Google Ads announced that it will begin sharing more search term data with advertisers.
This move comes almost exactly one year after the original decision to begin hiding search term data with “insignificant data”, a move that was met with criticism and frustration from advertisers.
Google has noted that it believes search term data is considered personal data but that it has been working toward solutions to help maintain privacy while still sharing data back to advertisers. While advertisers still won’t receive all search term data, Google is working to increase visibility into search term data.
How Much Search Term Data Will Advertisers Receive?
Google estimates that advertisers could see 6.5x more search term data, on average.
When Will Advertisers Begin to See More Data?
Starting today, advertisers will begin to see more search term data. What’s more, search term data will be retroactively populated back to February 1, 2021 for applicable search terms.
Is There a Catch?
Well, kind of. As part of a focus on improving privacy, Google has decided to remove search term data pre-dating September 1, 2020, when the initial privacy restrictions were rolled out to govern search term reporting. Search term data from prior to September 1, 2020 will be available until February 1, 2022.
What Has Changed?
Google has been working on ways to share data back to advertisers while upholding high privacy standards that are consistent across all areas of the account. A representative from Google said that the team knew that advertisers wanted more data and it made investments in its tech stack to show this magnitude of data in Google Ads.
Google also noted that it plans to share additional data in the Insights page in the coming months to help advertisers understand how customers found them on search. Google declined to comment on the specifics of the upcoming changes but noted in their original announcement that advertisers would have visibility into search query themes that drove performance, even if those queries were masked from the search terms report.
What Should Advertisers Do?
First and foremost, go download your data from prior to September 1, 2020. This way you always have a record of that data.
Secondly, go through your search term data from February 1, 2021 until now. Comb through your search terms to review any that you may not have had access to and add keywords and negatives accordingly!