Google Adwords Keyword Tool Gone! Realistic Alternatives for Small Business SEO

As you may already know, as of today (27/08/2013), the Google Adwords Keyword Tool has officially been replaced by the Keyword Planner. If you tried to access the Adwords Keyword Tool today you’ll be greeted by the following message:

keyword planner notice

You can no longer login to the old tool to get your search numbers or keyword suggestions any more. So where does that leave you? Well you have a few options, both paid and free.

Start Using the Google Keyword Planner

With Keyword Planner the obvious goal is to help those who are looking to take out PPC ads make more money, and in turn Google. With my tin foil hat on, I get the feeling they’re intent on making life next to impossible for us SEO’s!

They haven’t completely left us SEO’s in the dark though. Instead they have offered us a single match with nowhere to strike it! The new tool is cumbersome to use, a lot more digging is involved to get to the data you want, but it’s still there if you look long enough. I don’t particular like the new layout, but it’s something that I’m going to try and get used to! Who knows, maybe I’ll forget about the Adwords Keyword Tool eventually!?

Click here for some tips on how to use Google’s Keyword Planner – Jason is a lot more excited about the new tool than I am! 😉

Alternatives to Google’s Keyword Planner

Ubersuggest (Free)

Ubersuggest is a keyword suggestion tool that pulls the data from Google’s suggest function. Although you don’t get search numbers from the tool, it actually tells you what people are being suggested in Google, which is very powerful, as it can often throw up keywords that your competition is missing. That and you can take advantage of the searchers that click on these suggestions rather than complete a search using the keyword they originally had in mind.

SEOBook Keyword Tool (Free)

The SEOBook Keyword Tool gives you daily search numbers and keyword suggestions, and is powered by Wordtracker’s keyword suggestion tool. It links off to useful tools for each keyword such as, Google’s traffic estimator, search results, google trends, synonyms etc. It also links off to searches on other verticals such as Google Blogs, Twitter, Yahoo Answers and more, to help you find discussions around your keyword and tap into that traffic.

Bing’s Keyword Research Tool (Free)

Bing provides you with their keyword tool based on the search numbers from their own search engine, so no estimates. It provides up to 6 months worth of historical data and can provide keyword suggestions based on a wide range of languages and countries. All you need is a Bing Webmaster Tools account!

WordStream (Free)

WordStream offers a free Keyword Suggestion Tool as well as a Niche Finder, Keyword Grouper, and a Negative Keyword Tool for those also carrying out some PPC. The suggestion tool pulls from WordStream’s database of over 1 trillion keywords, providing you with some good content ideas that other tools may miss out on. Granted, the free version is limited in the fact it doesn’t show actual search numbers, but it gives you a good idea of how often they are searched with their relative frequency bar.

HitTail (Paid)

HitTail is a keyword suggestion tool with a difference. You install their code and it tracks the keywords people have used to land on your website, then identifies keywords that you are not taking full advantage of, but can make easy gains with. You can sign up for a free 21-day trial here. After the trial period you can choose from four plans starting at $9.95 (upto 4,000 unique visitors) to $79.95 (80,000 unique visitors).

Long Tail Pro (Paid)

Long Tail Pro allows you to search for monthly search numbers as well as receive keyword suggestions, perform competitive analysis on those keywords, as well as a competitive analysis on your competition, and helping to find powerful available domains. It costs a one-time fee of $97 for the pro account, or $97 + $17 a month for the platinum version.

SEMRush (Paid)

You can see my SEMRush review here. It’s an all purpose keyword research and competitive analysis tool. You can find keyword search suggestions, search numbers, and competitiveness based on both Google and Bing search engines. You can also perform a side by site comparison on up to 5 separate website, to compare search traffic of each compared to the other and their strength in terms of SEO. You can grab keywords that your competitors are targeting, as well as suggestions based on those keywords. They have a variety of databases too such as UK, US, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Australia and more.


Do you have any keyword tools that you like to use? Do you like any of the ones listed above? Would like to hear from you, just let me know below. runs on the Genesis framework

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  1. Hey Wes,

    Thanks for the mention. I tell you what, the more I use Keyword Planner tool, I find it to be very klunky and inaccurate. Definitely not as excited as I was when I was putting that post together.

    The only plus to the tool is the ability to bulk upload keywords and get search volume data. So, keyword ideas that you get from ubersuggest and soolve – you can easily pump in to the tool to get some data. I wouldn’t trust the search volume data 100% but use it an indicative metric of popularity.

  2. Wes McDermott says

    Hi Jason,

    No worries! Very thorough post mate, fair play!

    Haha, well I’m going to try and give it a good go at least, maybe I’ll change my mind! Not feeling it right now though, as you prob guessed 😉

  3. Wordtracker also has a free tool.

  4. I’m not liking the fact that Google have now removed the free keyword tool, the new one in the keyword planner just isn’t as good, and the way it displays the results is just not good enough, more confusing than helpful, i will now have to find an alternative thanks for the list.

  5. I hate the new Google’s Keyword Planner. Good thing I was able to collect my major keywords before the Adwords keyword tool was removed.

  6. Hi Wes

    Thanks for sharing this list of alternatives to google’s keyword planner . This really answered my problem, thank you!

  7. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  8. As an American business it is inevitable that the way Google operates will change and become less helpful and more profitable but websites like are great tools.

  9. I don’t like the new Google keyword planner the key word tool was much better and less around paying for there Adds. Thanks for posting

  10. Google will continue to change everything just as you get used to a system; it’s what Google do best

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