“There is a lot of…fear and uncertainly right now in the analytics world,” says Aaron Wheeler of SEOmoz. This is a sentiment that is growing more prevalent amidst the SEO community. At root is Google’s move a few months’ previous to block vital keyword data from optimisation professionals. As we posted in October, the industry was “aghast” at Google’s actions. Let’s take a look, some two months later, at how this move has impacted SEO efforts.
In October, Google announced via their official blog that, in an effort to deliver more customised and secure results, they would redirect queries of signed-in users to https://www.google.com – the extra “s” indicates that the site is secure. This also means that the keyword data is blocked – for all but paying AdWords customers, that is. The search engine said the change would be “insignificant” for most websites. However, SEOs are now reporting that the effects are more widespread than Google predicted.
Will Gallahue, of Fahrenheit Marketing, writes, “What started as a minor inconvenience has turned into a nightmare for SEO companies that are now faced with the reality of inaccurate reporting and guessing games when it comes to analysing their organic traffic.”
The belief is that Google wants to block other ad programs from having access to keyword data; if they do not use AdWords, they will not be able to see which keywords sent signed-in users to which websites, and this can be a huge obstacle. Instead of the data they need, analytics reports will simply read, “Not Provided.” Many consider it an abuse of power and position.
About nine percent of searches are affected; nine percent sounds insignificant but it translates into millions of queries each day. It appears that these numbers are leveling off, and the most recent nine percent is a two percent drop from November’s high of 11 percent.
Posted by Hitesh Patel, Managing Director at Bullseye Media