The Changing Landscape Of Keyword Tools

Recently the the seo community has been abuzz with news that the Yahoo/Overture keyword tool has not been functioning and that it may be gone permanently. Those reports may be premature, but even if they aren’t there’s a new free keyword tool from WordTracker to fill the space. The timing could not be better.

The Rumors of my Death have been Greatly Exaggerated

The death of the Yahoo/Overture Keyword Selector Tool may indeed be exaggerated. It’s been a hit or miss affair always, but more miss than hit lately. The rumors may have come about now that Yahoo is ready to launch their new advertising platform, Panama, sometime in the next week.

I’ve easily seen a dozen posts in the last few days talking about how the Overture tool was no more, but earlier today Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal reported that Yahoo says the Overture tool is not gone, but will continue to exist until they replace it with a better product, tied to Panama no doubt.

Loren’s information comes from John Slade, Sr. Director, Global Product Management with Yahoo Search Marketing (that’s quite a title) who also mentioned that Yahoo would eventually be releasing a new public keyword research tool and API later in the year. John also recommends advertisers use the ‘protected’ keyword tool that is available only with an advertising account.

And a New Tool Shall Lead Them

Enter a new keyword tool to the arena. Aaron Wall let the news out that he’d received an email from Ken McGaffin alerting him of a free version of the WordTracker tool. WordTracker has always provided the top 15 results free through their demo and API. Now the new free tool displays 100 terms related to your keyword along with an estimate of expected daily searches.

I’ve just given the new tool a spin and it’s great. Very fast, especially in comparison to the Overture tool. Of course the speed may change as more SEOs learn of the tool and begin to use it. The interface will be familiar as it looks similar to Overture’s tool with numbers to the left and alternate search phrases to the right.

Speed aside there are some other advantages of the WordTracker tool over the Overture tool. WordTracker distinguishes between singular and plural versions of the keyphrase, so ‘car’ and ‘cars’ will show different results. Word order also yields different results. Keyword phrases ‘seo company’ and ‘company seo’ are reported as two different searches as they should be. Definitely an improvement and a tool that will become mandatory in initial keyword discovery and selection.

I have no idea whether or not WordTracker’s new tool is timed with the apparent demise of Yahoo’s tool, but expect many of your favorite free seo tools to change over to the WordTracker results. I’d also expect to see a crop of new tools arise based on the results from WordTracker.

Kudos to WordTracker. They will no doubt get many links and new subscribers and deservedly so now that they’ve changed the landscape of keyword research tools yet again. Keyword Discovery are you listening? We’ll be awaiting your free keyword tool in the near future.

Added 2/1/07

A New Tool to Join Them

As Yuri pointed out in the comments below KeywordDiscovery has always had a free tool offering 10 search results. KD has now joined WordTracker in upping the free results to 100. That didn’t take long. Thanks for the alert Hilton.

KeywordDiscovery’s tool is also a nice one. A little slower than the WordTracker tool, but faster than Yahoo/Overture’s tool. It should be noted that KD has a much larger database of keywords drawing results from a wider array of sources. While not part of the free keyword tool. KeywordDiscovery does break down the percentage of traffic you can expect from each of the major search engines.

Thanks KeywordDiscovery. A couple of days ago the seo community was thinking we were going to have to live without any free keyword tools and now we have three. The same old Overture tool and now two more from the leaders in keyword research, WordTracker and KeywordDiscovery. It’s good for us and likely good for them as I suspect both WT and KD will gain new subscribers.

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  1. KeywordDiscovery does have a free research tool, but it is only limited to 10-point list and is way, way slow. Until recently, this was the best tool out there (with WT requiring e-mail notification for a trial earlier).

  2. True Yuri. I think 10 results isn’t much of for a tool though, and I’m hoping KeywordDiscovery will follow WordTracker and offer 100. 100 results would be enough for most non-SEOs to do keyword research and would also give a lot of people more idea of what they might get with a membership.

    My guess is they might have to since more and more people will be recommending the WordTracker tool leading to more WT subscriptions. I think KD will need to release 100 result tool to help them compete.

    I think we’ll also see some interesting 3rd party tools based on the WT and hopefully KD tool that gives more results.

  3. Thanks Hilton. The response was fast and it’s very cool to see.

    I think I need to amend the post above to include information about KeywordDiscovery’s new free tool as well. Now that we have these 2 new free tools will anyone care what the fate of Overture’s tool will be?

    I’ve updated the post to reflect the changes to the KeywordDiscovery free tool. Thanks again Hilton for alerting me.

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