At SMX West last week, Bing announced a whole set of new features now available in Bing Webmaster Tools, including one that I’m admittedly excited about, Bing Keyword Research Tool.
While its functionality will differ slightly from Google’s Keyword Tool, Bing’s will focus heavily on organic search volume with six months’ worth of historical data, rather than one. This is the first web interface tool of its kind for Microsoft, and it should hopefully provide a reliable alternative to Google, which we’ve come to rely upon probably too heavily.
This keyword research resource is still in beta, but so far, here are some of the features that are outshining Google’s comparable tool:
- As previously mentioned, six months’ of data or a custom date range filter!
- Search query volumes based on organic queries.
- Both a language and a country filter unlike Google’s ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’ data segments.
- Raw search volume numbers without rounding or averaging.
One aspect of the feature that’s less intuitive is the ability to perform research in ‘Strict’ mode. This option will show you search volumes for what we have come to know as “exact match.” Whereas, when the strict mode field is left unchecked, you will receive data for phrase match terms.
Another great feature is the ability to roll over the results to see advertising data. It reveals how much the average bid and resulting CPC must be in order to advertise in the MainLine (above organic results) and the SideBar (to the right of organic results). This is definitely more advertising insight than Google is currently offering.
Undoubtedly, Bing still has some glitches to work out. For instance, only being able to search on one key phrase at any given time and the inability to search multiple countries simultaneously. Both of which hinder a researcher’s pace substantially. Bing is also offering a very arbitrary graph showing query trends for the selected period. However, it’s refreshing to have another data tool that’s independent of Google and offers a unique perspective on the data as well.