Search terms report limitation in Google Ads. (Free resource inside)

In this article, I’ll show you how to asses the impact on your accounts of Google ads limiting search terms report.





Google ads will limit search terms reporting citing privacy.

They didn’t tell exactly what threshold they will use to determine to show or not search terms (Impressions, clicks??,…)


Search terms report is extremely important for query management and keeping your account clean:

• Excluding bad search terms you don’t want to spend money on. (Negative query management)
• Be sure that you show on correct queries based on your account structure (Brand vs Generic)
• Analyze which search terms convert and where media is spend.

Let me show you how to analyze the impact using a simple DataStudio dashboard.



Invisible spend in Google ads. The big concern.


The problem with the new update is that you can’t tie a part of the media spend to search terms anymore.

Invisible spend can be up to 30-40% in some accounts !

Knowing which terms are triggering your ads remains one of the very basic of search ads.


Since Google released the « close variant » matching option meaning a keyword can now match on « same meaning » variation, it’s even more important to analyze the search terms.




Google also reaffirms that 15% of every search are new and have never been searched before !





Basically, money is spend on keywords that Google algorithm defines as relevant.

Google also decides if/when they want to show it to you in the search terms report or not.

« Plug your credit card in the Google ads black box and we’ll do the rest they said… »



15% of searches are new, keyword matching is approximative and you won’t have a clear view anymore which terms you are paying for.

Sounds crazy right ?

Think about accounts with high CPC’s like 10 or 15€.



Assess Google ads invisible spend in your accounts.



PPC managers and agencies are so mad at Google since the announcement that a petition has even be created -> See here

Anyway, there is nothing we can really do for now and advertisers won’t pull the plug from Google ads since it remains a profitable channel for most of advertiser.

We have to live with it. For now.



I decided to create a simple Google Data studio dashboard to help PPC managers to analyze the % of media spend that can’t be tied to keywords anymore.


search terms report google ads


But that’s not all.

Invisible spend is one topic, but invisible conversions is another one !


PPC managers know very well that a percentage of search terms have very low volume of searches and clicks.

That doesn’t mean those keywords don’t convert.

I then tweaked the reporting to have a view on the percentage of conversions that you can’t tie to search terms anymore.


hidden conversions google ads


The report is setup to show the conversions included in the conversion column in Google ads.

If you are not using the conversion column in Google ads, you can easily tweak the blended data and add a filter with you conversion name.


Free resource : Click here to copy Invisible spend in Google ads dashboard.


1. Copy the dashboard in the top right menu
2. Plug you Google ads account as data source

3. There you go.




What percentage of the media spend is affected in your accounts ?



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