In 2011, Google made searches encrypted for users who were logged in to Google when searching. Their reasoning behind this encryption was privacy and now they have taken it a step further. In the past month, Google made a quiet change that that has encrypted all search activity except for paid search. This means that Google Analytics will no longer be collecting search data unless it is a paid ad that is being tracked. Now when you look for which keywords are driving traffic, “not provided” appears instead of the keywords you are looking for.
So what does this mean for SEO professionals and marketers? While some question the motive - privacy or trying to boost ad sales - one thing is clear and that is tactics will have to change. Not having the keyword data, makes it more difficult to identify the low hanging fruit, or keywords that more easily drive traffic. In an article from Hubspot, various professionals shared their thoughts and suggestions. Given that today, SEO has a lot to do with the content, they suggest continuing to focus on themed, specific content, tracking at a page level rather than by individual keyword. This is just one of the ways that SEOs and marketers can work around Google's change.
If your search marketing tactics need a refresh, now might be the time. Contact FiG to see how we can help.