Google Keyword Planner, Other alternatives

Google has recently started showing ranged values for the search volume in the Google Keyword Planner – e.g. (100K to 1M) – thereby rendering it useless for anyone serious about keyword research.

I personally feel that Google will eventually stop showing these ranges to all users who do not spend at least $XXX every year at Adwords.

Here are 10 alternatives to Google’s Keyword Planner for finding keyword ideas and search volume predictions.

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  1. AhrefsAlongside Ahrefs’ backlink reporting and organic traffic dashboards, they have a really powerful keyword research tool which provides keyword ideas as well as search volume for all match types. For those conducting keyword research for SEO, Ahrefs has a keyword difficulty score metric which recently in head to head testing was declared to be slightly more accurate than other tools that offer a similar feature. Ahrefs is a paid tool, but if you sign up for a free trial and then cancel, you will maintain access to a free version of their tool.
  2. SEMRushSEMRush has a keyword tool that is driven by its huge dataset of search data from 26 different countries. SEMRush results return keyword ideas, estimated search volume, estimated cpc, keyword difficulty score, and current ranking domains for a keyword.
  3. Moz: Moz recently launched their own dedicated keyword explorer as a supplement to their SEO research suite. You can choose from nearly any location in the globe to conduct your search and  filtering options allow you to exclude your specific query term to get more ideas, or even choose only question phrases that contain your keyword. Keyword results include related query ideas alongside estimated search volume and a keyword difficulty score. Moz also shows domains currently ranking for the keyword and recent mentions of the keyword.
  4. Keywordtool.ioThis tool scrapes keyword suggest ideas from Google, YouTube, Bing, and even Amazon. You can choose suggested keywords from every Google TLD, language, and location and there are similar options for the other engines it supports. For free, you will get hundreds of suggested keywords, but you need a paid plan to access search volume estimations.
  5. ScrapeboxMostly known as a black hat SEO tool, Scrapebox has plenty of white hat uses too (see this great guide from Neil Patel) including conducting keyword research. With Scrapebox, a small handful of keywords will easily turn into hundreds and even thousands of possibilities. Scrapebox is software that needs to run on a Windows desktop environment, but the upside is that it’s a one-time purchase vs a monthly or annual subscription.
  6. WordstreamPrimarily a paid tool to help search marketers manage their pay per click campaigns, Wordstream has a free keyword tool which allows a limited number of searches. Free results only include related keywords, but Wordstream’s paid subscribers can see search volume, too.
  7. Bing: While not the obvious choice if you are conducting research for Google campaigns, Bing’s keyword tool can still provide helpful insights on related keywords. You need to have a website verified in Bing’s Webmaster Tools in order to use the tool, but it is otherwise free to use.  The keyword ideas are not as broad as those that you might get from other free keyword tools; however, one advantage in Bing’s favor is that they display both broad and exact match search volume.
  8. Keyword DiscoveryThis is one of the oldest keyword tools in existence and they pull search data from the widest list of search resources. While I have found, at times, their predicted search volumes vary widely from what Google shows, this is a very useful tool for discovering ideas you might never have otherwise found. Its a paid tool, but you can conduct a limited amount of free searches.
  9. KWFinderKeyword searches can be focused in five different countries or most of the world’s most popular languages. Results include a keyword difficulty score and keyword ideas can be filtered by a number of different metrics. This is a paid tool, so you can only conduct a limited amount of searches for free.
  10. 7Search7search.com was one of the world’s first PPC networks; although, you may not have met someone who’s ever used it. Their keyword tool is really simple to use and its free. Results include keyword ideas as well as search volume on the 7Search network.

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