It’s all kicking off with the latest updates from Google. The most recent of which, released by CassieH, announced that for advertisers with lower monthly spending patterns there will now be more of a restricted view in Keyword Planner. This has obviously sparked concerns amongst small businesses and those with unpaid accounts that they will no longer be able to get the data they require.
As a low spending advertiser, instead of being able to see the usual search data, you may now see values such as 0,1-100, 100-1K, 1K-10K, 10K-100K, 100K-1M, 1M+ in the average searches column. Thus, you are limited in finding out the exact search volume for each keyword.
Moreover, advertisers may also trigger the limited data view by reaching a limit on the number of searches for search volume data (specifically, requests to our API).
However, it is not all bad news as access to traffic forecast data will still remain unchanged for all advertisers no matter their spending patterns.
But it seems that this update has triggered more questions than anything else:
In addition, Search Engine Land has argued that cutting access to all non-paying accounts may cause more problems than it solves as many of them are actually held by high-paying agencies.
The debate is heating up with some arguing that these restrictions are setting higher barriers for small businesses who are unlikely to have a clear picture for their entire budget.
The above changes follow a series of consecutive changes that have been affecting organic growth; such as expanded text ads, change in ads to green for a much smoother blend with organic results, no longer showing search volumes for singular vs plural terms, etc.
On the other hand, many argue that the keyword research tool was created to help advertisers adjust bids and not for SEO benefit. However, the tool has set expectations within the SEO industry which other tools have yet to reciprocate.
Looking at the bigger picture
So, rather than over-thinking these latest updates, good marketers will challenge themselves to come up with a solution. From an SEO perspective, it makes sense focusing on metrics such as conversion rate, CTR and bounce rate to drive your strategy, as opposed to targeting highly searched keywords that might not convert as well within your site. This update might again be a further step for SEOs to put user experience first and serve audiences with what is really important to them.
Moreover, it will be interesting to see if any existing SEO tools start to take the place of Keyword Planner and offer a more in-depth solution.
So, don’t panic! You have options.