Secure search, which has prevented the SEO community from seeing organic keyword data, is coming to paid search clicks. Google announced the move via the Ads Developer Blog.
Paul Feng, Adwords Product Management Director said: “Today, we are extending our efforts to keep search secure by removing the query from the referrer on ad clicks originating from SSL searches on Google.com.
“Advertisers will continue to have access to useful data to optimize and improve their campaigns and landing pages. For example, you can access detailed information in the AdWords search terms report and the Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries report”.
This is a significant change, since many SEO managers have been adapting to life without keyword data for organic searches. One of the ways that they have been doing so is by extrapolating the data provided in Adwords to gain an impression of the keyword terms used generally to arrive at the target site.
So, have we now lost all of that important keyword data? Actually, no.
Feng explains that the search term report still lets users see search queries that generated clicks. It also provides ‘key performance data’. Users also have access to the search queries report in Google Webmaster Tools. This report provides aggregated info on the two thousand queries which generated organic clicks.
Google also had advice for professionals using search query strings, or the keyword terms the users typed in before clicking through an Adwords ad. They explained that generating reports or automating keyword management could be accomplished using the AdWords API Search Query Performance Report or the Adwords Scripts Report service.
Hanna Dymond, PPC Manager at Hit Search Limited said: “I feel that the impact of the announcement has been hugely overestimated. Google’s future plan will only impact a number of 3rd party AdWords management platforms who are not compliant with Google’s requirements in terms of functionality as only legitimate software companies with a functioning AdWords management platform with have access to the query data. If you use AdWords and not a 3rd party platform, you will not be affected.
“In addition, the search terms will be removed from the referrer string only but you can still get the full search terms in AdWords or through the AdWords API.”
The move to secure search might be big news, but the important thing to remember is that companies like Hit Search will still be able to deliver the same core SEO and PPC services that they always could.
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