There’s been a whole host discussion over the past couple of weeks about the current problems with Yahoo (Overtures) keyword tool and its slow death.

Well, it seems a Yahoo rep has confirmed that a new Yahoo keyword tool is in the pipline and should be released later this year. YahooSarah replied to a thread over at the WMW forums

I wanted to confirm that YSM’s public keyword research tool (formerly known as the Overture’s Keyword Selector Tool- KST) continues to exist today and will continue to exist until we replace it with an improved product. Unfortunately, the responsiveness of this free tool is diminished due to the volume of hits it receives each day, therefore browsers may time out and error pages may appear but it doesn’t mean that this tool has been removed. We do have plans to offer a new public keyword research tool, which would be hosted through Yahoo! and available to our API partners. We plan on making this new tool available later this year. If you are an advertiser, I’d suggest using the keyword research tool within our platform (the old or new one).

Good stuff. On another positive note, Wordtracker have released a nice free keyword tool themselves. They have a useful information page that explains how the tool estimates daily search volume for any given keyword. The basic rundown is –

Every day, on average, we collect about 3.32 million search terms from Dogpile.com and Metacrawler.com, who according to Netapplications.com account for 0.63% of searches across all engines. By combining these two figures, we estimate that the total daily searches across all engines is 527.8 million.

Hat tip to Aaron Wall for that one.