More threads by Linda Buquet

I finally got around to testing this. I've been using adwords for years for some campaigns. Ultimately I always thought adwords itself is the absolutely best keyword tool around for a local campaign for several reasons:

1. You can define a precise geographic region
2. You can use both exact match for keywords [ ] if the exact phrase is hartford dentist you will know exactly how many searches there were for that specific phrase.
3. If you use broad match for hartford dentist your ads will show for a lot of variations.
4. If you wish to know exactly how many searches and impressions there are for the specific phrase and broad variations you can click on the details button for keywords.

Even with all that Google doesn't report everything...but it gets darned close.

I've compared my traffic, and impressions from adwords against a lot of other tools and google trends and webmaster tools.

Adwords by far gives the most granular and specific detail.

But the old adwords keyword tool used to be murky/not specific

Before google made this update with the adword tool it used to give pretty non specific data. On the key issue, which Linda has pointed out didn't present data with such precision.

If you used the old adwords tool and inputted hartford dentist and dentist hartford google would give you an estimate for both and the estimate would be the same.

But we know that rarely occurs. Usually one variation of service/city or city/service dominates.

This version of the tool is better it gives the details

The tool now differentiates between the different variations. That is great info. After all we want to know which phrase is used most often, which used 2nd, and so on. Google is finally telling us in the tools itself, not just within an adwords campaign.

I tested the tool against my own campaigns

This was the most telling information of all. I have some campaigns that are based on geo regions within adwords and within the tool. They align perfectly. I run some campaigns, 24/7 with big budgets. We tend not to miss keywords b/c of lack of budget.

The tool gave the same data as does adwords for select time periods!!!!!

Google is giving us a tool with precise data (that is if adwords itself is precise).

Precise or not its the closest to actual I've seen over many years trying out all sorts of tools.

What if I wanted to start a campaign from scratch?

That still takes a lot of work. I need keyword tools to get the critical phrases and variations. Fortunately I believe that variations on phrases with the use of geo modifiers is pretty consistent; city/town name, service or product in city, city first, city 2nd, etc.

You still want all the variations on a phrase; plumber, plumbers, plumbing and all the variations. The tools will get you there but it takes some work.

If I'm building a site from scratch I do want to hone in on the number 1 phrase. Then I want to try and be strong for the variations...and this keyword tool gives you an idea about the strength of the variations.

One way to test everything is after you have chosen keywords test them specifically. Add them into the keyword list. Add them with exact match and broad match. Try some different scopes of geography; maybe just the city, maybe the metro region if its a city location, maybe add some suburban towns that lie outside the city but aren't too far out. Lots of ways to test it.


For two campaigns I tested name branding for our smb's and the biggest competitors. BOY isn't that great info. If there are twenty or more name brands in a region maybe it doesn't mean much...but if there are a few it could mean a lot.

I tested these keyword phrases, with the discovery phrases and I varied geographies.

Why is Google doing this NOW???

I think google has had this data for a long time and could have presented it earlier. I think they chose not to. One enormous difference that I just saw relative to my tests and a couple of different time periods:

I tested an smb with pretty consistent rankings on certain very high volumes of keywords over several years. The site also ranks highly for those keywords. I've also run adwords consistently for that smb over the years.

So I looked at data for 2 different 6 month periods: One was the most recent and the other was a period before google started using "not provided".

I checked total google search volume plus added a reasonably good estimate for direct traffic that has been coming from Apple Mobile using the IOS6 which has until recently blocked all data and basically reported everything as DIRECT. (before the IOS6 our Iphone traffic was 75-80% google search. Now its a pittance of that data.

For one of the keyword phrases (its the one with highest volume impressions)...and where we have had pretty consistently strong rankings.....we were showing 20% of the organic google traffic than we did before "not provided" and the Apple direct blocks occurred.

For two other high volume, high impression phrases we saw drops of 1/3 and 30% for reported organic traffic.

Those are big drops. Frankly I think google is confident enough that they have so obscured keyword data, and are probably seeing an increasing percentage of users signed into google and thereby further blocking organic search results that now they can provide very granular detailed granular adwords data inside the TOOLS that they didn't provide before.

As David Mihm has said..."its google's world". and it is.

Regardless the new adword planner is very detailed, informative and from my research seems to tap directly into current adwords impressions data to provide very informative information.

Its a worthwhile tool with lots of valuable information...and best of all it seems to be presenting very real relevant data that you can't get elsewhere.

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