Recently, reports have surfaced that Google is or will be restricting access to its Keyword Planning tool to marketers who have currently active AdWords Campaigns running. This tool has become a staple for many marketers and advertisers, allowing for research into possible keywords to add to campaigns as well as giving you a starting point when considering whole new campaigns. The tool also allows you to take into account statistics like search volume, forecasts and predicted clicks to help you plan or edit your campaigns.
Historically, this tool has been offered completely free by Google with no cost to users and has been used by marketers, companies and brands for years. Google however has recently shown to be restricting access to the tool to only marketers who currently have an active campaign running. Notification messages telling them that they need “at least one active campaign” to use the Keyword Planner have begun appearing.
The impact of this change is likely to be rather substantial due to the tool's paramount importance and value to many marketers. With this change, the huge amount of marketers who perhaps aren’t using AdWords currently will have their access to the Keywords Planner tool restricted completely. Non-advertisers would need to start a new campaign to access all of this previously free information which does bring in to question whether these advertisers would start a new campaign without the tool? Or would they begin a campaign without the tool and just use the tool to refine their campaign?
Currently it is unknown if third party tools will be affected by this change. Marketers are also unsure as what exactly Google defines as an ‘active’ campaign. Does this mean a campaign that is set up but paused? Will a campaign that is set up to never receive impressions still have access to the tool? The full impact of this change will be seen in the near future as it is rolled out more and more marketers begin to feel the impact.