v13's New Keyword Search Volume Info

Monday, November 03, 2008

AdWords API v13 ushered in a number of great new features, like exposing keyword quality score information, new report types, and support for more geo-targeting options. There is an additional new feature that received somewhat less fanfare, though: starting with v13, the getKeywordVariations() method of the Keyword Tool Service returns information about the average and last month's search volume for each suggested keyword variation. Ever since this feature was rolled out in the standalone Keyword Tool web page in July we've been hearing requests from developers eager to get that sort of information from the AdWords API, so we thought it would be worthwhile to explain how you can now retrieve similar data from your own code.

Let's say you're considering adding the keyword new york to one of your ad groups, and you're curious about what kind of search volume that keyword normally receives. You're interested in data pertaining to English-language queries in the United States and Canada, and you want data about that exact keyword--not any of its synonyms. In order to retrieve that search volume data, the following SOAP request body would be appropriate:

        <text>new york</text>

If you make that SOAP request to the AdWords API v13, you'll get a (large) number of results back--around 200 potential variations on the keyword new york, like new york hotels or brooklyn new york. Each variations will have its own set of search volume data associated with it, and that data is all potentially useful. For the purposes of this example, though, what we're interested in is seeing the search volume data for our seed keyword of new york. Your original seed keyword(s) will always be included in the results you get back from getKeywordVariations(), so your code can loop through the results until it finds the one that matches your original request. In this case, the XML for the result entry looks like:

    <text>new york</text>

So now we know, that over the past twelve months, the average monthly search volume for the keyword new york was 68,000,000 queries, and last month the search volume made it all the way up to 83,100,000 queries. New York is a popular town!

Hopefully the additional data returned by the getKeywordVariations() method in AdWords API v13 will make it even easier to target and optimize your AdWords campaigns.

--Jeffrey Posnick, AdWords API Team