Google officially throttling Keyword Planner data for low spending AdWords accounts



Earlier this week some marketers noticed that Keyword Planner data was displaying ranged data instead of precise search volume. The ranges were wildly broad with results like “100K-1M” and “1M+”. Some wondered whether this was merely a glitch or if this was a calculated measure that favored higher spending AdWords advertisers. Today, Google confirmed the latter.

At the end of June, Keyword Planner was acting up and many users got the message that they needed to have an active AdWords account in order to see the data. This of course drew the ire of users everywhere. Last month a Google spokesperson confirmed with Search Engine Land that users do not have to have an active campaign to use Keyword Planner. However, just 13 days later and now it appears that you do need an active campaign for full data and that advertisers cannot have a “lower monthly spend”.


According to Google, “most” advertisers will see Keyword Planner data as usual. But, AdWords users with a “lower monthly spend” could see limited data in the planner. How limited? Very. The ranges that Google will provide for those with small (or no) spends makes the tool almost useless. The ranges that will be provided are:

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

Another way that users may experience this ranged data if they search for search data too often. This appears to be an issue that is specific to requests to the API.

It should also be noted that there were in fact technical issues that were affecting Keyword Planner over the past few weeks. Those issues are now confirmed as resolved but the restrictions are here to stay.

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



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