As a Customer Success Representative and Consultant at WordStream, you find yourself in AdWords a lot – which is why we are often among the first to notice more subtle changes in the platform. We’ve seen from experience that not every change that Google makes in its products is actively promoted or announced.

This leads me to another small change to the Keyword Planner that you may not have known about.

If you work in AdWords then you know what the Keyword Planner tool looks like and how it functions – it has been largely unchanged for some time.

New AdWords Keyword Planner interface

However, I was able to find a much more modern version of the Keyword Planner interface recently. In fact, this interface isn’t reflected uniformly across our accounts, and when I tried to open up the Keyword Planner tool from different accounts, only one had the new updated UI.

At first I thought it could be a special feature for MCC accounts, or in other words larger more involved accounts as a beta feature for those users. I also tried to look at account spend to see if higher spenders got the first peek at the new dashboard. Neither had any effect, and most accounts still had the old interface.

Here’s what the new interface looks like:

New Keyword Planner Interface

You can see how much better this interface looks, and that Google decided to break up its 4 main sub-tools into two key categories, “Find New Keywords” & “Plan Your Budget And Get Insights For Keywords.” The language on the tabs is also different, signaling perhaps a new approach to how Google wants to leverage its tool in the future. The two key differences are on the bottom half of the new interface, where the focus is put on “data & trends” and “click and cost performance,” which are not mentioned in the original version.

Changes to the Keyword Planner tool also could signal potential changes to the Display Planner tool. These smaller gradual changes put together can help us understand the future of AdWords as a search marketing advertising tool and how Google may be reacting to the market and competition from its main rival, Bing Ads, which has rolled out a number of new and unique tools for search marketers to use.

Google Changing to Keep Up with Bing?

One of those tools Bing has introduced is the Market Sizing Dashboard that you can download to your computer as an Excel file to dig up a lot of data on Bing search historically in DMA’s (Designated Marketing Areas).

Bing Ads marketing dashboard

Although it is still important to test how effective this tool is, Bing is aggressively pushing forward as it tries to become a key player in search marketing.

Not too long ago Bing really pushed its new Campaign Planner forward by introducing “verticals” that break down searches into categories and sub categories.

Bing Ads vertical insights

These changes and innovations could become the testing ground for who will attain more attention in the future. As the markets change and trends fluctuate, having a vision of the future is absolutely important for a search and marketing professional.

It will be interesting to see how Google and Bing will continue to impact each other when it comes to new product improvements. Last month Google introduced new benchmarks in Keyword Planner. Could we see a much different Keyword Planner tool in a year? And what would that change mean to search marketers and advertisers? We’ll be sure to monitor the changes and report them as we see them.