Google Relaunches Shopping to Meet EU Rulings

Earlier this year, an EU commission penalised Google for €2.4bn (£2.1bn) in antitrust fines after a seven-year investigation found that the search engine’s algorithms have been artificially boosting Google Shopping’s ads’ visibility in search results over its competitors.

The commission set a deadline of the 28th September for Google to respond, and they did so, by relaunching Shopping as a service that’s separate to the Google main business.

Changes to Shopping have coincided with changes to how ads display in search. Now, Google Shopping will bid for slots in a redesigned ads panel against competitors like Kelkoo and Shopzilla, and can do so solely with its own generated revenue, rather than receiving subsidies from Google parent Alphabet. When a comparison site wins a slot, their site name will appear beneath the advertised product. Ads won by Google Shopping will be marked by ‘By Google’, which is one of the only ways that the service and its namesake will remain connected.

Google Shopping Update

‘By Google’

Google’s spokesperson in Brussels, Al Verney, said: ‘We’re giving comparison shopping services the same opportunity to show shopping ads from merchants on Google’s search results pages as we give to Google Shopping’.

‘Shopping will compete on equal terms, and will operate as if it were a separate business, participating in the auction in the same way as everyone else’.

Nevertheless, it’s yet to be seen how Europe will react to the reimagined services. Google made the European commission aware of their plans in August but are yet to receive confirmation that the changes satisfy their concerns. Meanwhile, several publications are reporting that just ten competitor sites have signed up to participate in the auctions, amidst talks of a boycott by over three hundred rivals, which would cause Google’s monopoly of the service to continue.

Since starting in 2009, Google’s shopping service has become a major part of the company’s worldwide operations, accounting for over a fifth of all ad revenue. Certainly, being forced to make changes will be a cause for concern.

However, the ruling’s most serious implication for Google is the risk of setting a precedent and – potentially – opening the door to future independent scrutiny, in not just the EEA but across the world. Any third-party monitoring could potentially extend to the company’s algorithms, which are its most prized intellectual property.

On a practical note, we’re intrigued to see how the restructuring may affect the digital marketing landscape, and how we’ll need to adapt our strategies in order to keep delivering best in class ad campaigns and strategies. If Shopping’s changes leads to competitor comparison sites gaining a much greater foothold in search results impressions, then all agencies will need to respond accordingly. Of course, we’ll keep following this as it develops – so, watch this (ad) space!

Download Google Shopping Management Guide

Halfords Acclaimed for Super Summer

Whilst the intermittent wet weather of the last two weeks seems set to bring the British summertime to a close, we’ve recently been delighted to see the wide acclaim received by our client Halfords for their exceptional performance throughout the summer, making headlines in leading publications such as Internet Retailing and The Telegraph.

Halfords’ strategy focused on the on-trend phenomenon of staycations. Growing numbers of British families are swapping ten-hour flights for fish ‘n chips and pitching their tents a little closer to home. As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of holiday-making must-haves like sleeping bags, tents, bikes and roof-racks, it was essential for Halfords’ voice to be at the heart of the conversation.

In collaboration with Halfords’ internal teams, we implemented a cross-channel strategy to bring Halfords’ vision to life. With the objective of maintaining and increasing Halfords’ visibility for the camping category, we sought to create compelling content to drive organic visibility and secure coverage with major publications and features on high-quality lifestyle blogs. Production of an interactive camping guide whilst working alongside influencers to produce unique stories and advice helped Halfords increase SoV by 3.86% with over 50 pieces of coverage. Additionally, we supported staycation-specific products with promotional PPC ad copy to harness intent driven by the wider content strategy. Granular Shopping structure allowed dynamic support of key products during peak periods.

Image of Halfords' camping guide by Fusion Unlimited
A snap from our work on the guide! (Halfords)

Revenue-wise, our combined activity provided the brand with a summer to remember. In comparison to the first twenty weeks of the last financial year, total sales rose by 11.2%, revenue from retail services (such as bike repairs and car -part fitting) increased by 18.3%, and overall revenue went up by 4.8%.

