Google AdWords has once again begun restricting access to the AdWords Keyword Planner tool for those who are not advertising.
In June, Google AdWords turned off access to the Keyword Planner tool for those who did not have an active AdWords campaign running. However, they later backed away from this, and instead said it was a “technical issue” affecting some accounts. But many saw it as writing on the wall that Google would begin to restrict or throttle information unless there was an active campaign within the account.
Ramesh Singh spotted this in AdWords while using the Keyword Planner tool:
Instead of detailed information, Google is instead only showing a number range for the average monthly searches, with a notice at the top that states “This page shows ranges for search volumes. For a more detailed view, set up and run a campaign.”
For numbers, there is a wide range between 1,000 and 10,000 for those doing keyword research. But for overall totals, showing 100,000 to 1,000,000 total would be fairly useless for anyone using these numbers for research reasons.
Singh confirmed that he was logged into an AdWords account, but that it does not have any active campaigns currently running. It was an older account (4-5 years old) from before Google asked for credit card information.
By comparison, here is what I see within an account that has been set up previously:
I also tried to access it through a second account that had never used AdWords previously, and I was unable to access it unless I completed the set up steps, which include setting up a campaign, adding a budget AND adding a credit card number. I could not get access to it unless I completed those steps. Even when clicking on the keyword planner link in the search results, I was redirected to the AdWords homepage to login, or if I was logged in, I was redirected to the setup process again.
Previously, Google said that older legacy AdWords accounts would continue to have access to the Keyword Planner, but new accounts would need to set up a campaign – even if it wasn’t active – to access the Keyword Planner. But now, those legacy accounts are being restricted to more generalized data only.
Many SEOs regularly use the Keyword Planner tool and this restriction to those with active AdWords campaigns will be a big loss. While there are third party keyword tools, for those SEOs that don’t want to pay for pricey keyword tools, the Keyword Planner tool from AdWords is invaluable. And for many small businesses, a $100+ per month keyword tool is cost prohibitive for those wanting to do some searches on keywords in their industry for content ideas or similar keyword ideas, just as AdWords is also cost prohibitive to many small businesses.
Google also recently changed the Keyword Planner tool to no longer show detailed search volume for individual keywords and are instead showing search volumes for grouped search variant keywords. This change also hurt the SEO industry for those looking for detailed information on individual keywords – often used to determine which similar keywords have a higher search volume when considering terms to SEO pages for.
John Mueller did talk about the possibility of bringing a similar keyword tool to Google Search Console, if SEOs had the need for this data, when Google AdWords changed from individual keyword search volumes to grouped ones. And if Google AdWords continues to restrict detailed keyword search volume data to advertisers only, it would make another great reason for having an SEO specific keyword tool in Search Console for SEOs.
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thanks for the post, but i have set up a compain and i have added my credit card but i still get this message in the keywordplaller “This page shows ranges for search volumes. For a more detailed view, set up and run a campaign.”
can you help me please?
Jennifer Slegg says
Did you set the campaign to run? Or just add the card? Some people are having to run a campaign (which they then pause) to get the data.
Yes, my ad statut is Under review, that’s strange !
Did you manage to resolve this? And does it show detailed data after campaign is active? I heard it takes 24 hours…let me know please if anyone else knows.
Michael Stricker says
Thanks! I can’t speak to the access without a paid account issue, but I did find a useful post by Patrick Stox on MarketingLand about How to get the OLD, discrete Google Keyword Planner search volume data – http://searchengineland.com/get-old-google-keyword-planner-volume-254736
Per Pettersson says
If this rolls out world wide, I guess a lot of us SEOs will have to bid on imaginary keywords to get access to the data… Wouldn’t mind having a keyword planner type of tool in Search Console though.
On the contrary, I have 2 Gmail accounts. Keyword Planner shows grouped ranged to the one with active ads. The other one which has never used ads before is showing the data the old way.
Ken D. says
Seriously…I just tried to use my person gmail account (a stand alone mind you) with a different proxy & IP and it still prompted me to setup and account.
Tauseef Azhar says
They might have rolled out this in the U.S only… and will effect the entire accounts gradually … however tested with some new accounts, and they are showing data as usual.
Thomas Mulrooney says
Nope, showing here in the UK too.
Tushar Satpute says
Updated in India too
Louis Borrego says
This is terrible, I understand that google is a business but come on man. Also for everyone that it hasn’t happened to you just wait. I recently thought it was new accounts but legacy accounts are being affected. A couple of my older accounts are now displaying the google page volume disclaimer.
Ben Barnes says
I only just had this restriction appear in my adwords account a few days ago (today is September 10, 2016). I was trying to learn the adwords interface a while back (I have used the keyword planner for SEO) to try to see the process to create a click to call only ad. I got my number approved and the adverified and proceeded to pause the ad. It was just to walk myself through the ad approval for the call only ads.
However, I got this results restriction and then after reading around, I thought I’ll just turn the ad on… Set it on a schedule only 1 day a week with limited time – but it is ON. AND, I updated my credit card info in my adwords profile.
I’m still gettting the “This page shows ranges for search volumes. For a more detailed view, set up and run a campaign.”
Does it just take a couple days for the G man to update this or what? Do we need to contact an adwords rep, that, seemingly to me the few times I’ve asked them questions, I know more about it than they do LOL.
Sorry for the long comment – any insight appreciated!
Alan Niemies says
This is now happening in Brazil as well. :/
Also happening in Austrlia – I have tried to start a campain and I am still having the same issue.