There’s a good chance you’ve heard some things in the past few days about Google announcing changes to their keyword data. In case you haven’t heard, or if you’re just not sure what it all means, here’s an update:
Earlier this week Search Engine Land reported that Google would start encrypting every Google users’ search activity, except for the ones that are clicking on ads. For some time now (since late 2011) anyone logged into a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, Google+, etc.) has been reported as “unknown” and this number has consistently grown over time across almost every online marketers' analytics. So, the move toward encrypting data shouldn’t be all that surprising, and whether we all agree with it or not, the truth of the matter is that it’s happening and we’re all going to have to deal with it.
What does this really mean for you?
If you are running any type of search engine optimization (SEO) or inbound marketing program, then keyword research plays a role in your digital marketing strategy. Currently, you can track how people found your site and what they were searching for before they arrived there. This is valuable information to have, and this is exactly what we won’t have anymore – from Google at least.
There are a variety of industry leaders out there with opinions on what this means for online marketing and how we should approach this change, so we’ve compiled a few of our favorites from sources we trust. However, our take here at The Center for Sales Strategy is that keyword research should always be viewed as market research, and you still have the ability to know what people in general are searching for and how your website ranks for particular keywords and phrases. Therefore, by continuing to focus on creating compelling and thought provoking content – this news shouldn’t really affect your overall inbound marketing strategy.
Sure, it makes our jobs as online marketers a little tougher – we’ve got to dig deeper and find other ways of proving a ROI for our SEO efforts – but what we tell our clients (and practice ourselves) continues to stand true… it’s all about great content. Our advice? Keep creating content written for your target audience, using the language they use, and answering the questions they have.
Want to learn more? Check out these posts with some great insights and solutions in regards to this announcement from Google:
From HubSpot: Google to Encrypt ALL Keyword Searches: Say Goodbye to Keyword Data
Video from SEO Moz: When Keyword (not provided) is 100 Percent of Organic Referrals, What Should Marketers Do?
From Lynton Web: Why Google is Encrypting Keyword Searches, Why You Shouldn’t Care, And What You Need to Do Right Now
One more from HubSpot: Why You Should Stop Using Google Rankings as Your Primary SEO KPI
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