As many domainers have noticed in the past few days the old google keywords tool is gone for good and instead there is only the new one. This is actually bad news for most domain sellers as the old tool used to show much higher search counts “allowing” them to show higher counts and ask for a higher price for their domains. Google’s explanation for this was that the old tool included data from Google partners compared to only data from Google in the new tool. This is however hard to believe, for many keywords values were considerably higher on the old tool, frequently even 3-10 times more searches – an unlikely possibility since Google controls round 70% of the search market.
I mostly used the new keyword tool so this is not a big problem for me, however it was nice having the option to double check and compare values. Another option for that I use now is gTrends from WordTracker – the daily traffic estimates can hardly be taken seriously, but the data is good for comparisons on search volume between different keywords. Another good keyword tool allowing for an additional separate point of view on the keywords popularity is Keyword Discovery – they have a free account option with limited number of searches allowed.
An important issue to consider with the Google keywords tool, that apparently many domainers aren’t aware of is the “Match Type” option. There are 3 options: Broad, [Exact] and “Phrase”. The first one broad is the default and shows the highest search counts. However it’s deceiving since it pretty much sums up the whole niche and shows an estimate of many searches are performed with the current keyword being part of the search query. The “phrase” option shows results where the phrase appears as it is and the [exact] match option is the actual and relevant option which shows the searches for this exact keyword.
[exact] is what should be used when evaluating exact match domains to get a better idea of how much traffic top ranking can bring for that keyword. Exact is what I always use when buying domains for development. While the phrase and broad options can be good for category defining domains to get an idea on the market and search volumes for the niche.