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Search terms will no longer be passed in the referrer URL string

Top Contributor
# 1
Top Contributor

Hello, hello.

 

Some time ago there were some rumours and speculations about it, now here's the announcement

 

http://googleadsdeveloper.blogspot.ro/2014/04/security-enhancements-for-search-users.html

 

From now on, if someone will search for something on Google and then click on an ad, the referrer URL will no longer contain the search terms.

 

So if you used to parse the URL and extract the search term from it and then either log it or customize the landing page according to it, it'll no longer work.

 

You'll have to resort to valuetrack parameters ({keyword}) and either be content with that or understand that except in the case of an exact match keyword you will not know exactly what the website visitor searched for before reaching your website.

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Search terms will no longer be passed in the referrer URL string

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
I actually panicked when I heard the rumors yesterday before the announcement yesterday. I'm so glad it wasn't as bad as it seemed.

The actual search terms are still being passed via the API which means we'll still be getting our "All" keywords (as much as we were getting outside "others"). We'll also still have our matched search query reports in all their glory.

This is in no way as big a deal as it was made out to be and people can relax. Only those using the matched search query in their landing pages are going to experience any changes and to be honest, that tactic pretty much died when GA brought user ID and cross device tracking out of beta (the same day, no coincidence there).

Re: Search terms will no longer be passed in the referrer URL string

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# 3
Top Contributor
However; Search terms report will continue to show the queries which matched the keywords. - - Did I understand correctly?
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Search terms will no longer be passed in the referrer URL string

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# 4
Top Contributor
Yes Moshe. I believe that is correct. The search term is just no longer being passed in the URL for extraction.

AdWords and GA never got the matched search queries from the URL anyway. To be honest, I thought AdWords did away with this when it was removed from organic search.

Re: Search terms will no longer be passed in the referrer URL string

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

There was a bit of a panic on the web yesterday before the official announcement, which is why it's always a good idea to wait until Google themselves release the change.

 

As mentioned, this only affects the "q=" portion of the passed URL so only affects people using this.

 

Jon

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