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It was officially announced on yesterday that (not provided) would be coming to AdWords.

For those of you who are not involved in SEO; this means that you will not longer be able to see the user query data in all of the places you could before, such as inside Google Analytics or pass the query data via GCLID data.

First, based upon all the rumors, what seems to be happening is that the query data will no longer be passed along to any referrers, including Google Analytics. However, you will still be able to see the query data in AdWords.

The initial assessments from various places is that this will have little impact on AdWords since you can still get the query data inside of AdWords reports. I strongly disagree.

AdWords shows a lot less data about your queries than Google Analytics; especially useful data that is relevant to making decisions about adding new keywords and negative keywords.

For example, if I asked you if I should make either of these queries an actual keyword or a negative keyword with this data, what would you do?

Query Clicks Conversions CPA
1 300 0 $0
2 65 0 $0

 

Now, if I instead showed you this data, would you change your mind?

Query Clicks Conversions CPA Bounce Rate Pages/Visit
1 300 0 0 22% 9.3
2 65 0 0 18% 7.6
Site Average 65% 2.3

 

In the first scenario, you might have added one or both queries as a negative keyword. However, after having additional data points about the user interaction, you might change your mind as now you have a better view of that query. If the queries are leading to much lower bounce rates and much higher engagements that your other keywords, then you might give them a chance to produce or slightly adjust your ads or landing pages in order to try and convert users who are this interested in seeing your content.

While you can see a lot of Google Analytics data within AdWords, you can’t see it for search queries (or for actual placement URLs) in AdWords – that data in only in Google Analytics (or your own home grown system).

This is just one example of where this loss of data will hurt marketers. As many companies are serving pages based upon queries, using custom Google Analytics segments and reports with this data, and much more, there are many instances where this loss of data is going to hurt marketers.

I can’t argue with protecting user data. However, taking away useful data that marketers use to make proper decisions is a poor choice.

We’ve already lost mobile only targeting with AdWords and have a lot of useless data since we can’t target tablets and mobile independently with AdWords. Right now, all new hires should start working in Bing before AdWords so that they can learn how different users react per device so new marketers can be trained properly about setting up and managing campaigns and site flows by device.

With this latest change, it’s yet another way that Google has given and taken away; this change can only lead marketers to making poor decisions because of lack of quality data.

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