From Friday afternoon UK time onwards Google stopped importing data from unlinked AdWords and Analytics accounts, but forgot to tell anyone.
As a result of this seemingly innocuous action some Google Analytics profiles stopped correctly identifying traffic coming from AdWords accounts with differing administrator details, meaning that many Analytics profiles suddenly started to show zero paid search traffic, instead of the regular flow.
AdWords ads continued to run unaffected, it’s just that their traffic is now being reported as organic rather than paid search.
Upon discovering this ‘error’ Monday (16/02/09) afternoon I called Google’s AdWords support line seeking an explanation as to what had gone wrong. The Support Engineer initially had no idea and eventually came back to me with the following explanation.
“We have stopped the auto-tagging of urls from unlinked AdWords and Analytics accounts in order to enhance account holder privacy. We were going to announce the changes, however, that got help up and we didn’t think that many people, unlike yourself, would notice all that quickly anyway – an announcement will soon be made.”
So, there you have it. According to a Google AdWords Support Engineer nobody thought that users might notice that their paid search traffic had suddenly disappeared from their Analytics accounts.
Of course, this won’t affect everyone. But, what about you?