Google’s Search Term Update in Google Ads – What Does it Mean?

If your company uses Google Ads to spread the word of your business online you may have noticed a recent change in the way that you see results in the search terms report. Google recently announced that they would be updating the report to only include terms that were searched by a “significant number of users”. But what does this mean? And how does this change the way your business conducts its online marketing? Read on for our guide to Google Ad’s latest change and how you can adapt your online marketing strategy to fit this new change.

What has Google Ads Changed?

Anyone who has worked with the Google Ads platform will know that it is not unusual for them to consistently roll out updates to change the way businesses and individuals advertise online. This latest change is one that has caused some controversy in the online world of digital marketers and those who use the platform on a day-to-day basis. In their own words, Google Ads’ most recent change has involved


“updating the search terms report to only include terms that were searched by a significant number of users. As a result you may see fewer terms in your report going forward.”


Put another way, Google has reduced the visibility of advertisers for which search terms trigger their ads. This has reportedly been done as part of Google Ads’ ongoing efforts to maintain privacy and security for users and their data and came into effect in September 2020.


What is the Search Terms Report in Google Ads?

If this new change in Google Ads has you confused about what exactly the search terms report is, the easiest explanation is that it is a report for you to see how your ads have performed when triggered by searches. You can then use the search terms report within the Google Ads platform in order to identify terms that may have a high search potential and those that you would like to add to a negative keyword list. Using this report is a way to optimise your Google Ads campaigns to ensure they are running the to the best of their ability. Google explains here.


What Does the Search Term Reduction in Google Ads Mean?

Put simply, this change in Google Ads means that some search terms with a lower search volume will no longer show up in the search terms report within the Google Ads platform. This means that you may not be able to use the search term report within Google Ads to see all of the search terms that trigger your online ads, particularly those with a lower search volume as these have now been removed from the report.


How Will the Google Ads Update Affect My Google Ads Campaigns and Strategies?

If you, like many other digital marketers rely on the search terms report in Google Ads to optimise your Google Ads performance, this change may affect the way you identify the best keyword match type for your business’ keywords, the way you create negative keywords lists for your campaigns and even how you identify new search terms to add to your campaign’s keyword lists. For example, if you are a business or agency that makes use of keywords with low impressions or clicks, you can expect that this information will no longer be available to you with the new Google Ads update. The update may also give you less clarity about which queries have triggered your ads and whether they are relevant to your business or need adding to a negative keyword list.


How Can I Adapt My Google Ads Campaigns and Reports Using the New Search Terms Report?

One of the ways you can adapt your Google Ads campaigns to fit the search terms report update is to use dynamic search ads to find new keywords that you may have been missing or by using smart bidding to optimise for hidden search terms. One thing however is key, now more than ever it is vital to continue optimising your Google Ads campaigns to run as efficiently as possible. Using tools such as the Bing search query report can help you to find new keywords that may no longer appear in Google Ad’s new, more streamlined reports whilst using other areas of digital marketing to help support your Google Ads campaigns can higher your chance of success in the online world.


Where Can I Find Help with Google Ads Management?

As experts in PPC and the many nuances of Google’s services, the team at SEM Consultants are fully-certified by Google and always watching for any updates or changes that may affect the Google Ads platform. We have plenty of experience adapting campaigns to fit the ever-changing world of online marketing and are experts in making business’s PPC and online advertising strategies the best that they can be. If you are looking for advice or guidance on how best to optimise your online advertising, get in touch with our specialist PPC team to find out how we can help.


Call us now on 0121 552 6500 to talk to the team or get in touch online here. For more information on our PPC services take a look at our pay per click management page.