A while ago I reviewed a ton of keyword research tools, but most of them are lacking in serious user data, which makes them top heavy, and forces people to only see the most common terms.
For the longest time it seemed as though Google was uncomfortable sharing some of their search data, afraid to give competitors the inside scoop, but that is no more. Google recently launched a new Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool [you have to be logged in for the link to work & it may not be available in all accounts yet], which is much more usable than their older Google AdWords Keyword Sandbox.
Features of this tool include:
- Keyword list sorting. Sort the results of your keyword search by popularity, performance history within the AdWords system, cost, and predicted ad position.
- Easy keyword manipulation. Select a few keywords here and there, or add them all at once. Keywords already present in your Ad Group will be marked so that you don't have to worry about them. You can also download your keyword list as a .csv file.
- Search for keywords in three ways. Use keywords you enter, your existing high clickthrough rate keywords, or any webpage URL for your search. You can also expand your keyword search even further to include pages linked to from the original URL. (Note: Site-related keyword searching is currently only available for English language users.)
- More keyword results based on regularly updated statistics. Our advanced search engine technology allows us to provide you with the latest information on potential keywords for your campaigns.
Google also has tips on how to use the tool. I am not sure how well this tool interfaces with their API, but automating keyword selection based on Google's usage data and extracting meaning from page content makes the market a hell of a lot more efficient, especially for large advertisers willing to pay a bit extra for branding. The new tool also makes it easy for newbies to quickly build out targeted keyword lists. Google also has put Google Suggest in their toolbar, which allows them to sell better targeted ads than searches on broad generic terms would, and also helps consolidate the less common search queries (misspellings, etc.) to fewer overall phrases and more predictible patterns (since the search term suggestions are going to be based off of past popular searches). All of these will lead to Google being able to increase their profit margin per search. Combine that with the recent toolbar bundling and the numbers are looking up for Google.
This new keyword tool allows you to:
- tap Google's userbase to select keywords based on past searches
- create keywords from a URL, site, keywords you enter, or the most relevant terms in your account (as determined by CTR)
- shows estimated bid costs and rank based on your bid price
- show advertiser competition and search volume
- makes it easy to manipulate data from any of the sources and add them to a master list
- export terms via CSV (here is an example list for the keyword search SEO)
- From the few terms I looked at their API keyword search volumes are also pretty close to what the AdWords advertisers are seeing.
So long as Google stays ahead of their competition on the technology front, keeps doing an amazing job on the plublicity front, and finances pumping rapidly evolving spam into the competing search networks the search game is pretty well won IMHO.
I think the only thing that can stop them at this point is if they let another network spring up which makes its users feel like they are making the web a better place by searching there.
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