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Google yesterday released a new paid and organic report in AdWords to 'help you better understand how people searching on Google are connecting with your business'.

According to the Big G, the new report is 'the first to let you see and compare your performance for a query when you have either an ad, an organic listing, or both appearing on the search results page'.

Here’s a pic of what the report looks like..

 

Google’s blog article highlights three areas the new report can help.

  • Discover additional paid search terms – identify keywords you are ranking for organically but not bidding on.
  • Optimise presence on high value queries - monitor your high value queries for organic results.
  • Measure changes - website improvements or AdWords changes are more easily monitored across paid, organic, and combined traffic.

We asked Rishi LakhaniDan Barker and Matt Holland for their thoughts on this new report.

Why is Google doing this?

Rishi Lakhani:

Fairly simple, to show people using the very flawed Webmaster Tools click through data how much more money they could be spending.

Dan Barker:

It's a sensible thing to do from a 'user' point of view, and from a business point of view.

From a user point of view: Marketing teams will often look at this data across four or five different reports in Google Analytics (or an alternative), or will manually join together this information in spreadsheets to understand performance.

Adding it into AdWords makes it a little bit easier, and frankly gives a more useful, 'actionable' view of the data than most other tools. The one caveat there is it will be interesting to see how accurate the 'organic' data is there.

To get the data you have to link your AdWords and Webmaster Tools accounts. The Webmaster Tools 'organic search' data has been notoriously inaccurate, and rounds that inaccurate data to the nearest thousand/hundred/ten. The screengrab in the announcement seems to suggest this data is more accurate (it's not rounded), but without actually using it and checking it, it's tough to tell.

From a business point of view this benefits Google too: Showing users "hey, you're getting all this organic search traffic, why not pay us a little bit of money for even more traffic?" is a really useful thing to be able to do.

If they present this information in Google Analytics, you're two steps away from actually spending the money to increase PPC traffic; here in AdWords you can bump up bids instantly, add extra keywords to campaigns, etc.

Matt Holland:

The new report will enable search marketers to understand the opportunity when paid and natural is combined, and consequently amend their bidding strategies of paid keywords. There will be additional analysis required by search marketers but they will have a more integrated view of performance which will influence their strategies for both paid and natural moving forward.

 

How will this affect search marketers, day-to-day? 

Rishi Lakhani:

Too early to tell, but PPC agencies will have a ball. Google's case study insists 18% uplift in click-through rate (CTR) with combined SEO and PPC. So they are trying to get businesses to pay more, by running more ads. It's really that simple. 

There may be other implications, but it's early days.

Dan Barker:

The big question here is around 'not provided' search data. Google have been hiding a lot of keywords from users over the last couple of years. At present, there is no accurate (or even semi-accurate) way to get that data. If these reports are better than the usual Webmaster Tools data, it may become a standard place for search marketers to go to check organic performance.

Aside from the 'not provided' issue, and the 'accuracy' issue (both of which are pretty big), the data here is mostly available elsewhere, but most users would have to do some manual work to join it together and analyse. From that point of view, if users have been joining that data together, this will save them time; if they haven't been using that data this is another tool to help them understand where their site's traffic is coming from, how it fits together, and how they can improve it.

What impact, if any, will this have on search agency client relations?

Rishi Lakhani:

More money for paid search agencies, so better relations? ;( 

Dan Barker:

From a search agency perspective it's interesting. If you're an agency managing both SEO & PPC, it helps you understand where you could steal budget from one area to bump up another, or where you have gaps between your different channels that can easily be plugged.

Where companies use separate PPC and SEO agencies, this report pits them against each other a tiny bit more. From an agency/client point of view, it's another area where clients will be asking for reports and, hopefully, more testing around the effects of PPC vs SEO vs both together. Two of the numbers here that you don't often see elsewhere are 'listings per query' and 'total share of search clicks'. Those are both useful for judging yourself against the market, and (for clients) pushing agencies to do more. 

Matt Holland:

Clients who have separate agencies managing their paid and natural search will need to ensure that they link their AdWords and Webmaster Tools accounts together. However, issues may arise where the paid search agency has data on natural agency in AdWords, and is suggesting joined-up strategies on data that the natural agency will not have access to.

The paid search agency could give read-only access to the natural agency, in order to see this data, but it remains to be seen if this will be necessary.

 

Positives/drawbacks?

Rishi Lakhani:

The major drawback I see is for SEO. By using data from Webmaster Tools, you are using flawed data to overvalue PPC. CTR in webmaster tools is a joke in my opinion, however, it's an opinion; maybe this tool will help confirm or disapprove that.

Either way, I assure you PPC data will look better, which means more direct money will be ploughed into the Goog. Which may leave even less investment in SEO

On the other hand, it may be interesting to finally be able to judge position/keyword/CTR for SEO, if the data is correct. That may actually grow the need to fine tune top tier rankings. 

