If you haven't seen it there yet, I just published an article on Search Engine Land sharing my thoughts on Google’s announcement that it was bringing “Not Provided” to paid search ads. Here are some main takeaways from the article:
- Google will start to omit user search queries from the referrer string passed to AdWords advertisers. As a result, advertisers won’t be able to see what an individual user searched prior to clicking a specific ad.
- Overall, this should not be a major problem for paid search advertisers. Although we will have to change how we analyze user search queries in order to add negatives and identify new keyword opportunities, we will retain certain capabilities through Google’s search terms report.
- Bigger picture, there’s an interesting tension developing between user privacy and personalized search. With device, location, proximity, and demographic data now available to advertisers, along with past user behavior and context, why make user search queries private? Ultimately we just want user information so we can serve the right ad to the right person in the right context and at the right time.
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