When you’re THE search engine giant, everything you do becomes a very big deal. Such was the case yesterday when Google announced that it was going to cease to provide keyword data for analytics. As of yesterday, all searches conducted through Google will run through their secure (encrypted) server – effectively ending reportable information about keywords used in search. Every Google search visit will now display the infamous keyword “(not provided)” label.
Two years ago, Google made changes to their search defaults, routing signed-in Google account users through a secure socket layer (SSL). This significantly reduced the definable keyword data available.
Initially “(not provided)” accounted for 74% of results in organic keyword data, and this latest change by Google will likely increase that percentage to 100%. Websites will no longer be able to know what visitors were searching for when they landed on their site from a search engine result.
What does this mean for the measurement of your website’s analytics? You still may have a bit of recourse in the area of keywords. By adding Google Webmaster Tools to your arsenal, you’ll still be able to view an estimated number of impressions for particular keywords. This will help you to assess the continued viability of your search engine presence for certain keywords. You can also still know what percentage of your visitors came from Google, which is useful.
This move reinforces the content-centric updates with Penguin and Panda. Google continues to reward quality content over keyword-stuffed content, so your digital marketing strategy should reflect this. By creating content that is good, helpful, and original, you’ll be providing information that people will respond to and share. Develop content that will create ambassadors of your brand and message, rather than just junk food for the search engines to feast on. They have developed a more refined palate.
So, how does this change your approach to attracting visitors to your website?