Did you know that in the last month Google implemented changes aimed at encrypting all search activity, making an exception only for clicks on ads? Oh Google, we are ever so grateful for your last minute changes, making our jobs as Internet and social media marketers effortless! Said nobody, ever.
According to interviews with Google representatives, the change has been employed in order to provide “extra protection” for searchers. In an article by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, he explains that Google may also be attempting to block NSA spying activities, or perhaps trying to increase ad sales.
In late 2011, the most popular of search engines moved to encrypt searches for anyone who was logged into Google. This meant that marketers would not have access to the information that aided them in identifying which keywords a person searched for that led them to a certain site.
Without having this insight, agencies or individual marketing people had a very difficult time knowing which keywords to target in order to help a brand obtain better search engine rankings.
This new modification will provide the same encryption for people who aren’t even signed in. For marketers and business owners, this means keyword data for searches conducted by users of Google (even when they aren’t logged in) will no longer be available. Get ready to change up your digital media marketing strategy, yet again!
We see you there, holding your head in your hands, muttering out loud to yourself, “well what do we do now?” Well the answer is clear and simple: take it back to the basics! SEO teams need to concentrate on boosting genuine, organic traffic, which can only by done publishing and promoting high quality and engaging content.
Aaron Adres, co-founder of digitalrelevance believes, “This move by Google will force SEO marketers to focus on business results rather than keywords—which is where the focus should be anyway.”
Some experts mention that this issue only affects organic searches, so if your company utilizes Pay Per Click marketing, there is still access to plenty of valuable data if you connect your company’s (or client’s) AdWords account with your Google Analytics account.
Ultimately, the amount of traffic a website receives is still measurable based on organic search. Even if you do not know the keywords, you have room to get creative—analyze data, think like your customer, and provide higher quality results.
And did we mention that Bing and Yahoo haven’t stopped passing along keyword data? Yeah that doesn’t mean much to us either considering Google controls more than 60% of the search engine market, but hey it’s better than nothing!
We will update this article as we receive more information, however the Search Engine Land article, linked here, offers more detail on this new Google shift.