Google SSL Update – The sad loss of organic keyword search data in analytics.
Blog Post Update!
Since writing this very popular article we purchased the domain name for the keyword (not provided) www.notprovided.co.uk
We have decided to blog about this controversial Google update over there. So check it out. Not Provided.
Otherwise read below about the Google SSL Encryption update and how it will effect you!
Ok, so what does this controversial Google update mean?
Well to explain. Traditionally whether people signed into a Google property like G+ or Gmail or not and made a search that lead them to a website, that search query or keyword would be recorded by Google. The data could then be displayed in Analytics or similar tracking software used by the website owner that the search query lead that user to. The data would be recorded if the search lead the user to either an organic listing or paid advert. Not only that, tracking software would record all the page data that the user browsed on.
This has now all changed due to Google’s SSL update. Now if users are signed in, when they make a search, that search will be made over a secure connection. If the search lead the user to an organic result then the search or keyword data would not be recorded within Analytics or other tracking software. The data will now just say “not provided“. Not only that, tracking software would now no longer be able to track what pages the user browsed by that user.
This is considered a major blow for Website Owners, SEO companies and Keyword Conversion Analysis. It’s going to be more difficult to to find out what keyword searches people used to find a website.
Now for the controversial bit…
Although Google wont be passing on keyword data to the analytics tool and other traffic software for organic results, they will still allow the data to be shown if the search query lead the user to a paid advert. So effectively what Google is saying is “pay us for an adwords advert and we will give you the users keyword data” A little contradiction in my view which is upsetting a lot of people.
We shouldn’t panic… Yet
This is update only effects the data on Google.com and for users that are signed into a Google property. Overall this only accounts for around 1-2% of all the searches at the moment. Yes as more people join G+ the new Google social network and sign up for Gmail accounts the amount of search data lost will go up.
As SEO and Internet Marketing professionals we will just need to get clever on capturing keyword data. Its not all lost it’s just going to be less convenient to find it.
Here’s some ideas to find alternative keyword search data:
- Adwords Results and analysis
- keyword Ranking reports
- Keyword Targeted landing pages