If you’ve ever been curious about what search terms people actually typed in to find your products and services – and which ones got people to click on your ad in Google AdWords – you’ve probably gotten familiar with the AdWords Search terms report. It’s the one that compares how your ads are performing across users searching for specific terms. In other words, it tells you if your ad for shoes gets more clicks when people search for “buy shoes” or “I need shoes.” This is useful for helping AdWords users bid more effectively, and create more focused ad groups by learning which search terms to target.

For those that live by the gospel of search query data, Google’s Jon Dioro sent out some good news today:

#AdWords friends… I’m excited to announce some improvements in data freshness. Now you will see more frequent updates to search term, geographic performance and automatic placement stats. Try checking your search terms for yesterday or today.

Although vague on the exact speeds of reporting that AdWords users can now expect, our own research has determined that the time frame for search query data is significantly shorter. Previously users could expect to receive data on search terms, geographic performance, and automated placement stats within about 24 to 48 hours of a campaign going live. Most reports were based off of a standard PST release time the day after starting a campaign.

With the update however, search term, geographic, and automatic placement reports can become available as quickly as six hours after a campaign is launched. Some reports are not affected by the change, such clicks and conversions which already typically become available within three hours. A few longer reports, such as your Top Movers, will continue to become available based on the old timeline.

The change is mainly useful to users who are operating on a short timeline, and need data available as quickly as possible. For users who have the time, waiting to gather a larger sample size will still offer more accurate results.

The change is also more convenient for users who live outside the PST timezone, since they may no longer need to conform to a PST schedule. All basic metrics reports are now available at 3 a.m. the day after launch (at the latest), regardless of your time zone. Search term, geographic performance, and automatic placements are also available at 6 a.m. in your own time zone. All other reports continue to work off of the PST standard.

To learn more about the AdWords reporting timeline and data freshness, check out the newly updated Google AdWords help page on the subject.