Last week, we were first to report that Google AdWords was restricting data for the AdWords Keyword Planner for those advertisers without active campaigns. Google has now officially confirmed the change, and revealed another detail – accounts that are also under a certain monthly spend will also see the reduced data in the Keyword Planner Tool.
Here is how the Keyword Planner looks to those without active campaigns. You can see instead of more concrete numbers, they have a wide range of average monthly searches listed instead.
CassieH, a Google AdWords employee, posted the following on the forums:
As of this week, previous technical issues affecting the Keyword Planner tool are now resolved. Some important updates to keep in mind:
- Most advertisers will see search volume data in Keyword Planner as usual.
- Advertisers with lower monthly spend may see a limited data view in the Keyword Planner. For example, you may see values such as 0, 1-100, 100-1K, 1K-10K, 10K-100K, 100K-1M, 1M+ in the average monthly searches column. In addition, other advertisers may trigger the limited data view by reaching a limit on the number of searches for search volume data (specifically, requests to our API).
- Access to traffic forecast data will remain unchanged.
These changes will ensure that AdWords advertisers are able to get the data they need to optimize their accounts.
It isn’t clear what the minimum ad spend is for advertisers to keep the more detailed data in Keyword Planner, advertisers have asked but there has not been an official response yet.
Now, this move isn’t much of a surprise for SEOs relying on this data. In June, Google completely shut off Keyword Planner access to non-advertisers, although they later said it was merely a bug. And it follows another change where Google decided to group up similar and related keywords into one lump estimate, and would no longer provide detailed data on individual keywords.
But this change is bad news for non-advertisers who use the Keyword Planner for organic SEO research. SEOs will either need to pay for AdWords advertising or use a third party keywords tool, although they start at around $100 per month.
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