Google…You’re Killin’ Me!

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Image credit: searchengineland.com

Image credit: searchengineland.com

So last week Google introduced a change to its reporting routines.  Nothing major, unless you like seeing the keywords people are using in their searches to find your web page!  That’s right, Google has now expanded their policy on protecting searchers privacy.

As of 2011, Google was encrypting all search queries performed by Google users who were logged into their Google account.  This was causing web site administrators to see 40%-80% of their search keyword reporting to now show up as “Keyword Undefined.”  The searches and clicks were still recorded but the terms used in the search were not reported to the individual web site analytics tools.  As of Monday, Google has expanded this policy to include ALL search strings performed through the Google search engine.  What good news for all of us web administrators and search marketers right?

It really depends on how you look at your web analytics.  Do you use the keyword reports to help guide your SEO decisions?  Do you review these terms to see how people are finding your site and then build programs around the results?  Well, if you are running pay per click ads through Google AdWords, you will still be able to see which search terms drove traffic to your site and ad so all hope is not lost.  It goes back to the old adage of you get what you pay for.  You will also be able to view the last 2,000 queries per day, going back 90 days.  Google says they may increase this to a one year historical view sometime in the future.

There are numerous reasons floating around the internet on why Google is doing this.  Google states they are doing it to further protect the privacy of its users.  Some people claim it is a way to keep data from the NSA web monitoring programs.  Some say it is a way for Google to drive more usage of their AdWords program.  So is there a bright side to this change?  Of course there is and we as marketers are in the perfect position to take advantage of this change.

In my last posting on Content Marketing, I talked about the importance of creating new and relevant content to attract new web visitors and help to drive traffic to your web site.  With the Google changes just announced, this becomes even more important.  Website Search Optimization will still be important in the new future and having content specifically developed to resonate with search queries.  Marketers also need to focus on the development and care of brand communities and earning brand mentions.  Endorsements from authoritative web properties will also continue to contribute to a site’s ranking.

What do you think?  Is this a good change for the internet and for internet users?  Will it help build better websites and online credibility?

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One Response to “Google…You’re Killin’ Me!”

  1. jelise2012 Says:

    I’m in the camp that thinks Google is trying to increase AdWords spend. I don’t think this has anything to do with privacy. But whatever the reason, I second your sentiment – “Google you’re killing me!”

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