Hey! Who Broke The Google Adwords Keyword Tool?

That’s what I said when I logged-into the Google Adwords Keyword Tool around the time that Google released Instant Search. Since I use the GAWKT daily I could pretty quickly see that something had changed. At first I thought it was the impact of Google Instant – for a moment I thought maybe the sky was falling! After pinging a few other SEO geeks I got to the bottom of it – Google had removed other search engines and returns only Google search volume…although we don’t really know for sure.

DotSauce wrote a great piece today about the changes to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Google Explains Sudden Drop in Global and Local Monthly Search Volume Data. They cite Google’s comment on the issue which I think is important to point-out, in its usual Google mystery-talk:

“Statistics in these columns are now based on Google.com search traffic only. Previously, they also included traffic from search partners.”

What does Google mean by “Search Partners” – the truth is we’re not really sure. If you know exactly who these partners were let me know! Otherwise I think we have another great Google mystery on our hands. However, at the same time, now we do have the most clean data to analyze Google’s search volume so there’s definitely a positive here.

Now for those that watch MorganLinton.tv I know you’ll probably want to know how my metrics have changed. Normally I look for domains with an exact match search volume between 1,000 – 10,000. However now 1,000 – 10,000 means something completely different so I’m back in my labs coming-up with a new formula.

No matter what really happened we now know that the Google Adwords Keyword Tool is only showing traffic from Google. While your favorite keyword may have taken a beating just remember it’s a whole new world now where 50,000 is as impressive as 500,000 was in some cases! To put things in perspective imagine if you went back in time to 1880 and bought a house, chances are it would be less than the price of a used car now, however that’s because the value of money has changed.

Traffic is money right? It’s Google’s currency, and for traffic hunters like me I have to quickly adapt and determine how to best use this new data! So don’t panic, your traffic isn’t gone, however now you know how much of your traffic came from Google, and how much came from their “partners” whoever they are.

P.S. Hello to all my European blog readers – this post is done with your Friday morning in mind. Since I know that I have readers all over the world I’m working hard to provide content and times that work for my entire audience!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton