There are reports we are receiving from a few sources, including AJ Ghergich who posted it on his blog, that Google will soon stop passing keyword data to analytics software, even for AdWords advertisers.
We expected changes to not provided in the near future, and based on these reports, the likelihood of advertisers being stripped of keyword data is high.
When Google moved to secure search in October 2011, it was a major setback to publishers, who began losing data about the keywords used to reach their sites. That opened up Google to claims of hypocrisy, in that advertisers continued to receive the terms while others didn’t. By Google applying this to advertisers as well, it would close that claim of hypocrisy by setting the same standard for organic search terms and paid search terms.
Search Engine Land has spoken to our own trusted sources as well, and these sources have confirmed the reports that Google will soon stop passing keyword data to advertisers. This means:
- Google will likely cease stop providing referrer data for paid clicks on AdWords ads
- Advertisers may see [not provided] in their Google Analytics reports or other analytics provider reports for paid search clicks
- The AdWords reports will remain unaffected
Our sources says Google is likely to announce this within the week, and the change may go live as soon as a few weeks from now.
Google would not confirm these reports with us when we asked them today.
Postscript: Google has now announced the change. See Official: Google Brings “Not Provided” To Ads, Will Withhold Search Query Data From Paid Clicks