume it will eventually replace the existing keyword tool within our adwords accounts.

Return here for updates, and join in the comments/conversation, thanks.

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