Another significant action by the brand was their perfecting of their in-store collection services. 85% of all digital orders are now picked up in Halfords stores, which is important for a brand who specialise in items difficult to ship. The availability enables customers to enjoy the benefits of easy online purchasing whilst minimising the hassle of delivery.

It’s always great to see our clients gain the recognition their efforts deserve, and we’re excited to how our brands’ successes will be received in the future!

Interested in how we can help your brand flourish online? Explore our range of digital services.

Google Launches Google Posts

To a mix of excitement and surprise, Google have launched their new Google Posts feature, allowing all Google My Business customers to microblog directly onto the search results stream, enabling brands to reach their audience with unprecedented ease.

The Google Posts interface was first trialled in January 2016, in the build-up to the US election: Google gave electoral candidates the chance to summarise their responses to pressing political concerns in posts of up to 14,400 characters, and then made those responses visible on relevant search queries.  Searching for issue X, for instance, would show you the stances of politicians Y and Z towards it.

A year and a half later, Google has completely reimagined the tool and expanded its availability, now enabling all businesses to post content directly to the search feed.

Brands’ posts will be visible for up to seven days before they disappear, exhibited in a scrollable carousel that rotates up to ten posts at a time, in a move that encourages businesses to keep their content fresh and vibrant.

Like Facebook and Twitter, posts can be brought to life with images and photography, although the interface doesn’t currently support GIFs or video. There’s a 300 words limit; only the first 100 characters will appear immediately in the Knowledge Panel, encouraging brands to balance creativity and concision when delivering their message.

There’re various ways that posts can be made more actionable: they can be created as ‘events’, causing the content to display for the event’s duration as defined by the user, or they can be rounded off with a call to action, be it a link for users to follow for more information, or an ‘add to cart’ functionality for quick and easy purchasing.

The whole of the interface is superbly tailored for mobile use; it’s clear that mobile search lies at the heart of Google’s bold philosophy and plans for the future.

It ties in beautifully to the company’s ever-expanding focus on local search, empowering small businesses by giving them an even greater opportunity to spread the word of their services through curated content.

Google Posts equally presents a brilliant opportunity to larger multi-location brands, allowing for the publication of bespoke content relating to each store locality.

If there’s going to be an exciting event or a brilliant promotion running in your Leeds’ store, for example, you’ll be able to use Google Posts to advertise it specifically on the Leeds store’s GMB page.

It’s very new, and there’s certainly scope for several of the interface’s features to be improved, such as widening the list of available calls to action and broadening the reach of the Insights module, providing greater information for analysis.

Needless to say, Google Posts is an exciting direction for Google to be heading in, opening another channel for the creation and promotion of content, and one that brands would be wise to think about, too!

Helping the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

When our sister agency MadeByPi told us they were working with the Childrens Heart Surgery Fund we immediately began thinking of ways in which we could help out.

They had previously explored Facebook advertising as a means of getting their message out, and inspiring donations. However, working to a very limited budget they had not yet explored the opportunities within paid search.

Given the budget constraints we were delighted to be able to help them access free promotion and free traffic on Google Adwords, whilst donating our time for free as part of our commitment to local charities.

We introduced them to the Google Ad Grants programme – an opportunity for non-profits to access free advertising budget on Google Adwords. Working within a fairly broad framework registered non-profits can access up to $10,000 per month in free Adwords traffic, with no spend commitment required.

We worked closely with Andy at CHSF to help submit the non-profit and ad grants applications. This included building an Adwords account to highlight their award-winning work in support of the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit. Keywords and ad copy were created in collaboration with Andy, all whilst helping develop his understanding of the Adwords set-up process.

