Google has an announcement in its accounts: beginning in September search queries will no longer appear in query reports without a “significant” amount of data. The announcement sparked spirited debate and real-life examples from managers who are concerned about further loss of PPC control. Hmm…. interesting times ahead for ppc marketers

Google has subtly inserted an update into its Search Term Data Description. In the account warnings section, a vague notice is displayed showing below:

What was the explanation for this change?

Google says it updated the reports “to maintain our standards of privacy and strengthen our protections around user data.”

The company also said that it “continues to invest in innovative and efficient ways to share insights that allow advertisers to make strategic business decisions.”

In order to maintain our standards of privacy and strengthen our protections around user data, we have made changes to our Search Terms Report to only include terms that a significant number of users searched for. We’re continuing to invest in new and efficient ways to share insights that enable advertisers to make critical business decisions. – Google statement

As a per pay click professional – it also makes sense that you need to know which terms are getting you at least a few customers right? The good news is that you will always know the search terms that bring most of your customers’ – because they are the famous ones. Google will still show those terms in your reports.

The good and bad news is?

The bad news is your long tail keywords might disappear from the report. However, you can get around this…. When you run ads “married” to specific keywords. Then, when you see an ad performing well, you’ll know that the keyword associated with that ad is also performing well.

The Loss of Control and Loss of Visibility to PPC Experts?

As usual, the initial reaction of paid search professionals was one of dissatisfaction and scepticism. Industries that bear higher Cost-per-click (CPCs) and completion would be worse off going forward. This change does also imply paid search marketers would have less control of their accounts and less helpful information from google – many are gutted by the way?

In conclusion – My initial thoughts and impact
1. Many advertisers in very competitive industries who pay around £10 – £35 per click are going to be hurt big time now
2. Less data equals more wasted ad spend to advertisers 
3. Advertisers wouldn’t see much data that was previously used to optimise their campaigns anymore
4. Why not allow advertisers to export all their search terms along with statistics – if privacy was the main concern? @Google

Google seems to take data privacy very seriously and that’s what’s at the heart of this new update.