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Google Keyword Planner now gives you 4 years’ worth of data

by Adam Read
21st Nov 2016 - 3 min read

When I utter the words ‘Google is giving us more data’, I barely believe it myself. But it appears to be true. Previously, Google Keyword Planner only gave us two years of data, but now you can select up to four years of data using the date range drop-down. The screenshot below shows me being able to select back to October 2012.

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This new development is very important for a couple of reasons:

  • Understanding your core keywords seasonality
  • Understanding your organic and paid traffic trends

Seasonality

Whether your field of specialism is paid digital or organic search, understanding your keywords seasonality is important as it allows you to plan and change marketing campaigns to suit a predicted trend. An obvious example is ‘Christmas’ which clearly shows its year-on-year seasonality:

Christmas

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But what if we overlay mobile trends to this view:

Christmas – Mobile

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At its peak in December, mobile has been increasing significantly over the last four years and it’s not showing signs of slowing down. In December 2015, mobile searches for Christmas-related searches were at 48% globally, this year (2016) I’ve predicted that it will be significantly over half of searches. This is a sign that companies dependent on Christmas searches should ensure that their site, SEO and paid ads are tailored towards mobile.

Search Trends

If you want to know why visits to your site have been decreasing/increasing and Google rankings or paid budget has remained unchanged, then the answer could be related to search trends. With data going back four years, you can get a good idea of core traffic driving keywords for brand searches and competitor brand searches. Understanding these trends will help you understand where traffic is going to and coming from. The example below is Tesco, which, over the last four years, have seen a decline in brand search:

Tesco

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From analysing the keywords of Tesco’s competitors, we can see that traffic is potentially going to Morrisons:

Morrisons

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This is a rather simplified analysis, and there are many factors that can cause traffic to fluctuate, what I’ve tried to demonstrate here is how useful having this extended date range can be.

 

Why are Google giving us more data?

We would never get a direct answer from the search giants themselves, but we can make assumptions on their previous actions. Recently, we have seen changes to Google Keyword Planner where if you do not pay enough for ads then you get very limited data – almost worthless data. Perhaps extending the date range sweetens the deal for increasing your paid ads budget. We have also seen other Google services – such as Google Search Console – increasing the analytic capabilities for keywords and introducing an API. Or perhaps this is an apology for removing our beloved organic keyword data (partly linked to the requirement to move towards HTTPS).

I guess we will never know… But I’m not complaining. Keep it coming Google.

Read our article: Paid digital – the unsung hero of digital marketing.

What would you do with the extra data from Google? Let us know in the comments below.

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