Once live we provided a training session to help Andy understand the requirements for continually developing and improving the activity, as well as reporting on it, updating copy, and creating new campaigns. Ongoing we are delighted to be available as a constant support partner for any questions or issues. Ultimately we want to ensure they get as much free traffic as they possibly can to help drive the amazing work they are doing.

“We’re really grateful to Fusion Unlimited for giving their time and expertise for nothing to help us take advantage of Google Ad Grants, and teaching us how to use Google Adwords.

Matt at Fusion has been supremely patient and professional in showing us how everything works and building us an introductory suite of campaigns.
Google Adwords will be invaluable in helping build our online presence to bring in more traffic to our website and spread awareness to potential new supporters.”

Andy McNally
Marketing and Communications Manager
Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

Facebook Marketing: Lead Generation Adverts

Facebook Marketing: Lead Generation Adverts

The Facebook advertising platform is becoming increasingly advanced as more advertisers are starting to use the medium. There are a number of new ad formats available in the interface, with one of the most recent being lead generation adverts.

The new lead generation adverts have now been rolled out globally and are available to all advertisers. These can be created by selecting ‘lead generation’ as the campaign objective in the advertising interface (this may need to be done in Power Editor beforehand). The advert itself is easy to create, and uses a customisable enquiry form whereby the only the data that is important to you can be requested.

One of the main advantages of the lead generation adverts is that the user’s details can be captured without them leaving Facebook itself. The enquiry form is prepopulated with the user’s name, email and phone number (provided they have entered these into Facebook). Usually, the user would see the ad on Facebook, click through to the website, and then manually type in their own information – however, the lead gen adverts need only 2 clicks, making the process much easier for the user.

The information submitted by the users is likely to be of a higher quality, as most users have provided their full names and main email addresses to sign up for their Facebook account. In addition to basic contact details, up to 3 of your own custom questions can be added, which is great for helping to pre-qualify the leads that are generated. This also makes following up on the leads much easier, with more valuable information provided to the sales teams beforehand. Examples of the customisable questions could include the user’s location or the type of products they may be interested in.

The enquiry forms also offer the user the choice to visit the website after, however as this is optional, the user may not always visit the site straight away. Although this may increase the number of leads that are generated beforehand, a potential impact could be that less traffic is driven towards the website. This confines the user’s engagement to Facebook itself, making it ever more important for brands to increase customer engagement on the platform. Remarketing is also an effective way of generating leads- but if users do not visit the website, this will not be possible.

Initially, the lead generation adverts were only available to show on the mobile news feed, but they have proven so successful that they have now been extended across to desktop devices too. They will also be rolled out across video and carousel ads in the future, so we look forward to testing these across a variety of different ad formats.

We have already started implementing the lead generation adverts for some of our clients, and have seen great results so far. Just in the last week, we have seen an uplift in enquiries of 400%, with the average cost per lead reduced by over 50%. The below screenshots show some examples of the lead gen adverts:




Google’s new layout: the impact so far

Google’s new layout: the impact so far

Last week’s hot topic in the world of digital marketing was the rollout of Google’s new layout on desktop. The new layout sees up to four text ads displayed at the top of search results, right hand side text ads removed and up to three text ads displayed at the bottom. Both product listing ads and the knowledge panel, however, will still appear at the right hand side of search results.

Some insist that there will be little impact for PPC marketers from the new layout, as ads at the right hand side and bottom of search results account for just 14.6% of total clicks. In addition to this, desktop now accounts for less than half of all searches, suggesting that the new layout will effect just 7.3% of search queries.

According to some, the change will provide improved usability and a better user experience due to its’ presentation. The new layout unifies mobile and desktop, synergising the two. In addition, it reflects a feed experience like those on Facebook and Twitter that we’re all so used to. Similar to Google, ads displayed on the right hand side of the Facebook feed have an extremely low CTR in comparison to those in the feed.


Ad extensions, such as sitelink extensions and call out extensions, were exclusive to ads at the top of search results and unavailable to ads at the right hand side prior to the new layout. As this is no longer applicable, the change resolves the top ad versus side ad issue, where in some instances text ads included ad extensions and in others they didn’t. This enables more accurate reporting.

