3 Drawbacks of Google’s Keyword Planner

Written By SEO Team

I have often seen that while doing keyword research, almostCapture every internet marketer relies heavily on the data from Google Keywords Planner. Without understanding that, in reality, this data can be untrustworthy and must be seen with a skeptical eye. This is what I am going to do today. I will be revealing three drawbacks of Google Keyword Planner data, so you can understand how to improve the keyword research process for your client’s as well as your own sites.

#1 Rounded Averages

Till date, the “Average Monthly Search Volume” metric is the most extensively utilized segment of data from Google Keyword Planner. Many marketers hunt for keywords for ad campaigns and to predict complex traffic curves, only on the basis of this data.

For instance, you run a fashion website, and two keywords pop up in the suggestions: beach sandals and trending dresses. Google Keyword Planner gives us the data according to which, these keywords have an Average Monthly Search Volume of, say 324,100. Using these statistics, you should be able to select one of the two keywords and anticipate identical traffic, agree?

Absolutely not. The data that you obtain from keyword planner is not just an average, but it is rounded off to the nearest-volume-bucket by the KWP’s rounding algorithm. Google Keyword Planner assigns keywords by volume to a particular bucket, which makes it further more difficult to determine the actual average traffic.

Thus, the rounding algorithm can cause a deviation from the real picture. You may observe that in spite of the high average traffic shown by the Google KWP, the keyword may be getting a traffic of less than 20,000. So, the marketers must not make decisions entirely based on the results of “Average Monthly Search Volume” metrics.

#2 Absurd Recommendations

I am saying this from my own experience; sometimes Google Keyword Planner can give absurd keyword recommendations. I found some interesting data, by entering the keyword ‘pigeon,’ Google recommended the keyword ‘cabins’.

The real reason for these vague recommendations is that Google KWP does not confine itself to matching phrases for the recommendations. It also displays all possible combinations of that word(s) and majority of these combinations lack meaningful connection with the searched keyword. The scenario is not limited to certain keywords, it is a common feature of all keyword researches.

#3 Google KWP hides data

I have no doubt that Google Keyword Planner is a wonderful tool for the SEO, especially in finding the relevant keywords. But those who believe in Google’s evil, they understand that Google is a business venture and like any other business in the world, its primary objective is to make money.

Adwords displays both meaningful as well as absurd suggestions, but most of don’t know is that  it also hides relevant data to divert the advertisers towards certain keywords. The strategy is simple. A smaller set of search terms will result in higher bidding price.


Despite all of these drawbacks of Google Keyword Planner, it has a great significance in obtaining the search volume data from Google. There are many other options that we can use to refine some data such as the clickstream data, or watching impression counts and by getting estimates from Google Adwords campaigns. But, none of these can become a substitute to the Google Keyword Planner.