Is It the End of the Road for Paid Search Keyword Data?

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There has been some confusion recently about Google’s Adwords keyword data and whether or not it would still be available in Google Analytics.

For PPC professionals, the keywords which allows you to see which phrases led to your ad being clicked provides vital insight and aids the successful running of a campaign.

After sifting through various reports doing the rounds on the Web, we can confirm that the rumours are not true. Panic over.

Speculation ranged from ‘access to paid search keyword data is being blocked by Google’ to ‘the same thing is going to happen in paid search as organic ‘not provided’. Understandably, there has been some concern. When secure search was rolled out in 2011, it has made analysing the journey of a user a tricky task. The privacy of organic search user’s was protected, so analysts can see that traffic is being driven to the website but how is more difficult to find out.

Let’s take a look at what exactly Google has said about paid search query and the data available. Their exact words were ‘Today, we are extending our efforts to keep search secure by removing the query from the referrer on ad clicks originating from SSL searches on Advertisers will continue to have access to useful data to optimize and improve their campaigns and landing pages.’ They can’t have said it plainer than that.

The changes mean that whoever is running the paid search campaign can access paid search query data using the Search Terms Report in AdWords, rather than Google Analytics.

Really, this is a win-win situation.

Google say that they are working in the best interest of the user and these changes have been made to protect their privacy. From now, only advertisers and AdWords Partners will have access to search query data. Some would argue that this is the best way. In simple terms, those who really need the information can get to it via the most legitimate means (an AdWords account) and third-party management platforms (e.g. Wordstream). It turns out that Google’s announcement did not bring about the worst case scenario, as suspected.

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