Google announced today that query data will be removed from ad clicks originating from secure (SSL) searches on Google.com.

The Adobe Media Optimizer team has been collaborating with Google to prepare for this transition and we hope to minimize the impact on SEM advertiser workflows and processes. We’ve been working hard to build tools to help our advertisers navigate this change to Google’s AdWords program – just like we did for Google Product Listing Ads and Google Enhanced Campaigns.

Tracking and Optimization is Unaffected

Although we collect query data from ad clicks, we don’t use it to track the keywords that advertisers have in their campaigns. We make full use of AdWords ValueTrack parameters to capture data on every click and match them to conversions. This isn’t affected. This is the data we use to build keyword models and forecasts so our customers can find the maximum return for their campaigns, and accurately forecast future performance.

However, the lack of query data does remind us that the search marketing landscape is changing faster than ever. That’s why we believe advertisers should be using all the proprietary data they have to generate SEM performance. We recently announced that Adobe Analytics customers can use metrics such as bounce rate and time on site to find significant additional ROI with Adobe Media Optimizer.

Search Query Reporting

Google does make some search query data available within AdWords and through the API. The AdWords search terms report has been available from the Adobe Media Optimizer user interface for some time, and we recommend advertisers take advantage of that data. (From the Reporting tab, select Create Report > Specialty Reports > AdWords Search Query Report).

Bing Ads continues to supply query data, and we also recommend advertisers use that to inform the way they manage keywords, match types and negatives on Google AdWords. Again, that data is available from the Adobe Media Optimizer UI. (From the Reporting tab, select Create Report > Advanced Reports > Search Term Report. Use the search engine filter to restrict the data to Bing).

Intelligent Keyword Management

Advertisers will now need to work harder and smarter to build out and prune the keywords in their campaigns. To help that process, we’re building tools to help our customers create more intelligent exact match keywords and negatives. We’ll be releasing more details over the next few weeks.

The Adobe Media Optimizer team is committed to supporting our customers with product innovations and best practice advice so they can continue implementing successful paid search campaigns. Adobe customers should contact their account manager with any questions.

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