OK, what happened this week on the World Wide Web? A couple of important things: Kanye West made a jackass of himself, and we launched a new free keyword tool !
Larry blogged about the tool on Wednesday , covering why and how we developed it, what it offers that other tools don't, and why, as awesome as it is, you still need keyword management to really get somewhere in SEM. You can read yet more about the tool in our Free Keyword Tool FAQ .
Today I want to point to some of the other conversations going on around the newly launched tool, and thank everyone who took the time to mention us on blogs and on Twitter.
First up, Aaron Wall over at SEOBook mentioned the keyword tool ("The coolest feature it offers is that it allows you to download thousands of keywords at once") and our keyword management software ("where it really sings is in decent sized pay per click accounts") in his post on computer algorithms vs. human creativity: "What Parts of Marketing Can't be Automated?" The main point of the post is that there are parts of marketing so "abstract + complex" (things like branding and social networking) that people don't even understand them that well, so we can't hope to automate them with software yet, if ever. Fundamentally, we agree: Our software is designed to help search marketers, not replace them.
As long as we're on the topic of SEOBook, I just want to say that I also found a lot to agree with in "Broken Reward Circuitry: Money vs Happiness." This post is really about work and management philosophies and life balance more than search marketing per se, but I urge you to read it. I especially like this part:
If a person who is gifted but lazy is praised they will just become more lazy and arrogant and worthless, feeling they deserve the world even if they did nothing to earn it.
If a person is doing their best and you keep telling them it is never good enough (like the Navy ORSE testing regime) you are just going to make them miserable, shut them down, beat them into submission, and kill their happiness. Such policies kill motivation and drive away talent.
Food for thought, no?
Now back to us!
Dana Lookadoo wrote up a fantastic review of WordStream's Free Keyword Tool on her blog, thanking us for providing a new tool that's "fast [as] lightning" with an "easy-to-use interface," giving marketers "the ability to make better decisions with more information." Thank YOU Dana!
Another excellent WordStream review on Myseoblog from Kirin Knapp: "I've discussed keywords in the past and mentioned a couple tools you might use to help you along. These are still good tools to use, however there is a new tool that combines pretty much every aspect you'd need. WordStream  has released a new free keyword management tool called 'The Free Keyword Tool'. It's in its Beta version currently, but it is fantastic."
Search Engine Journal also reviewed the tool: "WordStream (we have previously published a solid review on WordStream on SEJ) is launching a new cool free keyword research tool generating the list related keywords and keyword phrases that could be an awesome paid Wordtracker alternative  or Keyword Discovery option."
Frank Watson at SearchEngineWatch and Alexandre Brabant at eMarketing101 also wrote about the launch, with the former saying "from my use during its beta [the tool] is better than Google's limited one," and the latter claiming it is "better than Wordtracker." In a post titled "WordStream Finally Launches Free Keyword Research Tool!" the PageTraffic blog writes that the tool "will help marketers better manage their time, achieve higher Quality Score results for PPC and better search engine rankings for SEO" and "unlike Google's tool, it allows you to get all the keywords emailed to you."
RSS Ray wrote that "WordStream’s new keyword tool is a budget-friendly (free!) application that can greatly improve pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization efforts ... Unlike many other keyword tools, WordStream does not limit the number of keyword suggestions."
We also got a nod from the Ristvin Marketing Blog. They write that WordStream's Free Keyword Tool is great for affiliate marketers since it returns thousands of keywords (which you can have sent to you in a spreadsheet) including what they call "buyer keywords" (transactional keywords):
…when I used it to search for “fly fishing reels” related keywords, approximately two thirds of the phrases it returned were for brands and models. You’ve got to love that when it’s those phrases you’re looking for to build your affiliate niche website.
Jody at Marketing Jive highlighted the WordStream tool and said the coolest things about it are:
- It's free!
- You can get your keyword list emailed to you
- You can copy the keywords with one simple click
Bart Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer and "SEO Rockstar," recommended WordStream's keyword research tool to readers of the ActiveRain real estate blog: "You've heard me talk about WordTracker.com before. Well, this is a good place to go but it's another $49.95 a month. If you like the word: FREE -- then go here my fellow ActiveRainers. This is where you can go to test drive your own key words for free. …for 90% of us who just don't have a clue how to research keywords and get them into your website, this is a wonderful tool that can help you eliminate the guesswork."
A big thanks to everyone who tried the Free Keyword Tool  and provided feedback!
If You Can Pull Yourself Away from the Keywords, Look at This Other Stuff
Thank you for allowing us to indulge in a round of backpatting. What can I say, we're proud of our little tool, all growed up. (Well, technically still in beta, but out of the womb at least.)
Next a few pointers that have nothing, if you can believe it, to do with our Free Keyword Tool: just good old-fashioned reading:
- Get control of yourself, man! Dana Lookadoo offers some great tips for time management so you can get control of your social media life if you're feeling overwhelmed or maybe a little addicted. (I realize that closing down email and Twitter from time to time would be good for me but … I'm just not ready yet.) Dana also has an AWESOME slide deck on social media networking  I'd encourage everyone to check out.
- It's the little things: And I don't mean telling your girlfriend her hair smells nice every once in a while. SearchInsider's Steve Baldwin makes a case for frequent tweaking and testing in SEM, since tiny, almost subliminal changes in ad copy, landing page design and so forth can make significant differences in terms of CTR and conversions.
- Come on, get with it, everybody's doing it: Local favorite Chris Brogan lists five things small business owners should be doing online. #1? Blogging, baby! Starting a blog is a no-brainer first step in reaching out and connecting with an audience as well as gaining traction in organic search.