Google Holds the SEO Market to Ransom – not content with owning 85% of the search engine market globally they now want to withhold vital information that allows SEO marketers to refine their programs based on the keywords used to search Google.
Next time you use Google take a close look at “https://” and particularly the “s” which forms part of the URL. Why is Google doing this?
Google’s answer “So intermediary parties that might have access to your network can’t easily see your results and search terms.”
They want to protect your privacy!
Since when has Google ever been interested in you or your Privacy?
As a consumer who uses Google to find the products and services you are nothing more than a contributor to their obscene financial obsession.
The 46 Billion dollars they gouge from website owners to allow those website owners products and services to be found on Google, is a cost that is passed directly onto you.
That right every time you use Google, indirectly Google have got their hand in your back pocket.
From October 2012, Google started passing the term “(not provided)” as the referring keyword for those organic search visits and this action is currently affecting over 40% of all search data. So if they are not interested in protecting your privacy what are they interested in?
The answer is simple, https:// does not stop Google from collecting the data associated with “results and search terms” you use, it just gives them control of the data so they can sell it or use it to drive their prices higher.
Put their hand into your back pocket again and take more of your hard earned cash.
How can you stop them?
Manually remove the “s” from the https:// before you search!
Google https Search
A study performed by Optify recently showed that the trend of “(not provided)” is only going to continue trending up until the majority of organic referrer data (search terms) will completely disappear. But what does this mean for you, the marketer?
- You will no longer be able to truly measure the performance of your SEO efforts by connecting a search term with website metrics such as traffic, conversion rate, leads, engagement (page views and time on site) and revenue.
- You will still be able to measure your overall SEO performance and report on ROI since the visit source will still be Organic Search, but you will not be able to analyse what keywords contributed to that performance nor will you be able to report ROI on specific SEO initiatives.
- You will no longer be able to use referrer data to customise/personalise your user experience. For example, if you used to offer related content based on referring keyword, or used referring keywords in your lead nurturing rules, you will no longer be able to do that.
- You will no longer be able to score visitors and leads based on their referring keyword. If you use a lead scoring system that uses referring keyword as one of the rules, this option will no longer be available to you.
- You will still be able to practice SEO and work on getting more traffic from organic search. This change does not prevent you from practicing any SEO best practices; it just means that it will be harder to measure their effectiveness.
How can SEO marketers work around this issue and make the most of the results and search terms data that is available to them?
- Make the most out of the data you have. With the “(not provided)” rate approaching 40% it means that you still have over 60% of organic visits with referring keywords data. Make the most out of that data since it’s not going to be there for much longer.
- Use Webmaster Tools. Google offers a lot of data about your website in their Webmaster Tools. This includes the top 1,000 daily search queries and top 1,000 daily landing pages for the past 30 days, in addition to the impressions, clicks, click through rate (CTR), and average position in search results for each query. You can compare this to the previous 30 day period as well as export to a csv file to import to a different system or analyse it using excel. For most small to mid-size B2B sites, this should be more than enough data to analyse in aggregate.
- For personalisation, use other data. If you are using keyword data to personalise the user experience you offer on your website (related content, targeted landing pages) and off your website (follow up emails, lead nurturing), you will need to start using other data instead. Form submissions, page viewed and campaign tagging could be used to replace keyword data in your personalization efforts.
Ensure you are not logged in to Google+, Gmail, Adwords, Google analytics or YouTube when you search Google, remove the “s” from the https:// when you use the Google website and finally stop using the search functions of Google toolbar. In fact, uninstall the Google toolbar.
If want help in this space to understand how DNO the SEO Revolution can help you avoide this problem give us a call or fill in one of our contact forms we would be happy to talk.
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October 30, 2013