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Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

I'm curious why the data in the Search Term Report (Details button on Keyword screen) isn't as up to date as the rest of the performance data in an Adwords account. You can have 100 impressions or more sometimes and have no terms in the report and when terms do show up there's always a category 'other' that can have a significant number of impressions.

 

The Search Term Report is crucial for identifying negative keywords when using phrase and broad match types. The more quickly negative keywords can be identified, the less ad spend that is wasted towards keywords searchs with poor relevancy for that campaign.

 

The reason I am so shocked is that I'm a developer. Google is a very big company that has allocated huge resources to developing their Adwords platform as it generates a huge amount of income for the company. Obviously their databases store every Adwords search query in realtime. I can see the data being a little delayed like the rest of the performance data displayed in the Adwords account but frankly, I cannot think of any huge technical barrier to showing a complete search term report within the same time frame as other Adwords performance data and displaying EVERY keyword match and not lumping a bunch into 'Other'

 

It seems this delay and lack of complete data on the Search Term Report would have the effect, especially with new advertisers, of increasing the cost per conversion due to wasted ad spend on keyword searches that had a phrase or broad match that are not relevant and the faster all or part of the search is added to the negative keywords list, the quicker the advertiser can stop/prevent wasted CPC costs.

 

However, conversely, the longer it takes to get this data and the more incomplete it is, the more revenue Google makes on this wasted ad spend. I'm not accusing Google of doing this on purpose. Ad relevancy may in some, but not all cases dissuade a click-thru on an irrelevant term, but then this still ends up lowering the advertisers CTR and indirectly potentially lowering Quality Score.

 

Has Google ever given a detailed explanation of why the Keyword Term Report is delayed and does not show ALL keywords? I can't imagine for a company like Google the reason could be a technical one. I've used Adwords for many years and I'm surprised while other things have improved this issue with the Search Term report has not been addressed apparently?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hello Jeff,

I'm not sure if this will help but let me tell you something I've noticed.

The search term report that you see in dimensions, at least for me, it's incomplete. When you download the data, say in a .csv file, you'll notice that a lot more search terms come up.
Does this happen to you too? Perhaps, for now, you can only see the full report if you download it.
I hope this helps at least a little.

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi @Jeff C

Well... It's more  simple than that. There is no planned plot  (by Google) here;

 

Technically, the data can be updated only when all servers are fully synced.  This takes about a full day.

The "other  search terms", usually refers to search queries which could imply personal information, or information which violates Google's Privacy Policy (e.g. "At what address does 007 live?" Smiley Surprised ). Privacy is a major concern for Google, and Google will not give any concessions  on privacy even  at the expense  "avoiding to report" some data.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner
Jeff,

I use the Google Analytic side of the equation to view Keyword Query Reports, and they seem to be on an only 3-4 hour ( if that) delay when comparing to the Adwords side of the report.

Have you tied navigating to Google Anlaytics, > Acquisition > Adwords > Search Queries

In fact at times on some of the smaller accounts the data is extremely fast within minutes when looking through Analytics. ( as least what I have noticed especially in a start up campaigns that I baby sit)

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 5
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
Eric, your answer seems to contradict MosheTLV. If keywords (under Other) are filtered due to privacy issues, than your Analytics data would also be incomplete unless Moshe is in error, or Google has not applied this so called privacy filter in Analytics.

Dan, not sure why you mentioned 'Segments' the report I'm referring to is not under the Segmentation function. It's under the Details button > Search Terms.

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

It seems more than a bit odd to me that Google would charge you for queries that they will not divulge. So essentially you are saying it is impossible to discover negative keyword phrases with private info in it? Interesting.

Can you provide some other real-word examples of different types of actual searches that might get filtered "what address does 007 live at" seems like a pretty poor example.

 Here's the kicker...  While the percentage of clicks from the 'Other' keyword searches might only be like 10%, I've seen several accounts where the impression share is over 80%.  You can't tell me that more than 8/10 searches for a wide variety of broad match keywords for different types of businesses has "private" data in it.

 

There's something Google isn't telling you.

 

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 7
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

The pop-up for Other Terms says:

 

The "Other search terms" row displays data for terms that triggered your ads but that aren't listed individually in your "Search terms" table.

Criteria: Data appears in this row if both of the following are true:

  • You didn't receive any clicks on this term within the last 30 days (from visitors who weren't blocking their referrer URLs).
  • The term wasn't entered by a significant number of people.

Keep in mind, data for searches in the last 24 hours will always be in this row.

 

I just ran a report on one campaign for a day two days ago and 121 of 131 search terms were Other Terms and there were 3 clicks.   So I'm assuming the latter is true (not entered by a significant number of people.)

 

HERE'S MY POINT: IF ONE PERSON CLICKS ON MY AD DISPLAYED VIA BROAD MATCH AND I'M CHARGED FOR IT, THAT ISN'T AN INSIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF PEOPLE TO ME!  IF GOOGLE HAS THE DATA TO CHARGE ME FOR THE CLICK, THEN SHOW ME THE SEARCH TERM!

 

I CAN'T THINK OF A LEGITIMATE REASON/EXCUSE TO NOT SHOW ME ALL THE DATA?  PRIVACY? YA RIGHT, NOT 95% OF THE IMPRESSIONS!  TOO MUCH DATA? NOT, THERE'S PLENTY OF OTHER REPORTS THAT CAN GENERATE THOUSANDS OF LINES.

 

 

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hello again @Jeff C;

First, please avoid "all CAPS" - this means shouting and violates the community guidelines.

 

As for your question:

>>"So essentially you are saying it is impossible to discover negative keyword phrases with private info in it? Interesting"

 

Correct;

When it  comes to privacy vs data disclosed, Goole favors privacy. This applies for all Google's products.

-Moshe;

 

 

@Buzzb

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 9
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Sorry about the caps but it seems to me, as I've mentioned and you didn't address, that maybe a portion of those 'Other Keywords' might trigger the privacy filter but not 80, 90, 95%.  That's just common sense.

 

 I'm sure I could reinforce my point by looking at search term reports for the same keywords within a Bing account.  Users make the same searches they do on Bing as they do on Google more or less.  I would be willing to bet Bing isn't hiding 90% of the broad match search terms.  I just don't have any Bing accounts active right now but I will later.

 

Re: Why Is Search Term Report Delayed and Incomplete?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I completely share Jeff's frustration, and sympathise with him fully. It is infuriating being charged for traffic without any indication as to what you've actually been charged for. There is zero evidence that the fee deducted has been for a search query that I have any interest in targeting. I use vast lists of only Exact Match keywords, but even that doesn't protect me from attracting clicks for queries considered by AdWords to be "close variants" when they are no such thing in reality. For this reason it's even more intolerable.