Google Does it Again! Updates to Google’s Search Term Report: What Does it Mean and Why Does it Matter?

by | Oct 7, 2020 | PPC

Citing an effort to maintain their users’ privacy, Google announced in September that they are limiting Search Term Data to only include search terms that a significant number of users searched for. This vague new update came as a shock to most Google advertisers and left a lot of questions to be answered. How exactly does search term data impose upon users’ privacy? What constitutes a significant amount of data? What does this mean for advertisers? If you are a seasoned Google Ads veteran, you may already realize the effect this can have on a business, but let’s dive into what exactly the updates to Google’s search term report data means for advertisers and what Full Circle SEM is doing to support our clients through these changes.

Updates to Google’s Search Term Report: What Does it Mean and Why Does it Matter?

Google’s search term report is a valuable data point for all advertisers. This report gives insight into what terms users search that trigger your ads. The report also shows how many users clicked through to your website, if they completed a conversion event, and how much that click or conversion cost your business. Advertisers use this information in several ways:

  1. To see what search terms related to their business are driving valuable traffic. This helps us create more relevant ads, reduce costs, and increase conversions.
  2. We can also discover new Negative Keywords this way. That is, keywords NOT related to our business that triggers ads and clicks.
  3. We can also use this data to improve organic SEO rankings. When we learn what our customers are searching for, we can begin creating content containing those search terms.

Limiting this data can cost businesses thousands of dollars in wasted ad spend. Google’s latest update dramatically reduces advertisers’ visibility into what search terms are triggering ads and if those terms are relevant or not.

While it may not seem like a big deal to lose insight into terms that do not garner a significant number of impressions or clicks, it is. As Seer pointed out, not all clicks are created equal. A single click could cost a company several dollars. If your ad budget is hundreds of thousands of dollars, you are losing insight into how many of those single clicks are taking place. Similarly, if your ad budget is relatively small, a $10 click could be a large portion of your daily ad spend.

So, What Can We Do To Mitigate the Effects?

At Full Circle SEM, we are used to pivoting with the ever-changing Google tides. So, for us, this is just one more way to get creative and keep on keeping on! We are exploring other options such as Smart Bidding and narrowing down our audience segments. We are always advocating for our clients, as well. As a Google Partner, we have a representative we communicate our concerns with. We are always discovering new ways how to ensure our clients are spending their money in the most efficient way possible.

It may be unclear right now exactly the impact this will have on businesses, one thing is for sure: We will adapt to protect budgets and drive results.

If you’re handling your Google Ads in-house, and your “guy” isn’t able to keep up with Google’s updates, it’s time to give us a call for a free consultation.







Justin Ober

Justin built his first website and eBay store while in high school (circa 1999) and has had a hand in internet marketing ever since. After graduating from Penn State University he headed for warmer weather in sunny South Florida, where he worked on both the client and agency side of digital marketing. Yada, yada, yada, he's since managed over $30 million in digital ad spend and is an expert in all things PPC.

If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, call 888-757-2714 or contact us here today.