Rank Ranger Blog

Keyword Planner Search Volume Affected by Advertising Policies

If you are using Google Keyword Planner to do keyword research, you might notice something strange. When searching for keyword volumes for certain terms, you might find there are simply no results.

Now, I’m not talking about obscure terms. I’m talking about terms that should get thousands of searches every month.

For instance, when performing a search for the term ‘diabetes’ the Google Keyword Planner brings up no results. For a term as broad as ‘diabetes’, it’s almost impossible to imagine there is no monthly search volume.

We tried performing searches for many random terms. Among the terms were:
  • Early pregnancy symptoms
  • Heart disease
  • Pregnancy calculator
  • Pregnancy calendar
  • CBD oil

None of these terms brought any search results.

After getting in touch with Barry Schwartz we discovered this…

Google Keyword Planner won’t show data for keywords that fall under its restricted content policies.

Google’s Restricted Content Policies

Google, to my knowledge, has three restricted content policies. There is a policy related to healthcare and medicines, the Financial Products and Services policy, and an enabling dishonest behavior policy. These policies all exist to protect the user.

Health and Medicines Policy

The Health and Medicines policy is designed to ensure that advertisers use the Google platform to advertise responsibly by ensuring that ads follow appropriate laws and industry standards related to health niches.

Enabling Dishonest Behavior Policy

The Enabling Dishonest Behaviour Policy is designed to ensure that Google users don’t engage in dishonest practices such as promoting:

  • Products or services that help users mislead others
  • Products or services that enable a user to gain unauthorized access (or make unauthorized changes) to systems, devices, or property
  • Products or services that enable a user to track or monitor another person or their activities without their authorization

Financial Products and Services

The Financial Products and Services policy is designed to make sure that users are able to make informed financial decisions while protecting users from harmful or deceitful practices.

The Google Keyword Planner

These policies directly affect Google Keyword Planner data. In other words, Google will not give you data that will help users create ads that go against their guidelines.

This, in theory, makes sense, however...

What if a business is promoting ethical products or services that relate to these niches. Perhaps these ethical businesses in theory could promote products or services to those same keywords that the unethical businesses would advertise to. The problem is they will not have any Keyword Planner data to work with.

For instance, what if a business that promotes non-pharmaceutical baby products that don’t violate Google’s guidelines was to look up a keyword like ‘pregnancy calendar’? They would find no data.

The question is how could they find the data they need to advertise?

What Should a Business Do? Keyword Planner Tip

If as a business you are in a situation like this and you are using Keyword Planner, all is not lost. Although it is true you will not see search volume for many terms, you can still find related terms that do show data.

For instance, you can try to add a modifier before the keyword or after it. An example of this is the term ‘pregnancy calendar’, in which Keyword Planner will not show any search data. Perhaps there is data for related terms.

To find a related term, type ‘pregnancy calendar’ into the Google search bar, and look through the Google Suggest terms. See below.

Google Suggest showing terms for 'pregnancy calendar'

As you can see in Google Suggest, there are related terms that have almost the same meaning. For instance, if you take the term ‘pregnancy calendar 2020’ into the Keyword Planner, you will see data. See the screenshot below:

Google Keyword Planner showing data for the term 'pregnancy calendar 2020'

What is interesting about this is there is no substantial difference between ‘pregnancy calendar’ and ‘pregnancy calendar 2020’. By just adding the modifier you will see search data.

Now, if ‘pregnancy calendar 2020’ has search volume, there is no question that ‘pregnancy calendar’ has search volume.

We do realize that this approach is not ideal, but you can still find the search data you need if you look for it.

Rank Ranger Keyword Research Tool

This brings us to an important question. The Rank Ranger Keyword Research tool uses Google Keyword Planner search volume data in its reports. This means we currently have gaps in our data for certain niches.

As you know, Rank Ranger is a work in process and we are always looking for ways to improve our software.

We have not yet found a solution to this, but we are currently actively looking for a reliable clickstream source to either replace Google Keyword Planner or to at least fill in the data gaps. We’ll update you as soon as we find a viable solution.

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