A couple of years ago, Google started “hiding” the keywords used when someone visited your website as the result of a search and a click on an organic link. The company has now confirmed that it will be doing the same thing for paid search results.

This will prove a real challenge to marketers as the data is essential to identify the effectiveness of broad-match keywords used in campaigns. With many marketers using AdWords to provide intelligence on the effectiveness of keywords that informs their SEO activities, this could impact both SEO and search engine advertising effectiveness.

Of course there is still data available if you use exact match keywords, and it seems likely that the move will result in fewer broad match terms being used in campaigns: this is probably a good thing (if you don’t know the problems associated with careless use of broad match terms, send me an email).

Whilst some of the impact can be reduced by tweaking AdWords campaigns, it’s clear that, after the recent rapid growth in the availability of marketing data, we are going to see some of that data disappear as companies respond to both demands for increased privacy and the commercial requirements to keep hold of as much valuable data as possible.