Do you depend on the free Google external keyword tool for your keyword research?
Then this will interest you.
You'll agree with me that the Google external keyword tool is one tool that SEOs and webmasters in general will not want to ignore with a wave of the hand. Despite the fact that there are many paid keyword research tools which you can use to do a faster job when doing keyword research the Google external keyword tool is simply a darling, whether you are an experienced or a newbie SEO!
Personally, I'm a big advocate of this keyword research tool. My preference for it is not because it is the best in the market but for the simple reason that Google, being the biggest and most popular search engine on the net right now, have more data that you can use for your keyword selection.
This fact is attested to by the many paid and free keyword research tools that use data from the external keyword tool.
So, you can imagine my surprise when, a couple of days ago while doing keyword research for the ongoing niche site challenge I saw something that caught my attention. Right on the keyword tool page there is this notice:
"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."
And what more?
Google wants you to create a Google Adwords account and try their Keyword Planner if you want to have access to the keyword tool!
As you do know a Google Adwords account points to one thing, spending some money on Google's Pay Per Click (PPC) program which means you'll need to make some money for Google as an advertiser! You can say Google's business acumen at play again!
Ok, for now you don’t need to spend money as a Google advertiser for you have a Google AdWords account. If you have a Gmail account (and who don't have one these days when Google has tactically propelled us to have a Google plus profile?) you can login with that info right now and have access to the Keyword Planner for free.
But the question is, for how long will Google keep it open to everyone for free?
That is definitely a question that will be answered in nearest future. And please note that in that notice, Google said, "sign in to your AdWords account and TRY Keyword Planner." (EMPHASIS MINE!) But that actually appears to be telling us that we are only trying out the tool, something else may be coming!
The External Keyword Tool vs The Keyword Planner!
It will interest you to know that the Google external keyword tool and the Keyword Planner don't actually work the same. While you will be able to still conduct your keyword research within the keyword planner, the purpose of that keyword research within the Keyword Planner is focused on anticipating demand for topics related to your products and services. This means you will need to take some different approach when running a keyword research with that tool.
Additionally, the Keyword Planner can also help you research your keyword ideas while giving you the ability to estimate the potential traffic.
In this regard one will say Google is now giving us more, since you can use the insights from the Keyword Planner to optimize your existing website, blog and social content as well as inspire new content topics.
But again, the question is: will Google give all these for free forever? While I cannot answer that question with a definite "yes" or "no" I think we may yet receive some more news from Google about this in the coming months!
But then we can rightly say right now, RIP Google Reader and to the Google external keyword tool we may say, may this not be your death toll!
Happy 4th of July, America!
Before signing off, let me use this opportunity to wish our American friends, brothers and sisters a happy 4th of July celebrations. As you celebrate the declaration of Independence and look forward to the fireworks my happy wishes are with you. Have a happy celebration!
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Over to You: So, what do you think of Google pulling out the external keyword research tool? Do you think this is another way of Google trying to make some more money from SEOs? If Google turn around to put a restriction on the use of the keyword tool wanting only paid advertisers to use it will you gladly pay to use it? Please share your views in your comments below.