Fewer ad positions also means more accurate reporting when looking at average positions. Prior to the new layout, there were up to eleven ad positions up for grabs. For advertisers with strong average positions, their average position was skewed by their most frequent position by ads which appeared further down the page. This previous inaccuracy will be reduced now that there are just seven ad positions available.

What have we seen so far?

As a result of Google’s new layout, most predicted an increase in CPCs. Although this isn’t something we’ve seen to date, it’s perhaps a little too soon to tell. It’s probable that advertisers will adjust their bidding strategies as they react to one another for the top of the page spots, in which case, it’s likely that the smaller advertisers will suffer.

In addition, most projected higher CTRs, something we’ve seen take effect already. Google maintains that the change will improve traffic quality for advertisers at the top of search results, however, some disagree with this due to the fewer click options available. More traffic on high ROI keywords, however, allows advertisers to access more and better traffic than ever before. A focus on conversion rate optimisation is paramount following the new layout, in response to the possibly negative impact it will have on CVR.

Product listing ads

As anticipated, we’ve seen an uplift in product listing ads as high as 32% the week following the change in comparison to the week prior. Similar to text ads, however, we haven’t seen an increase in CPCs, at least for now. This is likely to change, however, as most product listing ads are used by big brands. As a result, it’s possible that the competition for those spots will start to become more intense. In response, some suggest that Google is more likely to take advantage of the revenue generated here than improve usability and experience.

Some report that Google will continue to test the layout of product listing ads and that they may take up more screen real estate or move to different parts of search results pages. Others suggest that Google is currently testing an expandable view of product listing ads which takes the total number of viewable ads from five to fifteen!

As product listing ads are becoming more dominant, it’s important for advertisers to proactively respond to this and seek out any feed issues from Google. Other than bid adjustments, an improved feed is vital following Google’s recent change and one of the key ways to maintain or improve performance following the change.

Google removes right-hand side ads from results pages


In its most recent shake-up, Google is no longer showing ads on the right hand side of its results pages.  In place of these ads, Google will now start showing an additional ad at the top of the search results, though it claims this will only occur for ‘highly commercial queries’.

Although the change has not yet been formally announced, a Google spokesperson has confirmed that the change will be rolled out globally.  It is thought that Google began implementing the change last Friday, but this is actually something that’s been in testing since 2010. The rollout was finalised last night, with right hand side ads now phased out completely on desktop and tablet devices.

There are however two exceptions; product listing ads and the knowledge panel. This signals an increased focus on Shopping Ads from Google…



The change comes in line with Google’s efforts to synergise desktop and mobile search results. For ads to be visible above-the-fold, advertisers will need to make sure that they’re above third or fourth position.

What does this mean for advertisers?

First and foremost, higher CPCs. The competition for the top positions will become much more aggressive, with advertisers increasing bids in order to avoid dropping to the bottom of the page. As a result of this, any ads that are below the third or fourth position are likely to see their clickthrough rate decline from now on.

Not only will this affect PPC, but organic results will also be pushed further down the page; so a bigger focus will be placed on improving organic rankings. As you can see in the screenshot below, a search for ‘hotels in leeds’ generates 4 ads at the top; therefore pushing organic results below the fold.


Google has identified that ads on the right hand side tend to see lower average clickthrough rates, and therefore by increasing the focus on the ads at the top of the results page, Google’s profitability can be increased through more clicks at a higher CPC.

Although this may increase the costs for advertisers, it may be a blessing in disguise. This move will see advertisers work harder to increase quality score through better ad relevancy and landing page experience, which in turn will improve the user experience. With the value of paid search clicks expected to rise, conversion rate optimisation will become more important in advertisers’ efforts to turn clicks into conversions.

