Weirdly this only seems to have happened with one of my three adwords accounts so perhaps they're beta testing this at the moment.
I'd understand if this was more helpful for adwords (which it's not in many cases). It took me a while to find out what the search volume was for my actual niche keyword. They're keeping this option open for now (as an after-thought) but my concern is that they are moving away from this kind of information entirely.
It seems counter-productive in my opinion anyway. I've known loads of people that have used an adwords voucher to trial out adwords. They've followed googles suggestions, used broad match, selected groups of words and it barely ever works for them.
The industry I work within is absolutely dominated by massive UK banks wasting taxpayer bailout money serving completely irrelevant ads and pages in the number one spot and spending a fortune. No doubt they've paid some corporate online advertising company a shit-tonne of money to basically just pay for massive ad groups of loosely relevant and even irrelevant content.
When I find these niches full of irrelevant ads I always seem to do OK out of it, even though the CPC is high. Why? Despite the high cost I have ridiculously good click through and conversion rates. Why? Because I've created a page based on this search term and written actual informational content based on what the customer is looking for. I've then created ad campaigns with only between 2 and 10 very specific keywords (most of which get extremely little searches).
I understand them trying to maximise profits and move away from niche marketers such as myself and make it more mainsteam but I just wonder whether they're going to be shooting themselves in the foot in the long-run (no pun intended). Surely there's a place for this kind of niche marketing when it drives both googles profits, customer satisfaction and webmaster profits. Long-term people will start turning off of adwords subconsciously when they don't have much joy after clicking ads. They should be teaching people to make their campaigns profitable and sustainable, not just getting as many clicks as possible.
It seems like every month when I log into my adwords account they've changed something. I appreciate them trying to improve things by providing me with more user information but I don't want them to take away the core things that actually help me.
Besides this, exact search volumes for specific keywords are integral to what I do with SEO. And why shouldn't it be? I created a site a few months ago based around a specific type of person doing a very specific type of thing. Only one other page in the whole of the UK seemed to be targetting the same thing and it ranked page 7. I was really surprised to find out how difficult it was to rank this website (relevant content, domain name, title, h1 etc without being spammy). I've put a fair bit of work into it and I'm still not quite at page one.
The only ranking sites on there are authority sites with, and I promise, COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT information on there. Funnily enough I found out that one of my own larger authority type sites was outranking this newer site as well with still completely irrelevant content. I think in their quest to get rid of small niche marketers they're actually destorying user experience.
I really do rely quite heavily on these more traditional keyword research formats for my success. I don't need google to think for me! It is starting to become a bit of a concern. Perhaps I'm just being paranoid but it's starting to get on my nerves and I just wanted to rant.
Do any of you share this concern? What alternative keyword research tools would you recommend in Google's absence? I know it's unlikely but I will need something to fall back on if they just end up moving towards making it too hard to do seo keyword research.