Google Sabotage of the Search Data
First, you had read about Google sabotaging the search data here. As Google had promised, now we have 2 types of data from Google. In lack of better terms, let’s call those:
- Rich Dad’s Search Data
- Poor Dad’s Search Data
Welcome to Google’s Rich Dad’s vs Poor Dad’s Search Volume Data
One of the fundamental pieces of data in digital marketing is Search Volume for keywords which is equally important for Organic Optimization (SEO) or paid marketing (SEM). As we’re aware, Google has been controlling, limiting, hiding, sabotaging and now putting data behind a pay wall.
- Controlling: Eliminate External Keyword Tool, thereby forcing everyone to Adwords.
- Limiting Search Data: Removing match types in Search Volume Data such as Broad, Phrase and limited to only Exact.
- Hiding: The notorious “Not Provided” a.k.a. the secure search
- Sabotaging: Presenting data in grouped or merged fashion making it harder for marketer to understand customer intent.
- Pay-per-view Data: Creating 2 sets of data for paying customers vs non-paying customers – effectively generating Rich Dad’s Data vs Poor Dad’s Data.
Rich Dad’s Search Volume Data
This is (err, rather it used to be) the normal view of Search Volume. Within, Google Adwords Keywords Tool, you enter a keyword(s) and marketers would be able to see the exact search volume for those search queries. Note the trendline above as well.
This view that used to be normal view now has become “Rich Dad’s Search Volume Data”, which is available only to Marketers who are spending a significant amount of money in the Adwords Account.
Poor Dad’s Search Volume Data
Next, for those marketers who are not spending significant amount of money in their Adwords account would have to live with poor set of data which is hardly actionable.
For this purpose, I created a new Adwords account, skipped the automatic set-up process and went to the Keyword Tool. Let’s review what’s the result set for the same keywords as above:
You’ll notice following major elements of changes:
- Keywords are grouped/merged and search volume data as customers typed are no longer displayed.
Singular and plural, Acronyms etc will now have merged search volume. As marketers, it would be difficult to distinguish between “PPE” and “Personal Protective Equipment” on which one is searched upon more.
- Search Volume is in Ranges vs exact numbers.
e.g. “ear plugs” has an average monthly exact search volume of 33,100 as shown above in “Rich Dad’s Data”. Below for “Poor Dad’s Data”, Google presents the same data in the wide range of 10,000 to 100,000.
- Instead of Trend Lines, a huge range (100K to 1M) is provided. How un-actionable is this!
- Search Volumes for all keywords are also in huge ranges, effectively rendering them useless.
Note, how all example keywords below have wide range. For “PPE”, search volume range of 100K to 1M is practically useless vs knowing “PPE” has 40,500 searches a month on average.
It’s fair to say that the golden days when Google was providing data openly and freely to digital marketers are over. What this means is marketers would now have to rely on fewer actionable data to do more. Data now being directly tied to spend, it’s expected to impact small businesses with less digital marketing spend more negatively than the larger companies with much bigger budget. Nevertheless, my another prediction for future is all companies (large and small businesses, Rich Dads and Poor Dads) would be spending more in Paid Marketing.