Earlier this week, Google announced that they were making the move to secure all personal searches when a user is logged into their Google account. This move was in response to their experience in 2010 when they inadvertently gathered unsecure wifi data via Google Street View. While this addresses major privacy concerns that were first voiced in Europe and then spread across the world, it is going to take away some key data that online marketers have come to rely on.
This data loss comes in the form of less analytics available. Why? By securing search queries, we no longer can see the keywords that brought people to our websites. Google says that this is a small percentage of overall search traffic to most websites. Google Engineer, Matt Cutts, says that keyword traffic reporting changes will be in the single digit percentages. Many marketers are calling foul saying that they need this data to know if their campaigns are working. Others are saying that keyword data is the key to creating successful campaigns.
Here is what Google is going to provide webmasters and marketers:
- We will continue to see total data for "organic" search via Google Analytics
- Webmaster Central reporting is being enhanced to show the top 100 search queries driving traffic to your site and giving you great charts to go along with the data
More importantly, don't get caught up in this keyword hysteria. You will have more than enough data points and optimization opportunities to focus on, even with losing some of your organic keyword search traffic. Here are the top 5 optimization opportunities missed most frequently when we take over websites:
- Start content research before writing the content or as Steven Covey would say, "Start with the end in mind."
- Keywords belong in the body of the content not just tags and headers. This ties the relevance of the content together throughout the page.
- Lack of backlinks, or inbound links, to your website. Content and sweat equity are the best way to make this happen, but a bit of ingenuity and promotion help as well.
- No internal linking and lack of good anchor text in exiting links. You have ultimate control over this and it just takes time and fore thought.
- No social media promotion of your site and posts. Social media is free, but the effort is essential to grow you audience and opportunity