Google is reducing access to data in the Keyword Planner for users who aren’t running active AdWords campaigns. Until recently, anyone with an AdWords account could use the Keyword Planner without restriction – but this quickly changing.

We’re now seeing a growing number of “inactive” accounts get restricted access to the tool. While rumour has it this will soon apply to all AdWords accounts without active campaigns running. Which means SEOs and other marketers who aren’t advertising through Google will need to look elsewhere for their keyword data.


Google further restricts Keyword Planner data

In June Google completely removed access to the Keyword Planner tool for a large number of accounts without active campaigns. It soon claimed this was a technical issue only affecting some accounts. However, many suspected it was a sign of things to come and we now know this to be true.

For those without an active AdWords campaign running, the data you see from Keyword Planner will look something like this:


Credit: Ramesh Singh, posted by The SEM Post


Credit: posted by The SEM Post

If you don’t have any AdWords campaigns active right now, you’ll need to create one and set a budget. The real kicker is you also have to enter your card details. Which means you basically have to pay for an active campaign to get full access to the Keyword Planner.

This hasn’t affected all accounts that aren’t running campaigns yet, but the number seems to be rising. Which suggests this will soon be the case for any AdWords account that isn’t currently advertising.


Naturally, this isn’t a problem if you’re active on AdWords – but SEOs who rely on the Keyword Planner will be the big losers here. The same goes to any marketers who place their ad spend elsewhere (eg: Facebook) but still use the Keyword Planner for their organic search efforts.