google-thumbLast week, there were some marketers who noticed that Keyword Planner data was displaying ranged data instead of precise search volume.  The resulting ranges were quite broad, such as “100k-1M” and “1M+.”  There were some that had wondered if this was some sort of glitch, or a calculated measure that favored higher-spending AdWords advertisers.  On August 13th, Google finally confirmed it was the latter.

Keyword Planner had been acting up around the end of June, and a number of users got the message that they needed to have an active AdWords account in order to see the data.  Naturally, this definitely angered quite a number of AdWords users.  It was later confirmed last month by a Google spokesman that users don’t have to have an active campaign to use Keyword Planner.  But, 13 days later, it seems that this isn’t true, as apparently, you need an active campaign for full data and that advertisers can’t have a “lower monthly spend.”

Google says that “most” advertisers will see Keyword Planner data as per the norm, but those AdWords users who have a “lower monthly spend” could see limited data in the planner.  The question is, how limited?  Unfortunately, it’s very limited, indeed.  The ranges that Google provides for those with little to no spends makes the tool practically useless.  Here are the ranges that will be provided for:

  • 0
  • 1–100
  • 100–1K
  • 1K–10K
  • 10K–100K
  • 100K–1M
  • 1M+

One other way that users could end up experiencing this ranged data is if they search for search data too often.  It looks like this is an issue that is specific to requests to the API.

Keep in mind that there were some technical issues that were affecting Keyword Planner over the last couple weeks.  It was confirmed that the issues were resolved, but the restrictions are, unfortunately, here to stay.

For more information, see the official AdWords post and surrounding discussion.

Image courtesy of Rustybrick.


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