In summary, earlier this week, some marketers noticed that the Keyword Planner tool was displaying ranged data rather than precise search volumes. The ranges being shown were also incredibly broad with some results showing "100K - 1M".
Google have recently confirmed that accurate search volume data will now only show to higher-spending Adwords advertisers.
Historically, users have used Google's keyword volume tool to carry out keyword research for both PPC and SEO purposes.
The Keyword Planner tool has always been a quick and free way to obtain search volume data.
However, going forward it appears that this tool will now have more limited access and will only be free for those advertisers with higher Adwords budgets.
The range data that "lower-spend" advertisers will see will make the tool pretty much useless.
Needless to say, this has caused a bit of a stir on the Google forum. Here's the original post from Google.
So what can smaller advertisers do to get keyword data?
Advertisers with smaller budgets may need to lean on an agency for help in carrying out detailed keyword research. If your paid search program is already run by an agency, the chances are they will still have access to the tool because their aggregate spend will be high enough.
It's not yet clear what the budget cut-off is and how Google will determine which advertisers have access to the full tool.