How to use Keyword Planner for small languages
Search Engine Optimisation

How to use Keyword Planner for small languages

4th November 2013

Last month I wrote about the problems with finding a trustworthy search volume for small languages using Google Keyword Planner. Here is an update, with a kind of solution. 

A few days after my article was published, a representative from Google Nordics called me and asked for a meeting. In the meeting he gave me an explanation of the problems with Keyword Planner so far, and fair solution to the problems.

The representative admitted that many of us have experienced problems with Google Keyword Planner, especially people working with the smaller languages. The problems are based on how the new tool treats language filters, which is very different from how these filters worked in the good old Google Keyword Tool.

In Keyword Tool, you could choose region (ex Norway) and language (Norwegian) to get the search volume for your country and language. Keyword Tool would then show the estimated search volume for that keyword in that region, with a “Norwegian” language filter. The language filter would adapt the number of searches to the Norwegian search market and the Norwegian language.

In the new tool, Keyword Planner, the language filter works differently. You still choose “Norway” but when you now choose “Norwegian”, Google will filter out and remove all keywords that are not considered to be pure Norwegian. Even keywords that are also Danish / Swedish will be filtered out and removed. These keywords will disappear from the report.

The week I wrote my previous blogpost, these filtered-out keywords would still show, but with no search volume:

keywords no search volume

Google later changed this. Now, keywords that are not considered Norwegian will completely disappear from the report if you choose “Norwegian” as your language filter:

keyword planner language filter norwegian

The solution? Choose region (Norway) and “all languages”, and Google have promised me that the volume showing is correct and can be trusted:

keyword planner all languages

I still don’t know if I completely trust Keyword Planner yet and I do miss the old language filter, since I still feel that the old tool gave us more accurate numbers. But still, this is a much better starting point for a keyword analysis than what we got a few weeks ago. And kind of an explanation and a solution to the problem.


Written By
Agnete Tøien Pedersen is Head of SEO in iProspect Norway and has years of experience within SEM, SEO, web publishing and journalism. She is also chairman of the Board of Ethical SEM in Norway, BraSøk. On a daily basis she is working with customers of all sizes, in Norway, the...
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