Is Google External Keyword Tool About to be Laid to Rest?

Do you depend on the free Google external keyword tool for your keyword research?

Then this will interest you.

You’ll agree with me that the Google external keyword tool is one tool that SEOs and webmasters in general will not want to ignore with a wave of the hand. Despite the fact that there are many paid keyword research tools which you can use to do a faster job when doing keyword research the Google external keyword tool is simply a darling, whether you are an experienced or a newbie SEO!

Personally, I’m a big advocate of this keyword research tool. My preference for it is not because it is the best in the market but for the simple reason that Google, being the biggest and most popular search engine on the net right now, have more data that you can use for your keyword selection.

This fact is attested to by the many paid and free keyword research tools that use data from the external keyword tool.

So, you can imagine my surprise when, a couple of days ago while doing keyword research for the ongoing niche site challenge I saw something that caught my attention. Right on the keyword tool page there is this notice:

“In the coming months, the external Keyword Tool will no longer be available. To get keyword ideas, sign in to your AdWords account and try Keyword Planner.”

Google External Keyword Tool going? As you can see the notice is very clear: the external keyword tool will no longer be available in the coming months!

And what more?

Google wants you to create a Google Adwords account and try their Keyword Planner if you want to have access to the keyword tool!

As you do know a Google Adwords account points to one thing, spending some money on Google’s Pay Per Click (PPC) program which means you’ll need to make some money for Google as an advertiser! You can say Google’s business acumen at play again!

Recommended: Business Lessons You Can Learn from Google’s Company Philosophy!

Ok, for now you don’t need to spend money as a Google advertiser for you have a Google AdWords account. If you have a Gmail account (and who don’t have one these days when Google has tactically propelled us to have a Google plus profile?) you can login with that info right now and have access to the Keyword Planner for free.

But the question is, for how long will Google keep it open to everyone for free?

That is definitely a question that will be answered in nearest future. And please note that in that notice, Google said, “sign in to your AdWords account and TRY Keyword Planner.” (EMPHASIS MINE!) But that actually appears to be telling us that we are only trying out the tool, something else may be coming! 🙂

The External Keyword Tool vs The Keyword Planner!

It will interest you to know that the Google external keyword tool and the Keyword Planner don’t actually work the same. While you will be able to still conduct your keyword research within the keyword planner, the purpose of that keyword research within the Keyword Planner is focused on anticipating demand for topics related to your products and services. This means you will need to take some different approach when running a keyword research with that tool.

Additionally, the Keyword Planner can also help you research your keyword ideas while giving you the ability to estimate the potential traffic.

In this regard one will say Google is now giving us more, since you can use the insights from the Keyword Planner to optimize your existing website, blog and social content as well as inspire new content topics.

google-keyword-planner

But again, the question is: will Google give all these for free forever? While I cannot answer that question with a definite “yes” or “no” I think we may yet receive some more news from Google about this in the coming months!

But then we can rightly say right now, RIP Google Reader and to the Google external keyword tool we may say, may this not be your death toll! 🙂

Happy 4th of July, America!

Before signing off, let me use this opportunity to wish our American friends, brothers and sisters a happy 4th of July celebrations. As you celebrate the declaration of Independence and look forward to the fireworks my happy wishes are with you. Have a happy celebration!

If you are looking for some good deals as a gift to some loved one or you just want something for yourself to celebrate this day, then there is no better place to look than Amazon.com. Follow this link to check out these 4th of July Deals from Amazon.com!

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Over to You: So, what do you think of Google pulling out the external keyword research tool? Do you think this is another way of Google trying to make some more money from SEOs? If Google turn around to put a restriction on the use of the keyword tool wanting only paid advertisers to use it will you gladly pay to use it? Please share your views in your comments below.

5 Top Most Popular Online Marketing Strategies: The Pro’s and Con’s!

Online business marketing strategies

There are various online marketing strategies in existence, and new approaches are introduced at an ever increasing rate. Some of these tactics are more effective than others, but there are a handful of strategies that have stood the test of time. Your chosen online promotional methods will be influenced to a great degree by the type of online business you pursue, the demographic of your audience, and your marketing budget.

Let us look at the most widely used promotional strategies and their respective advantages and disadvantages:

1. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC advertising is a strategy that involves the placement of ads on search engines to drive targeted traffic to your site. Google Adwords is the most commonly used form of PPC advertising.

Advantages:

• Results can be achieved in mere seconds

• New sites can build email lists and increase awareness fairly rapidly

• Costs are incurred only when someone clicks on your ad

Disadvantages:

• Costs-per-click are high in competitive industries

• Campaigns that are not optimized can result in high costs without many conversions

2. Organic Search Engine Marketing

Organic search engine marketing is an approach that involves ranking your website in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP’s) to gain traffic directly from the search engines.

Advantages:

• There are no costs associated to traffic that is received from the search engines

• Traffic is laser targeted

• Can provide a form of residual income

Disadvantages:

• Ranking your site is time sensitive, and it can become a costly affair

• Results are relative to the industry and ranking on the first page is not guaranteed

3. Article Marketing

Article Marketing involves submitting articles relevant to your niche to popular article directories that are traffic intensive.

Advantages:

• You receive targeted traffic from within the article directories and the search engines

• Articles are often syndicated which brings you an increased amount of traffic from diverse sources

• You get backlinks to your site which aids in off-page search engine optimization

Disadvantages:

• Writing articles, researching topics, and submitting to the directories can become time-consuming

• Outsourcing this task can also become expensive over the long-term

4. Affiliate Marketing

This method involves using specialist internet marketers to help sell your product and in return you pay the marketer a commission for every sale or lead that is generated.

Advantages:

• You only pay the affiliate marketer for confirmed sales

• Affiliate Marketers assume the costs of promoting your product

Disadvantages:

• Unscrupulous marketers can use underhanded tactics to promote your product which can damage your company’s image

• The amount of sales you generate is dependent on the skill of the affiliate marketer

• Setting-up an affiliate marketing program and supporting your affiliates requires a large investment

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a strategy that involves the use of emails that are sent directly to the client who opted-in to your email list to promote your company and your products.

Advantages:

• Automation software has significantly reduced the time and costs associated with email marketing

• Email communication provides the platform for you to build a lasting relationship with your client

Disadvantages:

• Conspicuous sales copy within an email can offend clients

• It can become time-consuming to respond to clients who have replied to the emails you send out

Formulating a specific marketing strategy that is suitable to your online business is critical in order to extract the highest ROI. Weighing-up the advantages and disadvantages of each method and choosing the methods with the least risk is a good starting point. However you must realize that the progressive nature of the internet calls for diverse sources of traffic.

[This is a guest post by Alex Papa of Business Opportunities Expo!]