Google Keyword Planner:

Keyword Planner, as mentioned previously, is the all important tool for any content writer or SEO expert. Google keyword planner is considered base for this part of research. After all, most of searches are done on google only. Moreover, other premium keyword research tools (like SEMRUSH-Click here to get 15 day free trial worth $150) are based on data from google servers. And, it was free to access. 

And now, as per recent reports, access to this free tool has been restricted to active adwords accounts. 

Read: How to find keywords for your next blog idea using keyword planner

Google keyword planner


Active adwords accounts:

Now regarding this defintion of active adword accounts, is what is confusing most of users. Some users are getting error, where it is showing that you need to have atleast one ad running to be able to use keyword planner. This,if true, in itself will defeat purpose of the tool itself. 

Some users are stating that they are getting access to keyword planner tool without having active campaign in their adwords accounts, where as many users are not able to access unless they start a campaign. So we digged into the matter and here is what we found:

  • You can access keyword planner tool, only from a adwords account with billing information set up. You can’t access it from normal account or directly anymore
  • If you are previous user,  you can still access keyword planner without an active campaign in your account. Now, there is no clarity of what google considers as new user. The basic understanding is that you should have run at least one campaign (amount/budget is not specified) previously to be able to use the tool free of charge. 
  • It is still not clear, if a paused campaign will be considered as active campaign. Some users are able to access the tool after starting a campaign and then pausing that immediately. 

[UPDATE: Yes, you can access the keyword planner with paused campaigns. So, you can set up a billing account, create campaign and then pause it. Your access will remain]

Value for money?

You can also read about update on this issue here.

So, for now, the access to this tool is free. Even if data provided by keyword planner is little dense and requires a little adjustment to understand, it is still worth it. 

But if google shuts down access to it for paid service, then value for money proposition comes into picture. In that scenario, there are multiple tools available with far more meaningful & effective information.