An Introduction to PPC Landing Pages: Dos and Don’ts

Plane Landing

In simple terms, a PPC landing page is a web page which a user ‘lands’ on subsequent to clicking a paid ad. Essentially, there are two broad types of landing pages; click through pages and lead generation pages. Click through pages are more often than not used in ecommerce with the intention of moving a user further down the purchasing funnel. They use a CTA such as ‘add to cart’ to achieve this. Lead generation pages usually include a form designed to collect personal information about a user in order to market a product or service to that user at a later date.

The Faster, The Better

It takes someone just seconds to make a strong first impression and the same can be said when considering landing pages. This is just one reason why it is important to provide a fast loading time when navigating a user to your landing page, not to mention the fact that it improves your Google Quality Score, effectively increasing your ad position for a lower cost. Providing a fast loading time keeps the user engaged and reduces your bounce rate.

Keep it Simple

Avoid making your landing page look ‘busy’ with distracting videos and pictures because that is exactly what they will do; distract the user. Living in such a fast paced society, it’s important not to bog the user down with excessive amounts of text and jargon, they must be able to understand the message you’re trying to convey in a relatively short space of time. Besides, lots of images and videos will only slow your load time down anyway.

Relevancy is Key

It’s very unlikely that you’d walk to an aisle in a supermarket marked ‘bacon’ only to find boxes of eggs there instead. It would be pretty disappointing too. Don’t make the same mistake with your landing page. Keep it relevant to what your ad has proposed and re-emphasise its message; do not disappoint. Don’t send the user to the homepage, instead, take them to the purchase page and provide them with more information about your product or service. By keeping your ad relevant, you’ll lower your CPC, increase conversions and ultimately, improve ROI.

Provide a Clear and Simple CTA

Don’t hide it below the fold or with mouseover effects. Champion it. It’s important that the user knows what to do next and it’s your job to guide them to the action you want them to take. This being said, what you don’t want is for the user to feel too ‘pushed’ or committed. Use a ‘soft’ CTA, for example, ‘add to cart’ rather than a CTA such as ‘submit’ which may discourage the user.

And Finally, Test, Test, Test!

Your landing page is an important element to your campaign so it’s important to test it as often as is necessary. This can be achieved in two ways; A/B testing and multivariate testing;

A/B testing allows you to test two entirely different pages against each other to determine which one is more effective in terms of performance.

Multivariate testing lets you test a number of components within a landing page at one time to determine which combination of components are most effective. Anything can be tested from CTA variations and navigation to headlines and copy. Testing your landing page is vital in determining what works well, what doesn’t, what to use and what to avoid.

Labels and AdWords Editor: A Match Made in Heaven


Today at fusion the PPC team is excited about something which will make our lives that little bit easier – the new AdWords editor update.

What makes this update extra special is one of the 9 new features; the integration of AdWords labels with editor, something we have been hankering after for years since their introduction.

Labels can be applied to ads, keywords, ad groups and campaigns, and have a number of uses. Tagging up similar themes can make bulk edits easier, be used as automation criteria and help with data analysis. But their manual application has hampered this feature reaching its true potential.

So what are you waiting for, upgrade now!

Other features integrated into the new editor upgrade include:
Upgraded URLs
Call-only Ads
New filtering methods and improved search
Mobile App Targeting

For the full list see AdWords Editor Help

Google Announce Custom Audience Targeting Feature

Custom Audience Targeting - Featured Image

Google has recently announced it has been in talks with advertisers about implementing a custom audience targeting function, which will run almost identically to Facebook’s custom audience tool and could be released as early as this year.

The way custom audience targeting works for Facebook is you, the advertiser, uploads a list of emails or phone numbers to Facebook and they will deliver your ads to those people if they are on Facebook with that email.
So how will custom audience targeting work for Google? Basically, exactly the same as it does for Facebook. Advertisers will be able to pass on lists of emails that they have acquired to Google, who will then be able to target these email addresses with tailored ads perfect for them. Google already has data on millions of email addresses as it owns one of the largest, if not the largest, email service in the world; Gmail (over 450million active users). Furthermore, Gmail asks for a secondary email when you first create your account.

