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Change to Keyword Planner?

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# 1
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I've been using the Adwords keyword planner for building some rough models for different campaigns (nothing live yet).
 
In the last few days (sometime between maybe Wednesday and Saturday), something changed really, really dramatically. For high ranking ads, projected CTR dropped by about a factor of 10. For a keyword/bid with a projected ranking between 1.5 and 2, I was previously seeing CTRs between 1% and 5%, and now I'm seeing CTRs between 0.1% and 0.5%. And the change is there for any keyword I can think to search. 
 
That seems awfully weird for those results to change by an order of magnitude, overnight. Even if Google tweaked their algorithm for calculating projected CTR (say, to reflect clicks shifting to shopping campaigns and individual product ads), you wouldn't think the change would be that dramatic, that quick, as long as the data was/is halfway accurate.
 
It almost seems like there's decimal place error, or something similar, with the new keyword planner results. Or else Google changed the way projected CTR is calculated in a really, really dramatic way. Any insights on what might be going on here? Thanks so much.
1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Change to Keyword Planner?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Are you using the traffic estimator?
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Change to Keyword Planner?

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# 3
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Thanks a lot for the reply. And yes, I'm using "get traffic forecasts for a list of keywords."

All other projections have stayed the same for the same keyword/bid combos (eg impressions, cpc, ad position, etc.), but suddenly projected CTR is terrible. The same settings that were a few day ago yielding a 2% projected CTR and 500 daily clicks are now yielding 0.2% CTR and 50 clicks. And this is happening across all keywords/industries/products.

Any insight into what might have changed? And any thoughts generally on how reliable these projections are? Obviously a lot depends on your quality score, ad copy, landing page, industry, etc., but I was hoping to at least use them as a baseline for market sizing, and now I'm wondering if they're totally unreliable.

Thanks again for your help.
Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Adam S
September 2015

Re: Change to Keyword Planner?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello Adam;

This  - as the  feature's  name suggests - is just an estimation, and like any statistical estimate, it has a margin of error, which sometimes is quite broad. In these cases, I wouldn't rely much on the estimator, and prefer the raw historical data provided by "get search volume"

 

I would ignore  the "forecast".  If you want real historical data use the "get search volume". These metrics represent real data, about volume and costs paid by the advertisers.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Change to Keyword Planner?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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That's really helpful. Thanks a ton!

Makes a lot more sense to go with the historical data, and that's what I'll stick to for now.