Despite 153,917 messages of support to keep Google Reader alive on change.org, the popular RSS reader was closed by Google at the start of this month. It was a noteworthy death, one out of 70 Google services and features closed by the tech giant since 2011. The reason? Google says it needs to focus its products and make the most of opportunities in the “new kind of computing environment”. Much speculation has surrounded what will be next on the Google chopping block and now we know.
The External Keywords Tool has been a webmaster’s friend; helping advertisers and content creators. For PR, the tool is one of many Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) weapons for supercharging content organically through Google search results. However, this is all soon to change when Google makes the service only available to advertisers instead.
Of course, Google reserves the right to make this change but in light of the Google Reader shutdown it feels like this tech giant is distancing itself from its ‘normal’ users. Google essentially makes its money by linking to content we create and featuring advertising right next to this content in search. By closing the External Keywords Tool, Google is building its connections with advertisers and could be seen to shift its focus away from webmasters growing their content organically.
Whilst we should prepare to say our last words to the External Keywords Tool, it is not such a bitter ending. Sign yourself up for an AdWords account and you will get access to the Google Keyword Planner tool which also includes a traffic estimator. We’re not quite sure on the date of the funeral for the External Keywords Tool yet. However, it does to feel like Google has forgotten that their company first came to power by celebrating organic content.
Do pay your respects to the dearly departed: