Google to Remove Paid Search Query Data: Search & Display Implications for Advertisers

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Google to Remove Paid Search Query Data: Search & Display Implications for Advertisers


As expected, Google will be removing query-level data from paid search redirect URL links due to privacy concerns.  Google announced this change on April 10th, and it is likely to go into effect in mid-April. This follows Google’s recent encryption of all organic search data, as Google continues to (1) take a stronger position on data privacy and (2) focus on content and user experience. This change will not impact AdWords Search Query reports, ad and keyword parameters, or AdWords Onesearch Reports (paid + organic).  The greatest impacts in day-to-day search management will be:

  • Any URL-based search query tools within bid management and web analytics platforms will cease to function. These capabilities may return to the bid management platforms in the future if the platforms are able to receive this information from Google.
  • Search Query reports for Google data will have to be pulled directly from AdWords
  • Any functionality that isn’t AdWords-based which requires query info from a URL will cease to work

PERFORMANCE IMPLICATIONS Paid Search The key thing to keep in mind is that Google isn’t changing any query data; it’s just holding it within its own system.  Brands can prepare for similar changes in the future by installing tag management solutions on their sites.  Brands can prepare for similar changes in the future by installing tag management solutions on their sites to future proof tagging changes/data governance.   For example, implementing the AdWords conversion pixel within a tag manager will enable you to link conversions to keyword query data, as well as control what Google records in AdWords. Display Some display publishers use query data to define audiences, selling it to third-party data providers or even allowing these data providers to incorporate the data themselves. Your creative will be affected if you’re using query information in your ads to dynamically serve content. Check with your agency to ensure that your ads are still effectively personalized after Google puts this change into effect.  This change continues the trend of restricting the use of individual data available to search retargeting providers.  However, providers will continue to use non-Google keyword data.


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