Google Ads recently made a very controversial change that has taken away some of our ability to see search terms data. So, how big of an issue is this really? Let’s talk about it.
Hey, everybody. It’s Jim. Good to be with you. Nice to talk to you. Hope you’re having a great day and a good week so far.
So today, we’re going to talk about Google’s big decision recently to take away the ability to see some of our search terms data in Google Ads. So, this is something that’s obviously going to be very controversial to a lot of people. Anytime Google takes away your ability to see data or see information, then you know that’s going to put advertisers up at arms to some degree. A lot of the times, assuming with good reason, we’re paying for something that we can’t actually see anymore. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
So far, I’ve seen anywhere from 25% to 75% of search terms being unreported compared to what we were seeing before. That’s a pretty wide range and impacts different businesses in different ways. So if you rely on traffic from a relatively consistent group of keywords that have a decent amount of traffic, then this isn’t going to really affect you all that much. But if you’re a niche advertiser that doesn’t get a whole lot of volume, then you’ll definitely be flying blind to a larger degree than you were before. So, why does this matter? Well, we all bid on keywords. But, we’re actually paying for search terms that visitors click on, which matches to a keyword. Advertisers rely on search term data to see what customers are actually searching for, what rates they’re searching for something at, how those search terms are being matched to the keywords that we’re actually using in the account. Search terms are also the key to eliminating wasted spend. So, it’s super common in most ad accounts to find search terms that you’re paying for that aren’t at all related to your product or service.
Typically, you would use search terms data to add negative keywords here. Or in the opposite situation, if you find a lot of search terms that are highly relevant, you would want to add those as keywords. So, those things aren’t going to be quite as possible as they were before. So, what can you do now? Well, first, we don’t exactly know how all of this will play out. We need to give it a little bit of time. You give it a couple of months, take a look at your search terms reports from the time period before the change to after to see how much has affected your account directly. There’s a chance you might be able to see some data over a longer period of time. So instead of looking at search terms data weekly, maybe try looking monthly instead, see if that data aggregates more and you’re able to see a little bit more detail. It just might take you longer to see it. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but that’s something that we can hope for.
Google’s ultimate goal appears to be pushing advertisers towards smart bidding strategies as they’ve been doing for a few years now. As such, this might be a good time to try experimenting with smart strategies to see if you can maintain or improve your conversion rates if you’re not already doing that. But, this is definitely Google pushing you in that direction. As time goes on, hopefully we’ll be able to come up with other strategies that can help mitigate this data loss. Until then, we just have to be patient, watch your ad spend and conversion data closely and carefully, and just be vigilant about all the data that you do that has the ability to see.
That’s all for this week’s episode. I’ll be back soon with another episode of Marketing In 10. Until then, take care guys. Have a great day.