Google recently dropped a bombshell on all those who have been using the Keyword Planner for assessing the market trends to kick off their campaigns. The new update no longer provides the search volume information, which used to be the case till a few days ago. Now, for those not running any active campaigns using their Adwords account, the data shown will be of not much use as they are generic and don't provide enough to plan an effective organic campaign. In short, it’s a big blow for start-ups and freelance Digital Marketers who are entering the Digital Marketing domain with them now magically expected to have active accounts before they can even begin.The official explanation given by Google is pretty vague. Their statement mentions that the current update, or for many a massive downgrade, is necessary to keep the bots from over-burdening the platform. This has however not gone down well with SEOs who used the tool to generate information to better the prospects of their on-page organic performance now being forced to maintain a minimum spend threshold to be able to continue doing so. Previously, as the screenshot below shows, the information provided was straightforward. A user just had to key in relevant information for the tool to get back with accurate details on the number of average search results.How it used to be:How it is now: Now, the Keyword Planner tool just provides information or more technically ‘limited data’ by sharing a range rather than an accurate number along with a preset message, “This page shows ranges for search volumes. For a more detailed view, set up and run a campaign.” This becomes an issue for marketers who are planning a strategy to implement but don't have an active campaign associated with their account.Fortunately, Google’s own platform is not the only tool optimizers can look at while initiating a campaign strategy. We recommend using the following tools which serve the same purpose and can help you with the information you seek.MOZ KEYWORD EXPLORER – Everyone in the Digital Marketing world is familiar with moz.com and the services they offer. The recently launched Keyword Explorer from Moz is a great tool for optimizers to look at, and it really does a great job. The estimates provided are accurate, suggestions given are valid, and the database matches that of Google. It is a great tool for newbies to invest in and a must try in our opinion.SEMrush – SEMrush is another great tool to gather information on organic keywords. This suite provides data on a more technical level and provides insights into link building, comprehensive competitor analysis and many other relevant metrics. Theirs is an account based service, but one we suggest you subscribe to as an alternative for the now controversial Google Keyword Planner.KEYWORDTOOL.IO (Google Suggest) – Keywordtool.io comes in two flavours. One is free, and the other requires a paid subscription. The free variant provides 750+ keywords from Google autocomplete within a matter of seconds but blurs out the search volume, quite literally. However the paid option, pro basic and pro plus to be specific, nearly display twice as many keywords along with the search volume and is a great platform to efficiently begin a promising campaign.The bottom-line here is that Google, with their recent update to their Keyword Planner tool, has given leverage to other competitors to stake their claim as an alternative and many are already on the lookout for options to gather the information they want. The move, coined by many as unwarranted, has drawn a lot of flak from within the community owing to lack of clarity and rationale from one of the most trusted sources on the internet.