Keyword Planner Now Shows Search Variants Instead of Individual Keyword Traffic

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That means keywords are grouped together and that we aren't able to look at traffic for specific, individual phrases and words. It's really a narrowing down of the tool's focus. The SEM Post covered some of what John Mueller had to say about it. They also speculate on the idea that a similar tool could come to Search Console.

On the changes to Keyword Planner, Mueller said that he didn't know of any plans to bring a similar tool to Search Console but, "...in the past we have always referred to the AdWords Keyword Planner as something people can use for this information. So if that doesn't work anymore, maybe we need to figure something else out." He recommended that people share feedback about the new changes to the tool with the AdWords help forum, even if "They might in turn say you're holding it wrong, which could be useful feedback as well because this is not really a search tool but more of an AdWords tool."

Though, it has historically been used as a search tool even if Google only sees it as an AdWords tool. It's a shame that the tool is less versatile now, as The SEM Post points out that "...while many SEOs might know alternative keyword tools, many smaller site owners who aren't involved in the SEO community might not be aware of them - or more importantly, don't have the budget for them, since most start at around the $100 per month price point."

So...not as disappointing as needing an active campaign to get tool access (which was a bug)...but still, this move feels very restrictive.

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