Lookalike Audiences

The Facebook Custom Audiences also offers a Lookalike Audience function whereby it takes the data it has acquired from the Custom Audiences, such as what they have liked and followed, and uses this to create a lookalike audience which has similar qualities to the original custom audience.
Google does not have that same functionality that Facebook does with the likes and followers and whatnot, however, Google has something potentially much more precious from an advertiser’s perspective; the ability to infer user intent based on their searches, which you could argue is a lot more informative to marketers than Facebook’s social data.
Using this tool to its fullest you will no longer have to worry about your ads not reaching the right people, or the quality of the audience you are reaching, Google will make sure that they get there.

Importance of Email in Digital

When you log into anything nowadays, be it your Facebook or Twitter account, there is always one thing in common; you have to put in your Email. This means that your email is essentially your digital identity; without your email you do not exist online. You can find out a lot of things about a person based on what they use their email for and to marketers this could be very useful information.

What has Google Website Call Conversions Done For Us?


Google and call data go way back. I can vaguely remember a number of phone services and offerings in the years leading up to the now well established call and location extension options (though not well enough to go into here, which says something about their success).

The latest addition to their call measurement offering is something they are calling Website Call Conversions, and it adds another valuable layer of understanding for any business with a phone.

So how does Google’s call-based offering break down? What do Website Call Conversions bring to the table? And how do you get the most out of these tools?

First to cover off the classics:

Location Extensions

These are a simple way to include your business contact information alongside your ads. You can either input the info manually for each campaign, or link up to your Google My Business account (formerly Google Places, formerly Google Local) to dynamically include the location most relevant to a user – based on their IP or location settings.

As you can see above what a user then sees on desktop is the address of their nearest branch and the phone number for this branch. Clicking on the address will take them to Google Maps with that location flagged, and be reported as a ‘get location details’ click.

On mobile they will see an abbreviated version of the address and a call button. Clicking on get directions or the call button are pretty self-explanatory.

Within the ad extensions tab you will see the usual data for activity on each location. However in classic Google fashion what you are seeing is data for when that extension was shown, not clicks on the extension itself, so not massively useful beyond knowing which locations are being triggered most frequently.

However, in click type reports (available under segments) you can see clicks on ‘get direction’, ‘get location details’ and ‘mobile clicks-to-call’, so you can measure this right down to keyword level.

Call Extensions

The difference made by opting in to these on top of location extensions is pretty subtle. Your ads will look the same, but what you can do with the phone number gets a bit more sophisticated.

You need to input a specific number rather than using your feed, but you can opt to use a Google forwarding number which provides richer reporting around things like call length and location of caller, as well as allowing you to feed this data into the conversions column.

You can opt to show the number on just mobile devices and even schedule when to show the number around business hours.

The only potential negative is that you are then using ‘national’ number, rather than a location specific one as with location extensions, so it is important to weigh up the pros and cons, and think about why people will be calling.

Also, it’s worth being aware that location extensions won’t always appear with a phone number, so it’s worth having call extensions in place to increase the chances of this.

Finally, having both running can cause some confusion in your reports. In the campaign type for example you might see 100 click to call clicks, but only 10 calls in the call detail report. This is because 90 of those clicks were on the location extension call button.

So, what about…

Website Call Conversions

This is actually a slightly different offering and can be used alongside both of the above. Essentially by adding a piece of code to your site you can apply a Google forwarding number (as with call extensions) to the number on your site itself.

What this means is that as with more sophisticated and expensive call tracking solutions you can serve up a unique number to Adwords traffic, allowing you to attribute all calls on that number right back to the keyword that drove them to the site.

This has been around in beta for a fair while, as evidenced by some of the testimonials on Google’s blog, but now that it is publicly available everyone can benefit.

