This Is Scary: Google Censors Average Monthly Search Volume

This Is Scary: Google Censors Average Monthly Search Volume

If this election taught me anything, it’s that I can never trust Google again. And before you call me dramatic, I want to show you that Google censors average monthly search volume, and it didn’t before. What does this shift mean for the average user? Not much. But for anyone working in search engine optimization, it’s a tectonic shift.

Once upon a time Google AdWords accounts could discover search frequency via Google keyword planner. The data was freely accessible. Now this data is hidden from all but ‘elite’ accounts.

Regated recently published an article showing that Google trends indicate a Trump landslide. We were able to utilize Google’s search data to compare similarities between Brexit and the 2016 election. Now that Google censors average monthly search volume, we cannot report specific data — and that’s worrisome.

Before Google Censors Average Monthly Searches:

Before Google Censors Search Volume

After Google Censors Average Monthly Searches:

Google Censors Search Volume

In the above images you see how easily accessible this information was. Now we are only granted access to a 1M – 10M range.

We can no longer gauge term popularity. “Hillary Clinton” may have 1.3M monthly searches and “Donald Trump” may have 9.7M. Or the reverse could be true. Google won’t tell you either way.

Now this exclusive data is only available to the highest bidder. Google isn’t just misleading data-curious journalists — they’re flipping the bird to small time SEOs worldwide.

You may be wondering what the minimum spending threshold is to gain access to the detailed data report. According to reports, Google has yet to release specific spending requirements to gain exclusive access:

“Unfortunately for SEOs and low budget advertisers, a Google spokesperson confirmed that they are not sharing information on what that spend threshold is.”

How convenient.  Search popularity isn’t an absolute indicator as to who will win come election day — but data matters. I personally believe Google search data is more accurate than traditional polling.

Now that Google censors relevant data behind a paywall taller than The_Donald’s wallbot — Google search data is no longer a reliable source. I wonder if my popular article about Google Trends influenced Google’s policy shift. If so I apologize to my fellow SEOs.

Final thoughts

SourceFed clarified Google works with the Clinton campaign so it makes sense that average Joe is now left in the dark.

Google: you should be ashamed of yourself. You have no justified reason to manipulate our election. What the hell happened to “Don’t Be Evil?”

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