A Google Adwords Overview From The User’s Perspective

Who hasn’t used the Google Adwords keyword research tools? Let’s face it, the SEO industry seeks to satiate the top dog in search – that, of course, is Google. What better way to execute Google keyword analysis than through the tool they provide (for free…which is awesome). Despite the ubiquitousness of this tool in search engine marketing, the recent introduction of a new beta version deserves a fresh Google Adwords overview.

Old Google Adwords Keyword Tool Brings Simplicity & Familiarity

The “old” Adwords (or “previous interface” as Google calls it) is simple – you plug your information into one of two boxes, depending on how you want to turn out keywords.

One method requires that you plug in a list of descriptive terms or phrases you have collected and Google spits out a list of related keywords.

You can also enter in a URL or existing content from a site and allow Google to identify keywords based on your copy. From that list, Google Adwords generates related keywords.

Either way, you are left with a list of keywords accompanied by “the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google;” local search volume that dates for one month of the most recent data Google has for your country and language; and global search volume that dates back 12 months and includes search data from all of Planet Earth.

You can also refine your search by selecting how closely the results should match your initial entry (exact, broad, etc.).

Google’s New Keyword Research Tool: More Functionality. Results?…meh

Sometimes when a major presence on the web rolls out a new interface or new functionality to an existing popular tool or service, it seems like it’s mostly a facelift – superficial alterations without substantial change.

That being said, the relatively new verison of Google Adwords looks a hell of a lot different. For starters, the new Google Adwords has a much deeper slate of advanced search options, including: location & languages; mobile network stats; traffic estimation to help gauge PPC budgets; and you can filter the keyword results by setting upper or lower limits on variables like local monthly searches, global searches, competition, etc.

In terms of results, Google isn’t really throwing us a whole lot of new information – just presenting it differently. Stripped down the left of the interface is a Categories section, which highlights which general categories and subcategories your results fall into. Under that is a section labeled “Contains,” which breaks down how many times certain phrases appear in your results. Keywords are listed with an option to view search trends for each phrase with Google Insights for Search.

The best part about the new version of Google Adwords keyword research tool is how you can download results.

The old version almost forced you to parse through results after you had downloaded the whole data set. The new version allows you to select which keywords you want and download only those.

In other words, the selection process happens on site, rather than in Excel. The only slightly annoying part is that when you download results from the new version, you get global search tallies from each month for the past year, along with local search results and some other supplemental data.

Let’s Get Down To The Nitty-Gritty Of This Google Adwords Overview

Actual results from each version differ pretty widely when searching for the same key phrase. The difference is most notable when performing a “broad” search. Frankly, it’s like looking at two different lists. My feeling is that the list of broad results from the old version of Google Adwords is a little fuller and more satisfying. An exact search turns out two different lists, but not nearly as far apart as a broad search. Why? I don’t know. My inner-nerd was pushed to its limits by the first paragraph of this post.

Bottom-line on this Adwords overview – the new Google Adwords keyword research tool is flashier and has a few more options than the old interface. Honestly, I generally use the old tool. It’s more familiar….and change scares me.

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