Google could block paid search keyword data in Adwords


We learn from various sources that Google could block paid search keyword data in Adwords. It’s a tsunami in the SEM/PPC marketing world.

The news seems to have first been released by  A.J. Ghergich on his site. Keyword data from paid search could go the way of organic search and becoming ‘not provided.’

“not provided”

“not provided” is the term you can see in Google Analytics since 2013 when Google started encryption in https. The SEO world was shaken by this news. But Adwords still provide the search keyword data.

Search terms queries are very important in SEO/SEM in order to understand why users are coming on your website, and precisely which queries they type to find us. It’s the base of an account optimization in Adwords. It’s an unvaluable resources to make a better Adwords campaign.

It’s a bit weird as it goes against all the Google best practises to optimze an Adwords account. To learn more about what want and do your visitors is your priority. It’s the base of the coherency of the triptych “Keyword – Ads – Landing pages”. It’s the most effective point to enhance the conversion funnel of your campaign.

Search terms queries still available in Adwords

According to sources, we will still be able to see the precise keyword from our visitors in Adwords. The change will only affect 3rd parties which were using these data. That’s a good news if confirmed.

Reports within Adwords will stay unchanged. But Google Analytics reports (for example) will now show “not provided” in place of the precise search terms.

We can question the benefit to link Analytics and Adwords if Google starts to limit the data exchange between the two tools.


For the moment, it’s urgent to wait for the google official annoucement. This could affect a large part of the Adwords ecosystem and could change the way we all work.

EDIT 10/04/2014

Google communicates today with a post to clarify the situation about the access to search term reports in Adwords and the 3rd parties. It’s confirmed that search terms reports, previously know as “search query performance report” will still be available in Adwords.

The AdWords search terms report (previously known as the search query performance report) lets you see search queries that generated ad clicks along with key performance data. And the Search Queries report available in Google Webmaster Tools provides aggregate information about the top 2000 queries, each day, that generated organic clicks.

They add a best practice for optimizing the landing page: to use the keyword that generated the ad click rather than the query itself.


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