Google AdWords (pay-per click) data now not available in analytics

AdWords data to be shown as “Not Provided” in Google Analytics and other analytics systems from 9th April 2014 – 5 things you need to know

Importance (to search marketers):

Recommended link: Google AdWords advisory

This is big news for companies that invest Google AdWords, particularly if it’s a big contributor to their business and they mainly use their analytics system for reviewing effectiveness and ROI. It has less impact if you rely on Google AdWords own reports or a third-party system using their API.

1. It brings paid search data in line with natural search data. Google has been removing SEO keyword data for over 2 years. As we show in this post on not provided for SEO. The proportion of keywords marked “not provided” has risen over the past two years, so it’s now typically over 80% of searches.

2. It’s not unexpected – Google needed to make the privacy of search terms consistent. Search marketers have been suggesting since this time that AdWords should be treated similarly for parity and within the last month it’s been widely rumoured that this change would be made.

3. You can still get information on keywords searchers use within AdWords. Advertisers can still use the search term reports within their AdWords accounts to see the results of campaigns. As this post from Larry Kim of Wordstream shows, you can use existing search query reports. However, the advanced analysis features of Google Analytics using advanced segments and cohort analysis won’t be available.

AdWords reports

4. Third-party SEM management platforms will still work. Tools such as Kenshoo and Marin will still work since they use the AdWords API to access this data.

5. Additional guidance on automatic customisation of landing pages given. The Google guidance explains how companies using the API can customise not using the search term, but keyword that triggered the ad click.

“For customizing landing pages, we suggest using the keyword that generated the ad click, rather than the query. The keyword and match type can be passed to your web server by using a ValueTrack parameter in your destination URLs”.

We hope you find our alert useful. We only cover the major developments on digital platforms that marketers need to discuss with specialists managing their digital marketing activities in-house or with agencies.

  • Philip Davies

    Another very comprehensive post, as per usual. Thank you Dave.

    Key takeaways for me, from the excellent post you reference from Larry Kim: ‘Search Performance Query Report’ in AdWords is now called the ‘Search Term Report’. Keywords which Google once put in referring URL strings on PPC ads now aren’t there. Lots of ongoing changes to keep us on our toes. Keep up the good work :)

    • Dave Chaffey

      Thanks for the comment Philip, yes it’s good we’ve got the AdWords Campaign reports still – Larry Kim calls it right!

  • Nikunj

    Other ways are still open to find sales oriented keywords through search
    term report in Google adwords. other options like ValueTrack and Script
    are also available. We are already started tracking sales oriented
    keywords and give keywords and clicks report of our clients at Galore

  • Andrew Clark

    What information are we supposed to lose inside of GA? I haven’t seen any missing keyword or matched search query data within my paid search reports (apart from display ads of course) since this roll out was supposed to take place.

    • Dave Chaffey

      Hi Andrew, you will lose all keywords data like the AdWords Keywords report – they will change to Not Provided – but it hasn’t changed for me either.

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