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“Our PPC paid-search performance improved significantly under Nina’s management. Her knowledgeable guidance also helped us make inexpensive changes to our dynamic Web site which increased our natural search position and decreased our need to spend more on AdWords.” — Linda Peterson, Webmaster, Hazelden Foundation

What Happened to the Google AdWords “Previous Interface” option?

When Google came out for a visit last month we got hints that they might be ready to kill the "previous interface" option for finding new keywords in Google AdWords. And today (tonight we think) it seems that they did finally. There is a hint of a new backend that might be better called "nostradamo" that is linked from the new keyword interface, but it’s broken right now. 

Why I liked the old version better.


  • I was used to it. (lame I know, but still)
  • Less broad. Now I enter a keyword and I get a huge amount of synonyms and I have to go in and uncheck the categories. 
  • Automatic. Hear me out here. So in the old version if you didn’t add anything into the box if would automatically give suggestions on anything that was in your ad group already. SO you could enter some placeholders in Google AdWords Editor, post them, then look for suggestions. Seems like not a big deal, but it saved time, and it felt like a lot of time. If the new interface had this one option, I think I would like it more. 
  • This is a big one: "Don’t show me suggestions for other keywords." This allowed you to quickly get estimated monthly searches for your previously chosen keywords. So we would settle on a set of keywords to recommend to clients, and would then want to go get number of search estimates. 


There are some things I do like: The ability to drop different keywords into different ad groups. That’s nice. 

And of course this comes at a bad time. There are three of us tonight working on deadlines, and we’re all sending sad and frustrated IM’s back and forth about it. You can still access the open version that isn’t tied to your account. But that means that you can’t save them into the ad group. Also the keyword tool in Editor is still working, but that works only 1 keyword at a time. 

So my plea to Google: PLEASE bring back the previous interface. 

Please leave comments (legitimate – we’ll ruthlessly delete spam.)

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by +Nina Hale, Inc.

3 Responses to “What Happened to the Google AdWords “Previous Interface” option?”

  1. Nina says:

    Two ways to get the old tool. If you aren’t logged in: And bless him, Zac discovered a back-end into the old keyword tool when you are logged in (so you can save them to your account). While in the account, click on the “keyword opportunities” tab, then click on the option for “keyword tool” then you should see the “previous interface” option.

  2. Craig Berdie says:

    Last night I found the same thing and thought somehow I had been asleep when this change. I agree with Nina and would add this. The old tool (don’t show suggestions…) allowed you to sort your keywords into conceptually logical groups so you could then recommend a page focus, design a site around users interests, or develop a strong landing page. This was especially helpful once you leave the consumer sphere as I found the Google suggestions to be geared to consumer topics. Thanks for the suggestions at getting to the focused interface.

  3. Nina says:

    Yikes! Now they’ve removed all entries into the old interface. The inability to get numbers only on a specific list of keywords is gone. The Horror.

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