Major Differences in Search Counts between Old and New Google Keywords Tool

I began getting several emails last week from people who were seeing dramatic shifts in the search counts on the newly updated interface for the Google Adwords Keywords Tool (GAKT) for their target phrases.

I’ve had an opportunity to check it out and I can confirm that the folks at Google messed it up big time with the previous Keywords analysis tool. Especially for those who’ve been relying on the reported monthly search count numbers as the primary driver in deciding to pursue a specific niche market segment, which is pretty much 99.9% of all Internet Marketers.

It now appears that the previous GAKT interface overestimates the monthly search count numbers by a fairly significant margin over the results from the new interface. Incidentally, the new interface was just rolled out two weeks ago and can be found at:

http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.

To view the old interface, with the botched search counts, you can click the link in the top right hand corner labeled “Previous Interface“.

So what does this mean?

For one, take the numbers with a grain of salt, or perhaps a boulder if you are still blithely using the legacy interface to gauge search traffic.

For another, it gives a major credibility hit to the engineers at Google, who most surely had to know that the reported search count numbers were not sound in reality. Especially when they could have easily cross checked them with their own internal data logs for even the most basic accuracy calibration. Why there was a disconnect of this magnitude is beyond my comprehension at a company with as skilled a resource base as Google, but speculation abounds and you can certainly draw conclusions on your own.

Bottom line, when estimating the monthly search count numbers, by now you should know that using the old interface for anything other than perhaps exact match domain name lookups is pointless. Use the newer interface and only search on Exact match to take as conservative measure of the numbers as possible.

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