Google gets rid of the External Keyword Tool

Google has announced that its External Keyword Tool will no longer be available in the next few weeks – although users who subscribe to a free advertising account will still have access to a version of the popular research tool, which will be renamed the Keyword Planner.

The Keyword Planner (available to Google AdWord account holders) will feature many of the same elements as the EKT, but keyword statistics will be skewed towards PPC ad groups and campaigns and users will no longer be able to view and compare local and global search traffic results for each word searched.

Since SEO Experts across the board have expressed concerns that this might be Google’s first step towards charging for the use of previously-free keyword research tools, we thought it might be time to check out some alternative keyword statistic tools to see which ones could be useful after Google’s changeover is complete. Here are the top three free keyword research tools we discovered.


The SEO Book Keyword Tool is powered by WordTrackers and requires a free account setup for use. This highly useful keyword tool provides users with a huge amount of statistical data including search volumes from Google, Bing, Alexa, Google Trends & more – and the tool’s database even links up to sites like Google Blogsearch and so users can see real time statistics about the keywords that are showing up most often on social networking and blogging sites.


KGen is a Firefox add-on that shows compiles a list of keywords and shows statistics and traffic estimates for any website – much like the current External Keyword Tool does. This is a great tool for marketers who are looking to check out the competition or to build out their keyword lists based on other websites in their industry.


Ubersuggest is a simple website that shows all of the results “suggested” by Google whenever a certain letter (or combination of letters) is typed into the search bar. This is an excellent secondary research tool that requires no account or profile to set up.  Users can gain accurate information about the most searched for items on the web and can gain insight into the popularity of long-tail keywords.

Even after Google’s big changeover has occurred, and users become more comfortable with the specific aspects of Keyword Planner, the websites listed above can be extremely useful. After all, every SEO Specialist knows that the key to staying competitive lays in thorough and complete keyword research.

by Michelle Robertson

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