New Google AdWords Keyword Tool - Different results if Logged In or Logged Out

by bluefoot 24 replies
I have noticed the new Google AdWords: Keyword Tool returns dramatically different results depending on whether I'm logged in or logged out of my AdWords account.

The logged in results are much lower then results when I'm logged out. I have seen others here on Warrior Forum make the same observation, but I have yet to find an explanation.

For example:

Keyword - canon camera bag - Exact result:
Logged In - Global 1,300 Local 590
Logged Out - Global 14,800 Local 8,100

I am new to AdWords and this confusion makes me hesitant to start a campaign until I understand what I'm seeing as far as search volumes.

Almost all the Keyword advice from folks seems to refer to the Logged Out numbers, but that distinction is never made, maybe because the new interface has not been around long, or maybe because not too many folks have noticed this yet.

I am starting to wonder if the logged in numbers are really closer to accurate than the logged out numbers.

Can anyone share their own observations and thoughts?

Thank You
#search engine optimization #adwords #google #keyword #logged #results #tool
  • Profile picture of the author sarafina
    Get the same results. That is a big discrepancy. This is the first time I noticed actually. I just assumed they would be the same. Interested in hearing what some of the other forum members have to say about this..
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    I wonder what Google's reason is for feeding people bogus data is? Obviously they have the intent to deceive, but for what reason would they do that. The correct data is obviously available from their server logs.

    We have always known that the data given was not exactly right, but this basically proves it.

    Inquiring minds want to know. But I don't think Google is going to give us an answer any time soon.

    Tim Pears

  • Profile picture of the author sarafina
    Hmm..I don't think its intentionally bogus really. As an adwords user, the data they provide is very detailed and obviously meant to help.

    My theory on this discrepancy is such:

    When you are logged in, the information you see is based on impressions within the adwords system. So when somebody searches and ads are displayed. The external tool is for whenever somebody searches. The logged in version is lower because every search does not yield an ad to be displayed (due to advertiser budget constraints, negative keyword or simply not bidding on that keyword).

    Look at the keyword "canon camera bag" for example. There are only 5 ads. If their budgets are depleted on other keywords or they pause then it is possible some searches will not yield ads and thus google adwords logged in tool will show less results for that term.
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    sarafina, the numbers are bogus. The OP stated that he got one number when logged in and another when not logged in. The ads didn't display differently when he was logged in and when he wasn't. If you use the Search Based Keyword Tool, you will get a different number than when you use the AdWords tool. So are these tools showning the search volume or not? Three different sets of numbers from two different keyword tools, all pulling from the same company data base. If these numbers aren't bogus, then you mist be smoking something or you work for Google. Sorry, I am not buying your story.

    Tim Pears

  • Profile picture of the author sarafina
    You clearly didn't understand my post.

    I am suggesting the data google shows when you are logged in to your adwords account is based on the searches THAT DISPLAY ADWORD ADS. Whereas the logged out external tool is ANY SEARCHES PERIOD. If you understand that every search does not display an ad, then naturally the logged in number would be different & lower which is what I observed in the few tests I did.

    Again its not a story that I'm trying to sell to you or anybody. Its a hypothesis (google it).

    Do you even use adwords? I do and google provides a TON of information to their users that help them so I find it unlikely that google would intentionally make this search tool misleading. I like to think of reasons behind something rather than just sitting down and calling everything I don't understand "bogus".
  • Profile picture of the author marketwarlord
    I just noticed this too with great shock. I see very opposite and drastic results though. For the keyword phrase "inducing lucid dreams", when logged in I see 110,000 global and logged out I see 460 global.

    This is very disturbing! I am going to try to find out what is going on and will come back here to share my findings.
  • Profile picture of the author Bryan V
    I made a post about this a few weeks/months back and still don't really know the answer to this.

    However... my traffic stats seems to be more in line with the data when logged in. Search results when logged in show between about 10% to 25% of the search volume compared to when NOT logged in.

    This is with the adwords tool, exact match only. My page impressions make WAY more sense compared to these lower search results for all my sites ranked in positions 1-4 for the keyword.

    So uh.. this sucks. A lot! I guess I will play it safe from now on and only go by search volume when logged in...
    Perhaps an attic I shall seek.
  • Profile picture of the author Shaun Lee
    Logged Out Stats

    Broad - 9900
    Phrase - 9900
    Exact - 2900

    Logged In Stats

    Broad - 9900
    Phrase - 9900
    Exact - 2900

    I'm getting the same results.

    By the way, these numbers are "Global Monthly Searches".

    • Profile picture of the author JustToWriteThis
      Ok, i've just opened this profile to reply to the threat.

      Today morning was really shockin! Until today, i didn't really care to login to see the stats. My search term had global monthly: 74 000 and seemed no serious competitor. I began a project based on the number and soon it will be launched. But today morning, by a chance, i logged in to the adword tool and searched my's 2200. almost 30 times lower than the result without login. Well, i feel so dumb! I put $$$$+11 months to develop my complex website with many modules and apis. Now, i really feel something.......bad!

      I really believe logged in result is the closest one to actual number. My other website's keyword impression ranged between 500-700 but logged out result used to show 3000-3500. I used to always wonder why there's such discrepancy. Now i'm logged in to the Adword tool and checked the keyword and it shows me 700. Exactly my keyword's impression number.

      My hypothesis:
      Logged Out result: repeated, not unique searches
      Logged In result: absolute unique searches (from visitor point of view)

      But Shaun's post is disturbing to my hypthesis. He's same result to the both cases.

      Sorry my bad english though! I'm lost! I go and listen Beatle's Yesterday.
  • Profile picture of the author JustToWriteThis
    Hi Daniel,
    Thank you very much for the link. I think it explains the reason of the stat discrepancy.

    One question, i don't have any Ad group. How would estimate it if i don't have any ads to track? My niche is so ''uninteresting'' and literally no one wants to put money for this. No ad groups as yet. The logged in result shows 2200 far less from stand alone traffic estimator's number 70K.

    Any idea?
    Thank you again
  • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
    What's the point?

    To confuse internet marketers and SEO's, while making it seem like there is more volume for Adwords than there is.

    • Profile picture of the author BishopMartin
      Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

      What's the point?

      To confuse internet marketers and SEO's, while making it seem like there is more volume for Adwords than there is.
      The point is that this is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, not the Internet Marketers and SEO's keyword tool. It was created to give AdWords advertisers an idea of how many impressions they might be able to generate by bidding on certain keywords.

      If I place a bid in AdWords my ad/website can show on Google's search results, other Powered By Google sites, places such as,, etc. My ad can also show on the content network which includes every site showing AdSense ads, parked domain pages, etc.

      If I get an organic listing for my site in Google's search results, my site will show on only Google's search results, obviously creating less impressions/visits than the above scenario.

      I just think of how many people are still buying guides that teach people to use this tool to estimate how much traffic/$$$ they are going to get from ranking their website. Next time you see someone claiming to know that they are doing but still recommending this tool you should ask yourself if they really know what they are doing...

      More background info:

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