A few weeks ago, Google removed exact match search volumes in keyword planner.

These were replaced by keyword grouping search volumes, which represented a major obstacle for many SEO practitioners. It hampered our ability to prioritize the most important search terms into our content or better understand the potential traffic a ranking keyword would drive. However, we were not too concerned.

If anything, these recent changes pushed us to identify even better solutions to help guide our on-page content strategies and keyword optimizations. It’s been an exciting few weeks to say the least.

Today, however, we noticed Google rolling out a completely new search volume output in which they produce a search volume range for each keyword you submit. These ranges can be pretty significant. On some keywords, like “San Diego hotels” for example, Google returns a search volume range of 10K – 100K. This is tremendously unhelpful to SEO practitioners, as the range is extremely wide.

Google puts the following reminder on the top of Keyword Planner: “This page shows ranges for search volumes. For a more detailed view, set up and run a campaign.”

Rasheed blog

Google is doing what it can to increase its ad revenues by removing the transparency and insights millions of digital marketers have relied on for years.

It’s possible Google is only testing this new set of results, as some members of the PACIFIC team are still receiving the old search volume results.

It’s uncertain how the industry will adapt to these changes but one thing’s for sure, Google isn’t shy about their strides towards pushing paid advertising and closing in on what used to be “free resources”—hurting digital marketers everywhere. We’ll continue monitoring this for any further updates.


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