We all know that Google deploy regular changes to its search algorithms. The most recent changes, implemented last week, include the removal of keyword data from search queries. This poses significant challenges to the SEM and digital marketing worlds as keyword data still provides a valuable insight into user queries.
If you have been tracking the chatter in the SEO/SEM world you would have known that this day was coming. It all started back in October 2011, when Google removed tracking ability for keywords of any searches performed over SSL. This action by Google raised many eyebrows in the industry and needless to say, started a wave of chatter of where this may lead.
Log into your Google Analytics account and you will quickly see that (not provided) makes up most of your keyword results. In the space of only 2 years, we are now seeing (not provided) making up over 70% of keyword data. That is a significant amount of information which Google is keeping to itself. But if you think that’s bad, wait, because there’s more… now Google have made all Google searches encrypted and in true Google style, you can only see the keywords which are paid for through AdWords. The idea being that the more you spend on AdWords, the better the insightinto your keyword data.
I might sound harsh on Google but I am also mindful that they have a business to run and it’s no secret that AdWords is one of their biggest revenue streams.
Since the (not provided) syndrome came into affect, we have received many enquiries about this from frustrated users. Unfortunately, there is only search engine, or one search engine that matters, Google. They dictate and change the rules as they please – and there is nothing any of us can do about it.
So, unless there is a big movement to boycott Google search and move to Bing or Yahoo, there is very little we can do, other than just cop it! To summarise, keyword results have been killedoff by Google. We must accept the challenge and move forward in a new direction on the Cluetrain – a world without keywords.
How have you been impacted by Google’s latest change?