Google Cuts Keyword Data for Lower AdWords Spenders

Google’s built a billion dollar business on the back of advertisers of all sizes, bidding on keywords to reach consumers searching online. The ability to generate, analyze and react to data is central to that offering. That makes it somewhat surprising that Google is cutting back on the data available to lower-spending advertisers, and advertisers without active campaigns, in Keyword Planner.

As announced in a recent AdWords blog post, some advertisers may see search volume ranges, such as “10K-100K average monthly searches” rather than the level of granularity that serious number crunchers crave. The change will apparently “ensure that AdWords advertisers are able to get the data they need to optimize their accounts” though that’s been met with skepticism in the SEM community. It also places at a disadvantage SEO specialists who are accustomed to utilizing Keyword Planner without actually spending money with Google.

How much of a loss smaller advertisers will feel may depend on their ability to effectively analyze keyword data, as opposed to simply bidding on keywords. More than ever, many small to medium sized businesses that currently manage their AdWords ‘in house’ may see better results by moving these services to an analytically-equipped agency.

For one thing, from Google’s perspective, the entity doing the Keyword Planner look-up is the agency, not the client, which is one way to sidestep the new Google restrictions. In that sense, the smaller-spend advertiser is benefiting from scale, a value that Google puts much emphasis on.

As an SEM agency, we’re not entirely unbiased when it comes to the benefits small businesses can gain from partnering with an agency. However, we’d like to take the long view and recognize that today’s smaller-spend advertiser may well be a big-budget powerhouse further down the line, even if they struggle to make the minimum spends it takes to unlock Keyword Planner data in-house. Ultimately, we hope that Google looks for ways to help today’s small businesses grow, regardless of ad spend, in the same way Google has helped fuel growth through search innovation in the past.

If your business is looking for a way to optimize your existing advertising spend, give Kiosk a call.