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Keyword Tools – The Changing Landscape

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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.

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Steven Bradley is a web designer and search engine optimization
specialist. Known to many in the webmaster/seo community by the username
vangogh, he is the author of TheVanBlog, which focuses on how to build
and optimize websites and market them online.

Keyword Tools – The Changing Landscape
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