Updated Keyword ToolGoogle is notorious for providing its users with free web-based products like Gmail, Google Music, Google Docs and the brand new Photovine.  While all these innovative Google products are robust, user friendly and easy to use, the Google tool that I use most frequently for pay-per-click (PPC) account creation and keyword research is the Google Keyword Tool.  This little gem of a tool allows me to plug in a specific list of words or phrases that I think people might be searching on.  Once the list is searched, I  can see keyword data on competition, global and local monthly searches, approximate CPC and lots more.  Google has recently made an update to the free Keyword Tool that was much needed and greatly appreciated.  Users are now allowed to search 2500 keywords and phrases at a time, a HUGE increase from the previous limit of only 100 keywords.

Why is this so great you ask?  Well, I begin my keyword research with root words and descriptive words.  For example, let’s say I am building a new campaign for a company that sells colored hanging file folders.  They have 20 different colors of folders and they can be called hanging file(s), hanging folder(s) or hanging file folder(s).  To begin the keyword research for this project, I would use an excel formula to create every possible variation of each color with each root word (yellow hanging file, yellow hanging files, yellow hanging folder, yellow hanging folders, hanging file yellow, hanging files yellow, hanging folder yellow, hanging folders yellow, etc.).  With 20 colors and 4 root words, this would give me a list of 160 possible search terms to research using Google’s Keyword Tool.  With the old tool I would need to paste the first 100 words in, star the ones with advertiser competition and/or search traffic, then paste the remaining 60 words and do the same thing.  With the new tool I can paste the entire list in one easy step – which is great!

Once I have several hundred keywords starred in the Keyword Tool, there is a “More like these” option which allows me to search for terms that are similar to the ones I have already chosen to star.  In the previous version of Google’s Keyword Tool I would only get search results for the first 100 keywords that I had starred, which was an inconvenience.  I would have to download the list, break it down into groups of 100 keywords and perform multiple searches again and again to get potentially great keyword suggestions for my new account.  With the new version, as long as my starred keywords do not exceed 2500, the Keyword Tool will provide me similar search terms for all of my starred keywords.  Hooray!

Another update to the tool that is worth noting is the “Group by” feature.  By default the Keyword Tool is set to “Group by None” but if you click on the dropdown, you can choose “Similarity to search terms” and the most pertinent words (keywords that include search terms) will show up grouped together below the search terms, but above the related keyword suggestions.  This is great for weeding through the hundreds of irrelevant keywords that the Keyword Tool often provides.

All in all, the Google Keyword Tool is getting better each and every time there is an update.  I am excited to see how it will progress through the rest of this year and beyond.  Keep up the good work Google!