Google Adds Search Volume to Keyword Tool

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Google announced yesterday evening that it was adding search volume numbers to its AdWords Keyword Tool. In addition to suggesting related keywords, the tool now includes the approximate number of monthly search queries for each keyword with sufficient data, and search volume for the most recent calendar month. “These approximate numbers are intended to provide better insight into keywords’ monthly and average search volumes than previously provided by the tool,” said Google’s Trevor Claiborne on the Inside AdWords blog.

The improvements to the Google Keyword Tool come just a couple of weeks after Yahoo! shut off its keyword suggestion tool. Yahoo!’s tool, a remnant of the old Overture system on which its search marketing product is based, had long included approximate search volume numbers. Yahoo! stopped officially supporting the app about 14 months ago, and indicated that the search volume figures were inaccurate as a result. Even so, because of the query numbers, the tool was viewed as a helpful piece of the search engine marketer’s arsenal until Yahoo! axed it last month.

Search query numbers are helpful for planning search marketing budgets, because you can judge approximately how much traffic is coming to each of your keywords and plan your total ad buy accordingly. But the new Google tool can be useful for other reasons — like market research. Check out the table of search volume for popular Javascript frameworks I made below, for example (draw from it what you will).

Framework Name Approx. Search Volume
Prototype 368k
MooTools 201k
jQuery 165k
Scriptaculous 49.5k
Ext JS 49.5k
Dojo Toolkit* 3.6k
Qooxdoo 1.3k
Sproutcore 260
* Note: The term “Dojo” gets 460,000 searches, but, well, those could really be for anything.

The more transparent Google Keyword Tool comes shortly after the release of the AdPlanner tool, which shows approximate traffic volume for competitors’ web sites. (And in our tests, has generally been more accurate than Compete, Quantcast, Alexa, or other similar public traffic measurement tools.) That Google is opening up and sharing more of their vast stockpiles of web data is a win for all webmasters.

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