Humans are always quick to draw conclusions when faced with anything that inconveniences them. We are always quick to point out a hidden agenda when certain things aren’t coming our way when we expect it. That is exactly how most SEO experts feel with the latest Google control tactics on-site owner’s access to information.
The Google “Not Provided” battlefield has been raging since the dawn of 2012 till date. For those that love conspiracy theories, the Google Analytics Keyword Not Provided trend was an ominous sign that the search engine giant was out to make SEO business world difficult for users and professionals. In fact, some even suggest the company might be working hand in hand with the US spy agency a means of strategically spying on people through the online marketing process. That’s funny, isn’t it?
Of course, the “Keyword Not Provided” trend dud put a restriction on data access and made analysis even more challenging, but that didn’t end the SEO marketing world.
Many years after, digital marketing and SEO users have adjusted to this mind-blowing change. Although most SEO professionals still find the change inconvenient, we know that you can still make use of SEO to improve site visibility and attract qualified traffic. That said; let’s really consider what the change actually represents, and how SEO users are currently faring with this change.
What is Google Analytics Keyword Not Provided?
Google Analytics Keyword Not Provided is an encryption of method introduced and utilized by Google to block the visibility of a search keyword used by a searcher or user of Google service. What it means is that, whenever you perform a Google search while you are logged into one of Google services like Gmail, AdWords, Google+ or Google Analytics, etc, the keyword you put in to carry out the search will be encrypted by Google smart technology, and you see the sign that indicates “Not Provided.”
According to Google, they have to do this to keyword data so that the privacy of users can be protected. The only exemption is the keyword used by users on paid search–they are not encrypted.
Protecting and securing the private information of users is very important to Google (and should be important to all and sundry), but hiding such keywords that is paramount for locating web pages makes the SEO life much more difficult and stabbing for webmasters, business owners, and marketers. Before now, it is easy to view and record keywords used by a searcher to find a particular page online on your website, which enable you to improve the quality and overall efficiency of your content page. But since the change came into effect, that luxury has been sent to the recycle bin.
Protecting the Searcher’s Privacy
As stated earlier, most of us are of the opinion that Sergey Brin and Larry Page are secretly scheming to “compress” our internet freedom by introducing what some of us called “the Devil’s noose”. But Google has explained that it makes the move to make search more secure and protect the privacy of the searcher. And from all indication, they were right and their intention justified.
The current Google increased privacy measures are part of a necessitated due to the incorporation of personalized search results.
Presently, most SEO experts don’t even consider that their search results take personal information into account.
For instance, when e search for local markets, we expect Google search result pages to show us markets close to us within our immediate location, even when didn’t include keywords about the location.
But this was never always the outcome.
So as Google began incorporating and introducing these kinds of sensitive details and information into search result pages, it becomes mandatory upon them to protect and secure such personal information.
And the first step was to implement encryption on logged-in users of Google data.
How does Google Analytics keyword Not Provided work?
The entire change process works by starting first from the search bar. Before now, when you do a normal Google search, it will take you to an http:// version of the domain you clicked. But with the introduction of the new Keyword Not Provided process, if you search for something on Google services, you will be redirected exclusively to an https:// version of each of the sites that shows up, with the “S” standing out to represent the word “secure”.
When you are redirected to your secured version of your search domain, your search queries are being encrypted and secured from the public and unauthorized used.
Now, we can assume that this is a very fantastic change as much as user privacy is concerned.
It remains an obstacle to those SEO gurus and professional in the digital marketing and online business world.
Effect of the Google Analytics Keyword Not Provided change
Below are some of the effects this change has caused –and still causing SEO professionals till date.
- It put site owners in a sudden world of darkness regarding how a huge portion of their web page is found by visitors
- It limits site owners’ ability to use relevant search keywords on their page to improve their site and business
- It lumped a significant number of keywords into the “Not Provided” Umbrella
- The use of the Analytical platform by Google for protecting the privacy of it searchers also hinders data access for everyone
- It has decreased the length of traffic and ranking based on keywords
- Both logged-in and not logged-in Google services users are affected and restricted in searches
- It represents an astronomical increase in the number and amount of data being locked away from SEO users
- It makes analyzing and monitoring of SEO performance and success much difficult than before.
- It also makes it difficult for site owners to ascertain discrepancies between page content and user’s expectations
- It also makes it difficult to determine and understand why users bounce
Now that you have known what is Google Analytics Keyword Not Provided and its effects on the SEO community, do you think there is a way out? Well, we do and in our next article, we shall be discussing tips and tricks on how to get around the “Keyword Not Provided” Barrier.