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Digital Marketing

Google Hiding Search Referral Data…PPC to the Rescue!

A few months have passed now since Google announced it is going to hide search referral data for Google searchers who are logged into their private account. This has meant facing more and more visits associated to the value, “(not provided)” when searching for visits by keyword in Google Analytics.
Organic visits by keyword that is. That’s right; my favorite medium hasn’t skipped a beat in all of this. Looking at paid traffic in Google Analytics and drilling down to the keyword level is just as visible as it ever was. Regardless of whether a searcher is logged into their Google account, Google Analytics is still providing visibility to the keywords one searched if it resulted in a PPC ad followed by a clickthrough. After all, advertisers paidGoogle for the word.
This idea brings up a few questions…

  • Is PPC going to become an even more practiced form of advertising and driving traffic as it continues to not only provide numerical metrics to the advertiser, but also relevant keyword data that now is difficult to find elsewhere?
  • Are search marketing professionals and agencies going to need to ramp up their PPC experience in order to prove their value as internet marketers all together?
  • Are SEOs going to rely on statistics and insights from PPC analytical data to get ideas on keywords that may be covered with the value, “(not provided)”?

I’ve always felt that I cannot create or manage a great PPC account without SEO insights, and I’ve always preferred to implement and manage SEO initiatives with PPC insights.  Organic searcher keyword data can provide more insights to my PPC expansion than a given keyword tool. And matched search queries from AdWords has shed light on a searcher intent I was unaware of several times when analyzing a specific page in regards to organic optimization. However, I know there are plenty of other SEMs – and website owners – who do not feel that both practices are necessary. If this hasn’t started to change already, we’ll just give them a few more months of “(not provided)” to analyze.

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Allie Kelly

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