Has Google Gone Mad? PPC Keywords Gets the ‘(not provided)’ Disease

not-provided-ppcA few years back Google dropped a bomb on website owners and online marketing professionals all over the world – no more organic keywords information. This caused a lot of bitterness and people were blaming Google for making it nearly impossible to optimize SEO campaigns and properly analyze the incoming traffic to their website. Still, there wasn’t much that could be done to battle Google’s decision and therefore the show went on. A myriad of different solutions and workarounds were generated by site owners and online marketing experts to battle this issue. (e.g. analyzing landing pages and comparing them with their targeted keywords.)

Another more recent solution came in the form of competitive analysis tools, such as SimilarWeb PRO, where you can see not only your own list of keywords but also your competitors’ keywords, but if you thought that the ‘(not provided)’ saga ends here, you have another thing coming – LITERALLY!

Google has recently announced that they are closing the doors on paid keywords in addition to the already blocked organic keywords. They explained the reasoning for this move with the same excuses they gave for blocking the organic keywords back in October, 2011; turning all of our paid keywords into what we all ‘enjoy’ seeing in our referring keywords list on Google Analytics as (not provided).

Google claims that you can still optimize your paid campaigns by relying on the search terms report (previously known as the search query performance report), and the search terms data in Google Webmaster Tools, which you can connect to Google Analytics and Adwords. If it’s anything like trying to analyze your SEO performance using Google Webmaster Tools, it’s not a very promising solution…

SimilarWeb PRO comes to the rescue, as its customers can still rely on referring keywords data provided by the platform for both paid and organic keywords.

We can’t really figure out how this move serves Google in terms of selling their ad space. Have they become so big that they do not need to consider such things? Does Adwords have a fixed demand curve? I for one think the answer to both is yes and I am not too happy about it.

To my soon to be completely gone paid keywords, I dedicated this song:

About the Author -

Natalie Halimi is the Head of Marketing Communications & Education at SimilarWeb. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Natalie has promoted services and products in the B2C and B2B arenas, in various industries.

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