Your “New Google Keyword Tool Data” Questions Answered

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working hard on a bunch of new features and updates.

These have included:

We’ve received a lot of questions about these features – and a lot of questions about how the Google keyword data has changed.

This post will answer many of your most frequently asked questions…

Why Were These Changes Made?

For the past 12 months, Google has been working on improving the keyword data that they provide.

During this period, they were running several different keyword tools, including:

  • The old Legacy Google Keyword Tool that most Market Samurai users had come to know and love;
  • A new Beta version of the Google Keyword Tool (with new data);
  • The Google Adwords Traffic Estimator, and;
  • The Google Search Based Keyword Tool.

Roughly one month ago, Google began rolling all of these tools into one – the new Beta Google Keyword Tool.

It meant we could no longer continue to rely on and use the same raw data source Market Samurai had plugged into since it was launched – so to keep Market Samurai running, we began using the new Google Keyword Tool as our main keyword data source.

This change meant both good and bad news for Market Samurai users…

  • The good news was the new Google Keyword Tool provided cleaner, simpler-to-understand data.
  • The bad news – the new Google Keyword Tool was slower, and took longer to generate keyword data.

It’s important to us that Market Samurai users get a better experience from Market Samurai every time they update their copy. So to combat the speed decrease caused by the Google Keyword Tool, we built two new features that sped up Market Samurai – new automatic keyword filtering (based on presets), and faster tables.

The result: analyzing keywords in Market Samurai is now faster than ever, and the data it provides is now even easier to understand.

How Is The New Google Keyword Tool Data Different?

If you’re wondering how Google’s Keyword Data has changed – or why Google’s traffic estimates are now lower – it’s not because your keywords have changed.

(In most cases, there are still roughly the same number of people searching for your keywords this month as there were last month.)

Rather, the change in search volume data is all to do with what searches are included (and not included) in the new traffic estimates.

The Old Keyword Tool…

The old Google Keyword Tool included data from the Google Search Network, in addition to traditional Google searches.

This meant your keyword traffic estimates included searches on Search Network partner sites like:

  • 2nd Tier Search Engines that use Google data – like Ask.com, Lycos.com, Dogpile.com and AOL.com;
  • ISP search engine partnerships – like ComCast.net and VirginMedia.com;
  • Google Properties like Google Blog Search, Google Product Search and Google Maps;
  • And other Google Partner sites like Amazon.com, TripAdvisor.com and About.com.

The New Keyword Tool…

Instead of including this data, the new Google Keyword Tool focusses solely on Google searches – Google.com plus regional Google search engines like Google.co.uk, Google.com.au, etc.

This makes the new data “cleaner” and a lot easier to understand.

And it also means the new data provides “more conservative” estimates of the amount of traffic you’re likely to get from a particular keyword.

If Google’s Search Estimates Are Lower and More Conservative – Do The “4 Golden Rules” Still Apply?

Yes – absolutely!

10,000′s of people used the 4 Golden Rules to build successful sites using the old data.

If the new data is more conservative, then applying the 4 Golden Rules on the new data will filter out even more keywords, and further increase your chances of success.

The fundamentals of the 4 Golden Rules will always stay the same. You’ll always want keywords that:

  1. Are Relevant;
  2. Have Traffic;
  3. Have Commercial Value, and;
  4. Have Low Competition.

What Do I Do If My Old Keywords No Longer Meet The 4 Golden Rules Criteria, Using The New Data?

Don’t worry – even though the data for your keywords might have changed, the actual number of people searching for your keywords will still typically be the same this month as they were last month.

All that has changed is the way that Google is measuring the traffic for those keywords.

So if your old keyword research said your keywords were good, you should listen to it.

Remember: 10,000′s of people used the same old data – and the same 4 Golden Rules filters – to choose keywords and build successful niche sites. Although the system might work better now, it worked very well back then too – so if you already have a site set up, there’s no point throwing away all of your hard work and starting again.

(Tip: You might even consider using the new data to find additional keywords that you can use to add to your site. Usually you’ll get better results when you build on good keywords than starting again with better keywords.)

What About The Old Data – Was It Wrong?

Changes like these always create controversy.

Right now, there’s a camp of people who are saying the old data was wrong – and there’s a camp of people who are saying the new data is wrong.

The truth is, neither set of data is “wrong” – they just used two different methods for measuring and estimating traffic:

  • One based on Google Search Network stats;
  • The other based on Google.com stats.

When it comes to the best data source to use for keyword research data, now that the old Google Keyword Tool has been shut down, the new Google Keyword Tool is the clear winner when it comes to providing the best keyword data.

Although there are other non-Google alternatives – the new Google Keyword Tool is the only Google-owned data source capable of providing the kind of information necessary to do keyword research in the way Market Samurai does – and it’s still the best raw data source available for keyword research (which is why we use it inside Market Samurai.)

I’m Having Trouble Retrieving Data… What Do I Do?

All big software updates create a handful of unexpected bugs.

Fortunately, most of these have already been fixed – however there are still one or two ongoing bugs we’re working hard to stomp.

If you’re not using the latest version of Market Samurai, make sure you update. (All of the most common bugs were solved in recent updates – so getting the latest copy of Market Samurai by logging in above will solve most problems.)

If you’re already using the latest version, and you’re still having trouble with Market Samurai, make sure you get in touch with us via Noble Samurai Support.

Finally – if you previously had trouble with Market Samurai – thanks for your patience and help in support. The feedback, bug reports and log files you sent us were invaluable when it came to tracing the bugs.

We hope this answers your questions about Market Samurai, and the new Google Keyword Tool data.

Brent

P.S. – Today, we added one more feature that I know you’ll love…

Market Samurai now has Weekly and Monthly keyword stats, in addition to the Daily stats that we’ve always offered.

This will make it even easier to compare keywords with very low search statistics (i.e. fewer than 100 searches per month.)