Dan Barker:

If the data is anywhere near accurate, this is really useful for clever marketers. There are lots of nice, simple things you can test here. One of the big messages Google have wheeled out over the years is "when you're present for both PPC and SEO traffic, 1+1=3". This puts that data in the hands of AdWords users.

The only major drawbacks are:

Drawback A) it's yet another report to look at, yet another source of data to try and align with everything else, and yet another thing to learn about/decide whether it's useful/fit into your process. It adds a little bit of complexity.

Drawback B) is slightly more theoretical, and is related to encouraging PPC spend. If everyone starts using this, and takes the nudge to spend extra on PPC wherever they're having success via organic search, it means the PPC market gets a little bit more competitive, bids bump up a little bit more, etc.

Matt Holland:

A drawback is the data in Webmaster Tools only goes back 90 days currently. It would help to be able to look back further when advertisers are trying to analyse data to plan ahead for seasonal events.

Ben Davis

Published 26 August, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (13)

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johnw

Google have shared new paid and organic report to compare performance of both paid and organic result. But i don't think that they have shared accurate report.

almost 3 years ago

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Digital Monster

Looks like a good value add but it's too early to say if it's a game changer. But surely it's gonna make it easier for people directly managing their SEM campaigns.. Looking forward more precise keyword data.

almost 3 years ago

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Dave Cable

Any agency worth their salt should be doing this type of analysis anyway, but I think the initial take up will be big as google will certainly market this as a one stop shop for many marketers. But as all your contributors have stated throughout this article, the big question is accuracy - that's a huge issue!

Great idea, something that would be useful to use as a "safety" check for your SEM strategy but can see many pitfalls. Only time will tell

almost 3 years ago

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Sarah Mash

More reports to analyse! Becoming ever more time-consuming for the marketing agency to pick out the most relevant and effective data to analyse for the client however this is one we do like.
Also finding it's becoming increasingly difficult for clients/non-experts trying to manage their own SEO to stay on top of it all....not necessarily fair but also not a bad thing for agencies?

almost 3 years ago

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Creative Behavior

Rishi is spot on. Its a perfect way for the big G to continue to show that business owners could be spending more and if not, 'Hey look what you're missing out on'.

almost 3 years ago

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Kevin Vernon

Great Article.
Thanks for Sharing information about Google's new paid and organic report in Adwords.
Expert views are also very helpful.
All the Positives and Drawbacks are pretty good and gives good idea about Flaws and Positives of New Adwords Reports.

almost 3 years ago

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Anthony

Will these reports skirt around the not-provided issue WMT-style and if so will they be more useful than their equivalent in GA?

almost 3 years ago

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Harsh

It will affect search marketers tremendously.Overall I find it nice,informative blog......

almost 3 years ago

Anna Lewis

Anna Lewis, Google Analytics Analyst at Koozai

Great to hear the views of others on this. I agree that the accuracy of the data is a concern and that it's also likely to be there to help you spend more in AdWords. I'm hoping it doesn't lead to increased competition making it unprofitable for small businesses and also that it doesn't encourage people to use PPC over SEO or play agencies off against each other.

almost 3 years ago

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Tim Gray, MD at LFO

making it harder to do quality seo, but easier to spend on ppc... hmmm. Perhaps they are trying to get everyone to spend on paid 'natural' listings (one day) haha.

almost 3 years ago

Andy Headington

Andy Headington, CEO at Adido LimitedSmall Business

Personally I'm very sceptical of this move - yes it might help to bring some slight improvement to keyphrase/word understanding but since it is based off GWMT data (which I've never trusted in the many years using it when necessary) I'm not sure how helpful it will actually be.

Given their move to hide keyphrase data for 'privacy reasons', to then give us some half baked data to work from feels like they are taking the fresh loaf from us with one hand and giving us some dried up crumbs as compensation (sure there are better metaphors but you get the idea). I'm sure they planned this report years ago when they turned the NP pipe on and have only now decided to release it.

To me this move has been made to help drive more PPC spend and nothing else.

almost 3 years ago

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Depesh Mandalia, Head of Digital Marketing at Lost My Name

This alongside enhanced campaigns will make it easier to sink more money into PPC and especially for those less experienced (agency and client alike) to lose track of how well that spend is performing (depending on how the data is used)

Wonder how many snake oil salesmen will spring up to make a quick buck from SMEs - they're the guys likely to get hit most due to less in-house experience.

I recall many years ago Adwords was a much simpler proposition however they have needed to innovate since Bing/Search Alliance started picking up pace and the likes of Baidu post a threat from the Far East... expect things to shift further in the coming years.

almost 3 years ago

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Joseph Lowe, Personal at Personal

this is good. but i think Google is just trying to drive people away from doing organic SEO and instead pay more for PPC. that way, they can get more money. anyway, just my 2 cents.

almost 3 years ago

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