Google Ads Introduces Limits to Search Terms Reporting


Google has announced that it is going to stop showing search terms that trigger ads if there isn’t “significant” data. This is to “maintain our standards or privacy and strengthen our protections around user data”.

The way this works is that advertisers will no longer be able to use minimal data to identify individual users. While we can currently see search terms with just a single impression or click in Google Ads, this will no longer be the case.

However, Google hasn’t confirmed what they mean by “significant” data. For some advertisers, this could have a consequential impact on campaigns and budgets. We don’t know what we can’t see, so advertisers could miss out on important keywords because Google Ads doesn’t think that there’s enough data.

How have advertisers responded?

Not everyone is happy about this change as it will effect many of paid advertising campaigns. Many have pointed out that there are thousands of low-volume search queries that pose absolutely no privacy risk.

There’s also the argument that while having just one or two low-volume keywords no longer displayed won’t make much of an impact, they can add up. Advertisers will no longer be able to analyse their low-volume keywords to refine their campaigns.

On Twitter, Colin Slattery claims that the new Google Ads search terms reporting rules will see his campaign lose data for 51% of its ad spend.

Meanwhile, digital agency Seer has calculated that around 28% of search terms will be removed for Google Ads campaigns. This means that For every 100,000 clicks you get, you’ll only see data for 77,900 of them.

Some advertisers have started a petition demanding the option to opt out of appearing for search queries that they won’t get data for. They argue that as customers of the service, they need to know exactly what they’re paying for.

Have you been affected by Google Ads’ new reporting? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @TeamTillison. In the meantime, why not check out our Google Ads training courses? Our PPC experts will teach you everything you need to know to make your campaigns the best they can be.

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