I am miffed with Google.
Somewhere Google decided that blocking access to the keywords people use to access our sites was a good idea. Oh sure, the politically correct front facing messaging is that they are protecting the privacy of the people who use google to search for things. If that were the complete story, they wouldn’t give up the keywords to those that who use a Google Adword account, which they now do. So, the real translation of this new policy is that they are protecting users privacy from those who won’t or can’t PAY to see their keywords.
Want some additional background regarding these changes that Google made? Check out SearchEngineLand.com’s post: Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks from September 23, 2013. It is a great summary of what changes and why.
For the small business owners, information sites, bloggers, and a huge number of sites that would not buy ad words, they will lose the benefit of understanding how people engage their site and their brand through Google search results. Now, in your Google Analytics or other stats package, you will be depending on the search terms passed in via other search engines like Bing and Yahoo to frame the search terms.
So, for those of us who love watching the subtle changes in their analytics as much as I do, we can enjoy watching the keywords of “Not Provided” continue to grow in our organic search results. My guess is that, others may follow suit if this leads to new revenues for Google. While there are numerous other ways to use your analytic tools to measure your success, this particular change seems to be targeting those who will not, can not, or should not, be buying Google Adwords.
Did I mention that I am miffed with Google.