Why You Shouldn\'t Trust in and Rely on Google\'s Keyword Planner Tool Numbers
Many people don't realize it, they take it for granted, they assume that because it's a Google tool, the numbers must be accurate. But in actual fact the numbers (search volume) that Google's Keyword Planner Tool gives you on search volumes and competitions have never been truly accurate.
And now they're set to get even less accurate than before!
Google's Keyword Planner Tool is an excellent free keyword tool that can help you to come up with new keywords, keyword ideas, blog post ideas and is usually the first port of call that marketers and advertisers go to before they launch a paid or organic campaign.
It can provide you with the amount of times a keyword or keywords are searched each month in Google. But those search volume numbers have always been a little sketchy and never really truly accurate. They are guesstimations that have been rounded off to the last zero. Quite simply, you've always had to take what they tell you with a "pinch or salt". And as it turns out, these search volume numbers are now set to get even more less accurate and precise than they ever used to be!
This is because Google has started to combine related terms and acronyms and merge them together to show one bigger number. Google has literally started to bundle together anagrams, acronyms and regional spellings together and come up with some amalgamated number.
An example of bundled anagrams, acronyms and regional spellings.
This problem of innacuracy could be made even worse with the us of 3rd party keyword tools that don't make account for the changes said Jennifer Slegg from TheSEMPost.com.
For those that don’t notice the change – or worse, pulling the data from tools that haven’t updated to take into account the change – this means that some advertisers and SEOs are grossly overestimating those numbers, since many tools will combine data, and there is no notification alert on the results to show that how Google calculates average monthly searches has been changed.
This isn't really good for marketers who have been relying on Google's Keyword Planner Tool for knowing which keywords they should most target. And it doesn't appear as though there is any real value and benefit to the end user of it. However this shouldn't really come as a shock because Google is always obfuscating the data it gives out.
However this could be a step towards them pushing the fact that people should focus on relevance and context rather than just what the volume of a keyword might be. Web developers, bloggers and writers, advertisers and publishers would benefit from focusing on their CTR and the performance rate of their landing pages instead of jus relying on the numbers.
For that, one should use the Google Webmaster Tools Search Console to see how certain particular campaigns are converting. Tallying up your page impressions to those of your paid impressions to get an idea of just how accurate the results that Google's Keyword Planner Tool has given you for whatever keyword term it is you're targeting.
One last thing to take into consideration is the seasonal changes. Because some keywords are searched more at different times of the year such as people searching for "Christmas present ideas" around the end of the year as opposed to hardly anyone searching for that during the summer months. So the volumes you're given in Keyword Planner Tool are only approximate numbers that are extrapolated from 12 months of search data that Google holds. It might be better to to cross-reference the data given with Google Trends which can show you spikes for keywords during seasonal changes.
Screenshot from Google Trends tool showing spikes each year for "Christmas present ideas".
As you can see, there is clearly a spike for this keyword phrase during a certain time of the year. And the results given in Keyword Planner Tool will change with them.
The Take Away
Google replaced the Traffic Estimator that would show you both broad match phrase match options about three years ago and a lot of people complained about this at the time. Now that the Keyword Planner Tool is showing a lot less keyword details than before, you should be very wary of the stats it gives you and never take them as set-in-stone gospel.