We all use Google's Adwords keyword planner for most of our SEO services and research.
So far it has been free.
Well it now seems that has changed, at least for those that Google calls "lower monthly spend" users.
It seems now we SEO companies if we can't spend more than a certain amount we can forget about doing accurate keyword research and planning.
Here is what Cassie H. has to say:
Apparently those that are deemed having "lower monthly spend" with not be able to see the data necessary to do proper research and planning.
Since 5 days ago when Cassie posted this there have been over 5 pages of complaints and queries to this change.
And so far no further information has come from Google regarding this issue.
The ranges that Google is now giving us makes the tool almost completely useless.
As you can see I did a simple keyword search. I chose "seo" as my term. The range the planner gives me is between 100K - 1M.
That range is so far apart that it makes this tool 100% useless.
The ranges are:
Also, according to SearchEngineLand.com you may experience limitations on the data if:
"Another way that users may experience this ranged data is if they search for search data too often. This appears to be an issue that is specific to requests to the API."
After Cassie posted her update there have been 4 pages of questions and complaints.
Some of those complaints have been very respectful, but a few have blatantly accused Google of being in the pockets of the large brands.
Or this one...
And that certainly seems to be the case, especially when you admit that those with lower monthly spend amounts will get limited data.
This is reinforced when you fail to actually clarify what is the amount that is considered "lower monthly spend".
I made two calls to Google today regarding this issue and each time I was told by the person speaking with me that this update will affect everyone.
When I was talking with Pooja and I informed her of Cassie's comments she refused to speak with me any further.
So is the beginning of the end of Google?
Are they starting to implode?
I don't know what this means.
Not sure if Google will change it back in the future. I believe they will if quite a number of people complain.
So far, in my research on this, I have not found one person that has found this update positive.
I could be wrong.
For now we'll either have to find other tools, or adapt our practices around this.
I predict that if Google doesn't change this back you will see a insurgence of new software tools that will take this tools place.
Until then we'll have to see what happens.
I started using SEO tactics back in 2008 to get my then fledgling moving business off the ground because I was broke and I needed to stand out. I still use it today, but now I am in a position to be sharing my knowledge with others ...for a fee of course.