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Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

I've been working with the Google Keyword Planner Tool every month for the last 1.5 years. When I was looking at the Avg. Monthly Searches (see here https://i.imgsafe.org/0703908386.png), I noticed that the historic Search levels have increased by about 5k+. For example;

Jan-16 was 26390 (when I looked in May-16) and now it is 33980 (when I looked in Jun-16).

Feb-16 was 25380 (when I looked in May-16) and now it is 31500 (when I looked in Jun-16).

Mar-16 was 24720 (when I looked in May-16) and now it is 30520 (when I looked in Jun-16).

Apr-16 was 22050 (when I looked in May-16) and now it is 27910 (when I looked in Jun-16).

 

This increment has occurred for any list of keyword baskets that I input into the Keyword Planner Tool. Previously, I've noticed that historic search levels fluctuate by about 100 or so, but never in the thousands. Does anyone know why there has been such a large increase in historic search levels? I have a theory that Google is now including something in this data which wasn't there previously, e.g. Mobile Searches due to Google Now or something?

 

Any help in explaining this phenomenon is highly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Richard

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Richard,

Google have changed the way the numbers are calculated (without telling anyone it seems). Plurals and other variations are now being lumped together.

More here
https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Basics-for-New-Advertisers/Average-Monthly-Searches-are-ex...

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Rob, thank you very much for your reply and for linking me to that thread. This certainly puts a dent into the work I am doing. Do you have any ideas as to why Google would do such a thing? Is it because Google are forcing us to use it as an "estimate" tool?

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Unless it is a bug, my best guess is that the underlying infrastructure has changed for internal reasons, and the keyword planner is collateral damage.

There's no end user benefit, unless they want us to think there are twice as many searches being made that there actually are.

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I hope this is a bug, perhaps I have overlooked this but I can't recall seeing the option "Only show ideas closely related to my search terms" before in keyword planner and if this is a new feature it might be what's breaking the tool. Just guessing here of course but the reality is that turning this setting on/off changes absolutely nothing for me.

http://screencast.com/t/HR4u1nAe

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Christoffer, I've kept that option "Only show ideas closely related to my search terms" off ever since I started using Google Keyword Planner, which was 1.5yrs ago. So, this option has been there for a while, it's not new. I don't think that's what's affecting the search volume levels.
My recommendation would be to wait until June 2016 data is released just so we can confirm if this change is permanent, or if indeed this was just a bug.

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hey Richard, OK I've overlooked it then. Agree, let's wait and see...fingers crossed.

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Finally got a reply from the Adwords support team:
“there was a recent change in how average monthly searches are calculated in Keyword Planner and it is now expected that search terms that are close variants to each other will show the same aggregated search volumes”

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Oh dear... did they provide a reason why they changed it, Chris?

Re: Keyword Planner Tool showing higher Avg. Monthly Searches

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Unfortunately not yet but we're asking them...