It will no doubt start impacting call tracking software companies’ revenues – another casualty of the Google Goliath! It will also help strengthen the case for investment in Adwords which will certainly not be something lost on Google!

The Big Paid Search ‘Not Provided’ Panic

Shredded paper


After whisperings within the industry, which began a few weeks ago, Google finally announced last Monday (April 14th) that they would be removing the query from Adwords referral data, preventing analytics packages from being able to see the specific terms sending you Google PPC traffic.

In many ways this move was inevitable as Google continued to come under fire for their apparent double-standards around user privacy – allowing query information to be passed for paid search activity (which makes Google money), but not for organic search activity (which does not make Google money).

Widespread panic and confusion!

This move was both preceded by and greeted with the usual sensationalism and scare-mongering by many industry sources. This is perhaps not surprising given the impact of Google’s changes last year, which blocked all organic search keyword data and left many SEO practitioners if not totally blind, then certainly partially sighted, whilst they adapted to new ways of working.

The truth is still out there…

The reality and the impact of what has happened are thankfully much less catastrophic. Pretty much all of your data is still there if you know where to look, and how to set up your Adwords account.
As Google are no doubt well aware, completely removing advertiser’s visibility of what is and isn’t working for them would be a fairly rapid route to reduced spend, less confidence and, ultimately, less profit for Google. Last week’s move is a long way from that kind of paid keyword data blackout.

What have we lost?

The critical distinction is that Google no longer passes QUERY data. This is the exact term a user searched for before clicking your ad.

So for example, if you are bidding on the keyword ‘cheap holidays’ on phrase match your ad could be triggered by queries like ‘cheap holidays to France’, ‘buy cheap holidays’ etc.

Previously you could see both keyword data and query data in 3rd party reports, so you could see that it was actually the query ‘buy cheap holidays’ that drove a sale. From now you will only have keyword data, so you will only know that a sale was driven by the phrase match keyword ‘cheap holidays’.

As a result those most impacted by this change will be the accounts which are heavily reliant on small numbers of phrase or broad match terms.

In the above example if you had ‘buy cheap holidays’ created as a keyword in your account, as opposed to simply being triggered by the keyword ‘cheap holidays,’ then you would have full visibility of it within keyword reporting.

What do we still have?

You can still pass KEYWORD data, along with campaign data, ad copy data, match type and more within the URL of your keyword. So whilst you can no longer see the exact search query used in 3rd party systems you can still see the keyword in your account that triggered your ad.

It’s also important to remember nothing is being lost from within Adwords. This change is around security and privacy and as data in Adwords is anonymous and proprietary there are theoretically no issues here.

Getting the most out of what we have

For most advertisers everything they need in terms of queries is still available within Adwords itself. All of your search query data is available through search term reports as before, and if you want to ally this with conversion data you just need to set up Adwords conversion tracking.

Adwords Search Query Report

Search query report

For any reporting, or use of query data outside the Adwords eco-system, keyword data should be more than sufficient, but to get the most detailed picture you should aim to make your keyword data as close to search query data as possible…

Improving your keyword data

At Fusion Unlimited we have long been advocates of detailed account structures and maximising use of exact match keywords. If everything in your account were set up on exact match then, effectively, your keyword and query would be one and the same thing, and this change would have no impact on your data. The issue with that approach is that you would be limiting your access to the long-tail and opportunities for account expansion.

The best compromise is to use phrase match and even broad match in a controlled manner alongside exact match. You can then use the search query report within Adwords to mine new keywords and add these to your account on exact match, allowing you to pass this data to any third party systems you are using, as well as a host of other benefits that come with more finely-tuned keyword targeting.

The more you grow your exact match keyword portfolio, and reduce the volumes you are driving through phrase and broad match terms, the closer your keyword data will be to the search query data.

Match Types Explained

Match types explained


Image sources:

Shredder –

Match types explained – Adwords Help Centre