Note: This Reported Issue Has Been Resolved. Read about the resolution here.

We’re not trying to be dramatic, but we have (hopefully temporarily) lost almost half of our Google Analytics AdWords Matched Search Query data! Let me explain:

On November 12th, I started to see (not set) displayed in all of our clients’ Google Analytics AdWords Matched Search Query reports. We use this report daily to determine how effective our AdWords keywords are at targeting our desired audience. The Matched Search Query column should display the actual Google Search query that triggered the AdWords Ad. Needless to say, this is very important information, so we became immediately concerned.

Google Analytics Known Technical Issue with Matched Search Query Reporting

Since this issue was evident across all of our accounts, we figured there was something going on with Google Analytics itself. I called the AdWords phone support line to report the problem, and (after some initial research into my account settings) the representative said she’d contact the technical division. About 20 minutes later, she called back and confirmed that there is a known technical issue affecting all AdWords accounts. From what we can tell, the issue appears to be affecting the  Google Analytics’ AdWords Matched Search Query reporting.  They could not confirm when the problem will be resolved, but did state that Google is working to resolve the problem.

My biggest concern is our historical data: I receive daily email reports from Google Analytics for all my clients’ AdWords Matched Search Queries. Our company does this so we can review the search traffic and ensure that we’re targeting our audience correctly (and to catch errors like these!).

After noticing the (not set) issue, I went back to an archived report I received from Analytics on November 9th. My goal was to compare the current Analytics data with the data I received a few days back. Here’s what I found:

We’ve Lost Google Analytics AdWords Matched Search Query Data

*On November 9th, I received a Google Analytics report for the date range 11/8/14 to 11/8/2014. That report showed 99 sessions, all of which had matched search query information. This is a screenshot of the report I received in my email on 11/9/2014. (Note: (not set) always appears as the first result in the report.)

adwords matched search query
*On November 13th, I ran that same report (date range 11/8/14 to 11/8/2014)—only now, Analytics reports that 49 of those sessions are (not set). This is the report I ran on 11/13/2014:Google Analytics AdWords matched query

Not only is this affecting current Analytics data, but some past data has changed to (not set). Don’t panic yet! Google is looking into the problem, and they will hopefully restore any lost data (fingers crossed).

We’ll be keeping a very close eye on this issue and report back as more updates unfold. Please subscribe to our blog to receive this and other updates.