• Sergiu Draganus

    Hi Danny, as you’ve mentioned already in the article they are providing keyword data only on AdWords campaigns, so the deal is simple. Pay to get the keyword data, the bigger the campaign budget is, the more keyword insights you get.

    Bdw, if the data is secure how it comes that Keyword Planner Tool is listing all the search terms used by the users? even the location where they were searched from ?

    Privacy is only BS as any developer knows that servers can share data even if is https or not … the goal is clear … keyword insights are too valuable to be given for free …

  • Pat Grady

    If I pay for sales people to visit businesses, I have a right to know which ones they visited. To me, same thing for AdWords – I have a right to know which searches I was paying to advertise on.

    But AdWords doesn’t connect any PI info to the keyword data, so why is it a privacy issue for AdWords? If you program your website, and collect PI, and connect the dots, maybe you can identify specific people… but check the AdWords TOS.

    I know SEO folks are feeling deprived of data they want, but I don’t see the “AdWords” argument some are making. Even if you crank up AdWords, you don’t get the data SEO folks are looking for – so you’re not “paying to get the keyword data” anyhow. You may learn how some keywords behave as PPC, but that leaves out a lot of what SEOs are looking for.

  • Pat Grady

    Data companies that mine PII data from aggregated non-PII data, are the ones SEOs should be steamed at. Keyword data, in Analytics, is not PII, there is no privacy issue – as long as the data isn’t married to external data, and as long as we can trust G to not sell / rent / use / distribute the data… But this all changes when the 3rd party layer is added to this discussion. G knows the more PII that is cut out, the smaller the 3rd party issues become. They also know they have a financial, contractual relationship with advertisers, which means they can demand PII rules from AdWords users. Danny, you said sometimes search data is private, sometimes its not – I’m saying Google knows that what the data-consumers do with the data, is a key part of whether it’s a privacy issue, or it isn’t. Google cannot say that something is not a privacy issue, because I can bake a PII from the Non-PII I may get from G.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Pat, when someone clicks on an ad, PI info along with the search terms are transmitted in the clear, across the internet in the open, to an advertiser.

    That’s fine if Google believes, as I’ve been at pains to try and ask and get clarified, that the one-off transmission of terms like this is fine — if the concern is really about being able to intercept a stream of searches that might be linked to one person.

    Google won’t answer that question. And it’s completely valid from a privacy standpoint, regardless of any withholding of data on the SEO side.

    In fact, read the article again. I’m not talking about the SEO issue at all.

  • http://www.ematters.nl/ Arjan Bakker

    It’s all about the money…Someone once said; Do not be evil.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Pat, it would be a lot easier to have this discussion if Google itself would explain in what situations it considers search data to be private.

    RIght now, it doesn’t. It’s not saying or explaining that at all. It’s just saying that it made some change that supposedly protects privacy, but a change that seemingly has all these gaps unless it assumes in some situations, search term data is safe to expose.

    When those are, why those are, how it safeguards or feels data is safeguarded, it’s not saying.

  • Alistair Dent

    Hi Danny,

    I still think you’re conflating two issues that are distinct. I know it’s nitpicking, but it does confuse the argument somewhat.

    It’s not that organic clicks are encrypted and ad clicks are not. Clicks aren’t something that is encrypted, as such. The traffic when you perform your search is encrypted. The link between your browser and Google’s servers is encrypted. So when you pass info to Google (your search term) and they provide answers to you (the search results page), that’s all encrypted.

    The clicks are essentially not part of that argument.

    What happens to keywords then is slightly different. On organic clicks, the keyword is not passed. That’s a browser technology and I don’t think anybody’s confused there. But Google doesn’t suddenly say that it’s okay to pass unencrypted info on an ad click. Instead, the landing page includes a GCLID that Google’s own systems (Google Analytics) can turn back into a keyword (not search query) on the other end. The keyword wasn’t sent “in the open” as you state.

    I fully agree with the issue and the hypocriticism that Google seem to be displaying, but it’s not as simple an issue (and it’s incorrect to imply) that organic clicks are encrypted and ad clicks aren’t.