Is the Keyword Tool being replaced? Well… Wait, what? The highlighted box in the bottom right says, “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.” I actually had to read that a couple of times, because I think I was in the denial stage of grief. “No. That can’t be right. They can’t take my precious keyword tool away from me.” I mean, it’s not like people don’t use it… From a search engine optimization services perspective, it is a vital tool used during keyword research and evaluation. I moved swiftly past “denial” into anger. I mean, why? Why would they disable such a popular tool? Of course, the answer is pretty obvious; it’s right there in blue hyperlink text. They are taking away this tool to encourage people to use the “Keyword Planner” because… well… So, in essence, they made changes and launched a new keyword tool that very few people asked for and now insisting that people embrace these changes. Don’t get me wrong, the Keyword Planner has functionality that is definitely lacking in the Keyword Tool and that could be really useful for search engine optimization services. For example, where the Keyword Tool only gives you a general idea as to how many times a keyword is searched, the Keyword Planner also gives you traffic estimates including clicks and impressions. That’s pretty sweet. And as much as I was happy to stew in my anger and feel hard-done-by, I have to admit that the more I read about the differences between the two tools, the more I had to admit that the Keyword Planner was simply better for search engine optimization services than the Keyword Tool. For example, the search stats aren’t separated into “global” and “local” anymore. In the Keyword Planner, they are combined in one column: “Average Monthly Search.” From what I can see, the information will be specific to your targeted settings (country, city, etc.) and this should ensure greater accuracy in keyword research. Unfortunately, this keyword still has the column labeled “Competition” which has been known to cause confusion with clients from time to time – namely, that people think that the competition level in the keyword tool/planner is an accurate assessment of the competition of those keywords from an SEO point of view. But then, they never marketed this as a search engine optimization services tool.