Since Google announced its change to limit the search queries which it reports to advertisers, it appears that companies have reduced their spend for search queries across ad formats and device types. Google’s search term update presented a lot of challenges to marketers, and it is no surprise that businesses have reduced their spending. Marketers must now find different strategies to optimise their search queries and prevent wastage.
The impact of Googles’ update
There was a significant drop in the share of spend attributed to search queries across ad formats and device types. The percentage of desktop text ads attributed to search queries fell from 98% to 74% from August to September; on mobile, it decreased from 96% to 75%, and on a tablet, it reduced by 18%.
This backlash was anticipated from marketers, as they were not exceedingly pleased about the change. This update presented a significant challenge to advertisers, especially those in a niche market. Those who were working in a market which has a lower search volume typically will see fewer query data compared to those in mass markets with higher searches. However, once a search query reaches the required amount, Google will include it in the query reports in the future.
Additionally, the cost per conversion of text ad clicks which were not attributed to search queries was much higher than of those that were attributed. The difference for text ads “is likely due to mix differences in the types of queries still included in query reports.” Higher cost per conversion does not imply lower customer value; companies may be willing to pay more if they can acquire consumers who will purchase more. Although examining the results without query data is incredibly tricky, advertisers cannot optimise those queries that are working and know when to remove those that are not.
Search term management becomes more complicated when a high number of queries are not reported. Therefore, businesses’ must consider developing a strategy to minimise low matches and to reduce potential waste. Search terms reports are still valuable, and to further increase your negative keyword list, auto-suggestions can be useful. Utilising People Also Ask Boxes, related searches, and keyword research tools to find similar variants that are bad matches can also maximise your search query and reduce waste.
Googles’ change to the search queries report has been detrimental to advertisers; it has impacted the way marketers use this platform. This does not mean that Search term reports are now useless; it just requires advertisers to pivot their current practices and implement different strategies to utilise it fully. This way, marketers avoid spending money on negative keywords and optimise their search queries.
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