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“Not Provided” in Google Paid Search: Don’t Freak Out

Focus on Your Business Instead

I recently saw a post at Search Engine Land concerning a report that came out about Google blocking its paid search keyword data. It summarized (quite well, I thought) what happened over the past week. For days there have been rumors, speculations, and announcements about this issue. Everyone has been trying to find out whether Google will be presenting all paid keyword data as "not provided.” Naturally, a lot of search engine professionals started freaking out.

What struck me the most was not the news itself, but this comment: “In case you've been living under a rock this past week and have no idea what any of this means, you're in luck - all of the aforementioned events are well documented in the posts below, from our own editors as well as expert contributors.”

This brings me to the main point of this article – you need to stay focused.

Find a balance between the important and the noise.

As it just so happens, over the past week I have been living under a rock. I was focused on my business—ensuring that client work was delivered properly, talking to existing clients, and presenting my company to new prospects. That is what I consider to be “the important.” The speculation and freaking out? That’s “the noise.”

Do I think that keeping up-to-date with recent Google news is important?

Yes, of course I do. Last week’s news was important, but not important enough to distract me from my daily business operations.

In today’s search engine marketing world there is too much information and too much urgency. This serves only to distract marketing professionals and keeps them from focusing on what’s important – delivering client work and selling services consistently.

How did the recent news affect my company and my clients?

From a big-picture perspective, it hasn’t—at least as of yet. Our operation hasn’t changed and our clients’ operations haven't changed.

When these changes actually do start to affect us, we will react appropriately by adjusting our processes to adapt to the new environment.

There is no need to react to every single Google update story that comes out.

This is especially true when the stories are filled with unconfirmed facts and speculations. These reports will only distract you from the important parts of running your business. Spending several hours following every news article or speculation is, simply put, a waste of time.

Think about the value of your time. If you charge $100 an hour and waste 10 hours reading everything you can find about one of these stories, that will come to $1,000 you can’t get back. Trust me, your clients will not pay you for being an expert on the news surrounding recent Google updates.

Don’t forget what business you are in.

You and Web publishers are involved in different kinds of business. Publishers get paid for page views via advertising, while you get paid for client work. They can afford spending time reading, writing and speculating about these issues because it’s their product. That’s what they do for living. I don't blame the publishers because they are doing their job well when they disrupt the community with news.

You, on the other hand, get paid for client work. If you are spending your time with the publishers’ concerns, you are being distracted from your work. Do not fall into the trap of becoming a slave to the news.

What are the implications of this update as far as your business is concerned?

There are few implications, but they are not nearly as bad as the reaction would indicate. The most important question for you is: if and when Google secures their paid platform searches, how will this change your business?

Will this change lead you to drop your clients because you can’t see the paid keywords resulting in visits to your website? I don't think so.

After any kind of change goes through, it takes some time to adjust accordingly. After this event, you can find ways to go around and manage your client accounts. Not before, but after.

Take control of your time.

Don’t be afraid to live under a rock six days out of the week. You can always catch up on the news when you have time.

Control your time. Spend it reading news after you have done your best to deliver client work and attract more clients to your business.

News can wait for Saturday afternoons when your work is done and you have time to catch up on summaries for the week—or better, to read the official updates from Google, which state facts, instead of rumors.

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Summary from Search Engine Land

Report: Google To Block Paid Search Keyword Data With Not Provided; Like Organic “Not Provided”

Marin: If Google Applies “Not Provided” To PPC, Paid Search Management Platforms Will Still Work

Official: Google Brings “Not Provided” To Ads, Will Withhold Search Query Data From Paid Clicks

Not Provided Comes To Paid Search: What Will The Impact Be?

The Aftermath: Clarifications & Expert Reactions To Google’s Move To Secure Paid Search Queries

10 Surprising Facts About “Keyword (Not Provided)” For Paid Search


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