How to use Google Adwords “Compare date ranges” feature to monitor metrics evolution

compare-period-options adwords sunnyreports

SunnyReports allows now to add comparison metrics in your Adwords reports. Back on compare date ranges feature, a great way to make a deep analysis in your daily work as an Adwords campaign manager.

What is “compare periods” feature in Adwords?

Within Adwords, you can easily select the period for which you want data. But it’s interesting to be able to monitor the evolution of these data. To do that, you can compare the selected period to another one. Adwords proposes you three different possibilities.


Previous period

With this option, you can compare the selected period with the immediately previous one.


  • Select the period from April 1, 2014 to April 30, 2014. By comparing to previous period, the secondary period will be from March 2, 2014 to March 31, 2014.
    Note it will not compare from the 1st of March but from the 2nd of March. That’s because the reference period is only 30 days long, not 31 days.
  • Select the period from June 14, 2014 to June 19, 2014. The secondary period will be from June  8, 2014 to June 13, 2014.
If you select “Current month”, you have to take care that Google Adwords can compare two periods which have not the same number of days. Indeed, if you are the August, 11, “Current month” corresponds from the August, 1 to August, 11. But if you compare with “previous period”, it will be compared to Juy, 1 to July, 31.

Same period, Previous year

With this option, the compared period will be the same exact period a year before.

  • Say you select from May 4, 2014 to June 13, 2014. The compared period will be May 4, 2013 to June 13, 2013.
There is an exception here: february. February is a special month. During leap year, February counts 29 days instead of 28 the other year. Adwords takes care of it.
  • Select the period from the February 1, 2012 (a leap year) to the February 29, 2012. Choose comparison to “same period, previous year”. You will notice the date selected by Adwords: February 1, 2011 to February 28, 2011. Google’s developers think about everything!

Custom Period

Select the secondary period you want precisely. That’s it.

How to use it ?

Adwords is sometimes complicated with plenty of menus, options, features, … But not with the “compare date ranges” feature. Everything is done in one click.

No matter on which view you are. Just click in the period select field. At the bottom, you will see a “COMPARE” label with a trigger. Push the trigger and the three periods options will appear.

1. Select the one you want and apply.

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2. The period select field now show you are comparing two periods, and calculate the dates of the compared one.


3. In the datatable, you have now a “+” sign above each head column titles.

Click on each “+” sign to show the data for the secondary period. For the selected KPIs,  you will have:

  • the metric for the reference period,
  • the metric for the compared period,
  • the difference between the two and
  • finally the % of increase or decrease.


Read More

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.