Updated October 17, 2013 to reflect yet more changes to this tool
The biggest change as far as daily use is that you are now required to sign-in to Google and associate an AdWords account with your gmail ID in order to use the tool. You also must go through a couple of extra steps to get to the tool, but generally it still works the same — although you cannot get mobile keyword totals separated out anymore (and there are initial reports of unexplained changes in keyword totals).
I’ve been using this new version for over a month because I have an AdWords account and I’m always signed in. I’ve written up a quick overview to help people get back to keyword researching as quickly as possible.
Here is the new process:
1. You must be signed in to a Google AdWords account to use the tool. You do not need to be running Google AdWords (but Google would certainly appreciate it if you would), you just need to enable a gmail account to run AdWords. It’s free. But this change does mean you will not be able to look-up terms without signing in.
2. You will be redirected to something call the “Keyword Planner” if you try to go to the Keywords tool URL — or you can just access it directly.
3. You will have to choose from 3 options. Choose the twistie to Search for new keyword and ad group ideas:
4. This should give you options that are familiar to you if you used the old Google Keywords tool. You now have the option to exact match your keywords in this view, to ensure you are shown keywords that are truly associated with your initial keyword choice. Enable the sliding button to Only show ideas closely related to my search term. Input your terms or analyze a web page and make other changes to further target your results if needed:
5. When you get to the results you can view all the other possible recommended terms and their estimated search volume by choosing the Keyword ideas tab. And if you forgot to chose exact match in the previous views, you can choose it in the left nav under Keyword options.
This should be enough to get started using the tool.
Here is a much more complete Step-by-step for using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner How to Use The Keyword Planner — The New Keyword Tool From Google AdWords.