Its an odd decision for Google to take, as it announced this week that it would securely encrypting users search data this week in the US. In effect it was devaluing the power of its own software – GAnalytics.
The announcement on its own Analytics Blogspot site came as a bit of a bolt out of the blue. What it means in laymans terms, is that if a user (currently only US users who are logged in) types a search into google and clicks on a link to a 3rd party site, that 3rd party site will no longer know what the user typed in to find them.
Previously all search data, whether PPC or organic could also be viewed at keyword level with GAnalytics (or other analysis software). Now, thats changed. It doesn’t effect AdWords PPC data, but does effect the organic data. Now, they’ll be a percentage of keyword data marked “unclassified”. The fear now for all SEO consultants is that over time that unclassified percentage is set to increase.
The logic from Google’s perspective is privacy. Although that logic seems shakey. Others say its a manoeuvre to protect their competitive position from other networks. Either way, its a bad day for us.
For SEO companies and consultants across the world, their job just got tougher. It’s always hard trying to justify the work being done as so much appears invisible, but at least at the end of the month you could demonstrate the growth in organic traffic and drill down to show the actual visitors who’d found your client by searching for the keyword(s) you’d optimised your client for. Not any more you can’t.