Is Google Encrypting Paid Keyword Data?
I used to live in my Google Analytics organic keyword data. Not just professionally, as an SEO campaign manager here at Blue Corona, but also personally, in my keyword data for my personal blog, Lex and the City. I got the biggest kick out of looking at what search terms people used to find my site.
I think you’ll be able to see why. Here’s a little taste:
Sigh. I really do love naps. And as far as getting laid in law school goes, you’re on your own.
I suppose we should get back to the point, eh?
As most of us know, Google started encrypting organic keyword search data in October 2011 when it moved to secure search by default. While Google said this move was to protect the privacy of its users, some questioned whether or not the search engine was attempting to get more people to sign up for its paid advertising through Google AdWords—where the paid keyword data remained untouched.
Whether or not the move was driven by privacy or profit, I was nonetheless surprised by how little I ended up missing the keyword data.
Google threw us online marketers a bone by allowing us to integrate this AdWords data into Google Analytics. But it looks like that’s about to change.
Google Moving to Encrypt Paid Search Keyword Data?
Last week we saw reports from several sources that Google plans to encrypt paid search keyword data with the all-to-familiar [not provided]. Most importantly, these sources say the AdWords reports will remain unaffected. This makes sense as Google AdWords is a platform completely driven by keywords.
What will be affected? Sources claim that Google will soon stop passing paid keyword data to analytics software—Google Analytics, Omniture, etc. Search Engine Land also reports that Google will likely stop providing referrer data for paid clicks on AdWords ads.
Google hasn’t confirmed these reports, but Google search chief Amit Singhal did make a comment back in March that,
“Over a period of time, we [Google’s search and ad sides] have been looking at this issue…. we’re also hearing from our users that they would want their searches to be secure … it’s really important to the users. We really like the way things have gone on the organic side of search.
“I have nothing to announce right now, but in the coming weeks and months as [we] find the right solution, expect something to come out.”
Only a month later, I guess it’s possible that this could the solution Amit was talking about.
Blue Corona Takeaways
I had a brief discussion with Blue Corona’s resident PPC expert, Sean Kelly, on all of these speculations. He agreed that these changes—if they are confirmed and rolled out—won’t impact PPC performance. However, we both agree that organic performance could be impacted for those who rely on paid search keyword data in Analytics, Omniture, or other third party.
If and when this happens, Blue Corona’s paid search and organic search team will have to work more closely together to share the remaining paid keyword data within the Google AdWords platform. Of course, if you’re using separate companies for your PPC efforts and SEO marketing, this could be problematic.
Check back for an update in the near future.
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