There was panic recently as Google announced that they would be altering the way in which they processed how Google Adwords data would be reported, saying that they would be looking to make their information processing safer by holding back the referral URL and other areas of data that passed through to advertisers previously.
The situation arose when Google were reported to have said that they would be looking to address an issue with the ‘Not Provided' data that is being passed into Google Analytics following the switch over to secure search by default, sparking a whirlwind of speculation and anticipation towards how Google would be able to implement such a change without taking out the search query information that can prove important to advertisers.
Well as I previously covered, speculations lead to misunderstanding and reading too much into the prospect of what was to come from Google, who later that day announced the official statement surrounding the change that they had done.
With the panic that there would be limited data available within the reports section of the advertising platform the anticipation that the number of advertisers that would continue to use the service looked likely to dwindle, however only by a small scale but alas we have more information and insight on the change that has lifted the potential cloud of confusion from the situation.
According to a post by Larry Kim on SearchEngineLand.com, the hype surrounding the reduction of intel being given by Google seems to ‘rocking the boat' without reason as the change seems to be more about the removal of the referring URL of where the ad was services at time of click rather than hiding the keyword information that advertisers find helpful in their PPC targeting strategy.
Kim revealed that although the referral URL would be removed from the data passed through to reports, the keyword query data would still be available to anyone that uses the search term reports, showing readers where they can view the data in the image below:
Kim also points out that "if you still for whatever reason need search query data appended to your destination URLs, using ValueTrack parameters gets you very close."
It seems that all of the chatter about the loss of data is little more than ‘a storm in a teacup’ judging by the fact that so many have been sparked into panic about the speculation but the reality is that the data is still there for the offering, you just need to click to see it.