Google has managed to become a secure search engine over the past few months. In fact, Google encrypts all search data, which means website owners are denied access to keyword data that drives organic traffic towards their website. In order to access keyword data, website owners are required to run a paid AdWords campaign.
Recently, Google confirmed the changes, explaining “We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We’re now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in.
What does this mean for marketing? Well, it’s no longer possible to obtain keyword data without a paid AdWords campaign, even for searches conducted by users who aren’t signed in. While many SEO providers are bothered by the change, some are comfortable with the evolution of SEO.
Google claims the reason for the change is to provide extra protection for search users’. However, with the encryption for everything except ad clicks, it’s possible that Google is attempting to get more people using Google AdWords.
With the new changes, Google labels most keywords as “not provided”, as opposed to informing the site owner what keywords were typed into the search engine. By the end of 2013, it’s expected that all of Google organic traffic data will be labeled as “not provided”
Companies must learn to rely on search traffic to pages, instead of the previous keyword data, in order to guide organic search approaches. For marketing, companies need to focus primarily on raising organic traffic overall, growing branded communities, and achieving business objectives such as lead generation.
While Google’s changes can be a difficult hassle for companies and SEO marketers, the change forces SEO marketers to focus on business results instead of keywords, which is important for the overall success in SEO marketing.