This week bloggers and SEO strategists are abuzz over Google’s latest move to make all keyword searches encrypted so that websites can no longer determine what search terms were used to find their site.
SEO strategists, big businesses and bloggers alike analyze keyword data to determine what terms drive inbound traffic to their sites. The data is then used in an expanded effort to bring in even more traffic. With this new move by Google, keyword search data will no longer be available for site owners. Google will continue to provide keyword data for pay-per-click advertisers.
You may recall that in 2010 Google began by making keyword searches private for users who were signed into a Google account at the time of their search. Now all keyword searches done through Google have become encrypted searches using HTTPS.
While some SEOs bemoaned the results of Google Panda, Penguin and subsequent unnamed updates, these changes benefited users by reducing spammy sites and keyword stuffing. Google has also rolled out smaller updates to improve the user experience– such as the relatively-recent “in-depth” articles feature which helps users find high-quality evergreen content: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2013/08/in-depth-articles-in-search-results.html.
Keep in mind that some keyword data will still be available from keywords used on other search engine such as Yahoo, AOL and Bing. A wealth of information remains available via Webmaster Tools. And Google Analytics will still offer valuable data, including page views, bounce rates and top performing pages.
These changes may require adjustments to client reports, but at Element Associates we believe that the impact on our SEO results will be minimal. Our SEO engagements are based on a content-driven strategy that is fully-integrated with social media, PPC and PR efforts.
The changes made by Google will not affect PPC campaigns, page rankings or user experience. Brands that focus on providing high-quality, original content that meets user needs and merits sharing (via inbound links or social media) have everything to gain and nothing to fear from Google algorithm changes.
If you would like to read additional perspectives on the change to Google keyword search, we recommend: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2296351/Goodbye-Keyword-Data-Google-Moves-Entirely-to-Secure-Search and http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2296351/Goodbye-Keyword-Data-Google-Moves-Entirely-to-Secure-Search.