It’s a tad early for year-end predictions, but I’ll make one anyway. 2009 will be the year search queries overtake ‘keywords’ as the focal point of interest among PPC managers. Search queries, by way of definition, are the words and phrases user type into the search box before clicking the ‘Search’ button. They’re often and confusingly called ‘keywords, both in organic search and even within PPC. In the paid search world we should pay close attention to search queries and the way they’re matched with the keywords we bid on – to determine how we can tune or keyword buys, match types, bids, text-ads, and landing pages. Most paid search manager don’t have full access to every query for every click they pay for. Yahoo and MSN don’t provide them and Google Adwords provides only a very partial list and not matched at the keyword level. Providing clear, complete, and detailed search query information is one of the great features in our ClickEquations paid search platform, and a few others provide query access as well. Recently we’ve talked to a number of advertisers who’ve been mining queries to move to a much higher percentage of exact match keyword buys – a practice we’ve found to increase volumes and lower costs. And this week Google introduced a new keyword expansion tool which can provide you with lists of actual search queries related to your keywords and your landing pages. This is a great help. Both as a research tool, as additional insight into the algorithms google uses to contextually relate words and pages, and to get more people to think about the distinction between queries and keywords. If you find the new Google Search-Based Keyword Tool useful, imagine how great it would be to see nearly every query for every click you’re paying for in your current search campaigns.