Google Keyword Planner vs Google Trends

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to improve upon Google Keyword Planner data at Moz. Have you ever compared Google Keyword Planner data with Google Trends? Google Trends only provides relative statistics, while Keyword Planner shows actual volume estimates. However, you would expect that ebbs and flows of volume, the trends themselves, should be the same.


For the keyword “baseball”, you can see the rise from December through to the summer, but the drop off, but October in Keyword Planner isn’t even close to represented in Google Trends.


For the keyword soccer, once again, we see a nice increase from December through June in Trends matching that of Keyword Planner. However, we don’t see the same thing for the last 3 months. Keyword Planner shows huge numbers for the keyword “soccer” in September, October, and November, but not so much in Google Trends.


Finally, for the keyword tennis, we see a noticeable absence in July of a dip in Google Keyword Planner you would expect.

So, what do you think? Which do you trust more? Keyword Planner or Trends?

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  1. Dave Minchala
    Dec 30, 2015

    Would want to see your settings but off the cuff my bet would be that the query corpus is different for each tool. There’s going to be a ton of longtail searches used to calculate Trends that would never make it into AdWords kwd planner (i strongly suspect, anyhow).

  2. Patrick Coombe
    Dec 31, 2015

    That’s a really good question Ryan, let’s say it was Trends what would that mean for you and what would that mean for Moz? I’ve been using a lot of other sources these days for casual keyword research (Amazon, etc) and have been getting some really spot on information.

    I think we’ve all always noticed these crazy fluctuations in KP, especially for certain keywords. Some keywords remain consistent forever while others fluctuate almost regularly. I’ve never put any stock in those numbers and always use them as a “jumping off point.”

  3. Lukasz @
    Dec 31, 2015

    Well they both are created for different purpose and have different algorithm for counti g the popularity.

    When it comes to SEO I prefer only traffic-based keyword tools but if you want to chceck the popularity of some trends (like TV Shows) most people will look into Google Trends. Mostly because Google Trends are sensitive for other activities (if you buy TV Ads you will see huuuuge impact on Google Trends but no spike in the Keyword Planner)

    I’m always recommending media planners to work with two of this tools.

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