Posted April 27, 2009 10:45 am by with 12 comments

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By Peter Young

It seems Google is in a state of flux. Not a day goes by when there isn’t something new to play around with on some part of the Google playground. With many other channels seeing significant changes it hasn’t come as a surprise therefore that Google rolled out a number of improvements to the Keyword Tool interface. The previous options have been replaced with two columns, one for local search volume for the previous month and one for global search volume:

The newly added Local Search Volume column provides data “specific to your targeted country and language as well as your selection from the Match Type drop-down”, whilst the global monthly search volume provides “traffic in all countries and languages and is specific to your selection from the Match Type drop-down menu”.

It should be added that there still seem to be some issues with the feedback of the system itself not only with the accuracy of the figures which in my opinion has always been an issue with the tool, but more specifically with the fact that in may cases the tool appeared to bring greater figures back for the local search results than that of the global search volumes

With improvements being made across the board all the time, I can’t help thinking this could be one of a number of improvements to tools such as this, particularly given the significant amount of data already available from profiling tools such as the AdPlanner and the Search Based Query Tool.

Peter Young is the SEO Manager for MediaVest in Manchester, blogging regularly for the Holistic Search Marketing blog

  • I really liked this because you know how much you will probably get from your own country. Especially when you have a Blog like mine. I’m thinking there aren’t too many other countries that are interested in American baseball rumors. But I’m happy the keywords tool has finally added this.

    MLB Trade Rumors’s last blog post..Sox win 10th straight, sweeping Yanks

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  • Why would global numbers be less than local numbers for some keywords?

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Brain to Text Has Arrived For Twitter [Electroencephalogram]

  • I actually think this is a backward step from Google. It’s not giving us more info, it’s giving less. Local and global search volumes were always available in the tool (altho not side by side, you would have to choose “all countries” and then your country. But at least before it gave you last month, and then a 12 month average for your region. Now you just get last month’s volume locally, which quite frankly sucks when you have seasonal keywords. And it’s not a direct comparison to a global 12 month average anyway.

    @Jaan: Incidentally, this is the answer to your question too – the local column shows last month’s data whereas the global is the 12 month average – so sometimes you see a spike in the last month even locally that is bigger than the global average over a year.

    Maybe I’ve no right to complain – after all its only just gone six months since google started giving search volumes at all (before it was relative bar graphs) – but I just don’t understand this move to give less data…

    Jaamit’s last blog post..Watch This Space!

  • I agree with Jaamit, I think this is a step backwards and I’ve already sent my feedback to Google.

    At a local level, you can no longer see if last months average was a spike in traffic, due to seasonal keywords or maybe something in the media.

    Why not just add features that we can Show/Hide?

    I think this is a case of fixing something that was not broken.

    Eoin O’Leary’s last blog post..Cha Ching … Get paid For Referring Me

  • @Eoin: perhaps Google felt they were giving away too much of their data so decided to obfuscate it a little behind a supposed “improvement”? If I’m being cynical, I guess less data means less informed Adwords customers means more money for big G… could this be a recession profit boost?

    Jaamit’s last blog post..Watch This Space!

  • @Jaamit that is what I can’t figure out.

    They removed the data, and (as you have already writter), “less data means less informed Adwords customers …”

    But I don’t think it means more money for Google.

    If an Adwords client is targeting the wrong keywords, these adverts get clicked on less often, less money for Google.

    Also, Google wants people to find what they came for, so again, if the adverts are not there, or there are less advertisers, it’s less money for Google.

    I can’t see the benefit to Google.

    Eoin O’Leary’s last blog post..Cha Ching … Get paid For Referring Me

  • Rob Kingdom

    there have been some other additions as well in the last couple of days. check this screenshot i took –

  • Thanks Rob,

    I had missed the new “Search Volume Trends”, I’ve been busy getting used to the new Adwords interface.

    This will solve the problem, as the data is country specific, so I can stop complaining 😉

    Eoin O’Leary’s last blog post..Cha Ching … Get paid For Referring Me

  • @Eoin good point about it not meaning more money for Google – didnt think that one through… 😉

    @Rob Thanks for pointing that out – actually I’m pretty sure those two were always there, u just had to choose them from the drop-down, but it does mean things are a bit clearer as far as local search volumes are concerned (would still have liked a local 12-month average but now I too will stop grumbling 😀

    Jaamit’s last blog post..Watch This Space!

  • Rob Kingdom


    oh there is always room for some grumbling! 🙂

    I quite like the idea of having the volumes broken down by months. personally it gives a fair reflection on the seasonality of the product keywords your optimising for. could save you a lot of money ppc wise if you change your bids based on the demand for that product. (although hopefully this should be obvious anyway 🙂 )

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