When Google announced yesterday that they were going to be encrypting all organic keyword data everyone in the internet marketing community simultaneously started crying and then the internet exploded. Seriously. After all, if you can no longer see where your organic search traffic is coming from and what search terms people are using to find your product or service how can you target your search engine optimization efforts effectively? “It’s a disaster!” marketers lamented, “It’s Google being evil” others said. In reality it’s an effort to provide even more security and privacy to everyone using Google and really, that’s a good thing.
After all, the real question on everyone’s mind is “does the Keyword (Not Provided) change affect me”?
The answer? Yes.
Fun fact: Google actually started this process over 2 years ago when they encrypted keyword search data for users that were logged in to their services. We’ve been seeing Keyword (Not Provided) in Google Analytics since then and some estimates* put the current amount of Keyword (Not Provided) results at over 75%.
Internet marketing agencies the world over tried to find ways to figure out how to find the data behind the new Keyword (Not Provided) encryption to no avail. Eventually most gave up, told clients the data was unavailable, and moved on with their lives. Now that this change will become permanent we’ll see even more internet marketing agencies taking this same path. Sorry everyone, Google makes the rules! Without seeing what keywords users are searching and what kind of traffic that drives to your site you can’t optimize. Traditional SEO just took another nail in the coffin.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Google is expanding the tools and data available in Webmaster Tools – advanced backlink representation and a years worth of Top Search Queries being the most exciting so far. The latter has no release date yet, but expect to see it soon with the onset of the dreaded Keyword [Not Provided] privacy encryption. This will allow for deep analysis of your backlinks and different search queries that trigger impressions for your site so that an effective strategy can be defined and implemented. It’s not traditional keyword data, but it offers incredible insight.
Google likes to change things up and from the beginning we’ve planned to be ready. Traditional SEO doesn’t work and yesterday’s update shows that Google believes that too. At Marketing 360®, we took our time and designed our UXi™ Web Technology platform to work hand in hand with our Natural Listing Ads™ and Top Placement Ads® programs, ensuring that we can track user search activity all the way through the conversion funnel regardless of how Google changes the rules. This proprietary suite of tools allows us to look past the surface data and focus all our efforts on what gives you the biggest return. Concerned about the change? We’re not. We’re all MAD here.