Google announced today that it will soon stop passing search query data on paid search clicks originating from a subset of searches (those originating from SSL searches). Last year, a similar restriction was implemented on clicks from organic search results.

This means, for example, that if someone searches for “blue shoes” on Google but is matched to an advertiser’s ad tied to the keyword “shoes,” the advertiser will no longer be able to see that the search query that triggered the ad was “blue shoes.” Instead, the advertiser will only be able to see that it was the ad on the keyword (“shoes”) that was matched to the user query.

Google states that the reason for this change is to protect consumer privacy. The new era of cross-device advertising raises concerns as internet users are now more vulnerable to being identified and monitored via multiple devices than they were previously.

Kenshoo clients will not be significantly impacted by this change. Our core bidding, optimization, measurement, and forecasting capabilities will continue to function normally because keyword data, not search query data, is used for most of our algorithmic analysis and optimization.  Although query data has been used in some of our keyword expansion solutions, search query data will still be accessible through the Google AdWords Application Programming Interface (API) and the Google Webmaster Tool.

Additionally, Kenshoo clients can continue to access the Kenshoo Keyword Suggest Report which incorporates search query information from the AdWords API into a proprietary expansion algorithm to create positive and negative keyword suggestions.

In the past year, the data available to advertisers has continued to evolve.

Some of the changes are powerful because they allow advertisers to tailor messages in order to speak to and target specific searchers in context. Targeting and optimization at more granular levels is now possible. At the same time, changes in what data is available can make it difficult to manage a holistic advertising strategy.

We believe that an independent third-party platform that ties together insights across multiple engines and channels will become even more critical in helping marketers identify and engage their best customers and make intelligent investment decisions.