Why has Google dropped so much Insights data?

I’m quite a heavy user of Google insights. I find it a very effective way of comparing date ranges or keywords. From my own (admittedly pretty small and in need of refinement) analysis of insights data against the real world data, I saw a pretty strong correlation between the two. Sorry, I’ve got no numbers or evidence on that. Coast Digital did a study on the correlation and saw similar results. So overall, a pretty effective way of understanding what happened. Well, it was at least.

It seems that Google has significantly trimmed the amount of data they are providing through insights. Here are two screenshots from the results for the same terms, one made at the start of May and one made at the start of June:

insightsMayJune
As you can see, the graph from June lacks the granularity of the graph from May. The numbers on these terms are now reported weekly instead of the previous daily granularity.

To put in perspective how much granularity has been lost, these terms represent ~10,000 searches p/m.

I also tried another search for a term that represents ~2,500-3,000 searches p/m and was presented with this beautiful, detailed graph:

insightsMay1
Oh…

Google always presented some questionable data in the Adwords Keyword tool, because of their economic sampling and the way they bucket keyword volumes. Google Insights was one of the few places you could get some accurate, detailed data from Google, but for some reason they seem to have severely cut the data available. Is it cost cutting? Did they feel they were giving us too much information? Is it permanent?

Whatever the answers; if it stays as it is, then it is a big loss to data accuracy.

5 Comments

  • It’s a shame they are cutting down on the indispensable search data they share but I do not recall ever getting any results from insights for keywords with 2,500-3,000 searches pcm

  • Is this permanent? Or is it a temporary glitch? I am using Google Insights regularly as it is a valuable tool. I remember once to have encounter similar results but it was temporary – few days later, all went back to the normal.

    I did some tests too after reading this and I got similar results: no more daily trends, very limited keyword infos…. :-(

    But is it confirmed by Google? Or is it a technical issue?

    I hope it is just temporary…

    Cheers,

    Michael
    http://www.kaizen-analytics.com

  • Hi Ryan.

    Thanks for the link-back to our original insights piece. I still use Google insights data and must admit I hadn’t really noticed any outage in the data…. it would be a shame if Google were starting to hide data from us.

    Over the next few days – We’ll try and find time to re-run the data Darren and I originally put together. We’ll use the same KWs and run the graph for a longer time-frame. Lets hope for a good match again!

    I will drop over another comment to let you know.

  • Hi Ryan. I have re-run the Google Insights for Search data. I believe the data to still be valuable although I can also see that my recent data extract has been smoothed when compared to the 2008 data. Please find more information on my blog post – http://www.coastdigital.co.uk/blog/2010/08/16/google-insights/

    BTW – can you please amend the outclick URL on my previous comment to the correct one as per this comment? Thank-you.

  • We use Google Insights all the time to find top key words and I haven’t yet to have any problems with yet but then again I was not using early on so the changes on the data were before my time.

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