Posted to Volacci's blog on September 25th, 2013

Google Removes All Organic Keyword Data — How Our Services Will Change

Recently, Search Engine Journal confirmed with Google that marketers can no longer expect to see keyword data provided for organic search. What does this mean for you? With phrases like "encrypted search" and "keyword (not provided)" being thrown around (more now than ever), you may be confused about how this affects SEO, specifically the services we are able to provide. Here's what you need to know about what's happening, and what changes you can expect to see from Volacci.

Why is this happening?

There is a lot of conjecture about why Google is suddenly encrypting all search data. Some think that it's in response to the recent scandal around the NSA accessing incredible amounts of search data. Others think it's a push to get more websites to become advertisers through AdWords, as paid search data will still be available.

Regardless Google's reasoning, we will no longer have access to data regarding the keywords that bring users organically to your website through Google search. Bing and Yahoo! keyword data, however, will remain available– at least, for now.

What does all this mean for my website?

1. "Keyword (Not Provided)" Means Your Optimizations May Change

If you have a PPC campaign with us, you'll likely see few to no changes in the services we provide for your website. However, Google is removing all keyword information from organic search– meaning, if someone found your website organically, we won't see what keywords they searched to get to your website. However, we’ll still be able to extrapolate this data from our analytics tools, though it'll be a bit tougher than it is now.

How this will affect you: We won't be able to show you specific organic keyword traffic, but we'll still be able to provide you with organic traffic and rankings metrics, paid search keyword data, and other major players in the Analytics game.

2. We'll Still Refine Your Content

In a roundabout way, this keyword data elimination is actually a good thing. You can expect to see competitors get flushed down the drain for using spammy link building tactics. Quality content that's written to be clear and useful– not content that's built around pushing a handful of keywords– is what's going to drive your site's success. We'll be more focused than ever on making your content the best it can be, because that's what will matter most to Google as we move forward.

How this will affect you: Expect us to focus more on the actual content of your website. We'll still be strategically positioning keywords in any landing pages or other content we generate for you, but the heart of all of our services has been (and will remain) putting together the best possible content we can for you.

3. We Remain Focused On Your Customers

Google's enhanced encryption is merely an inconvenience and nothing more. We will still be able to determine your top keywords and dissect user intent without the use of organic keyword reports from Google. A number of great tools exist to help get into the mind of your customer, predict and understand their behavior, and analyze what's working on your site and what isn't. Keywords were an easy way to do this, but not the only way.

How this will affect you: We remain committed to serving your visitors, generating leads and maximizing conversions. We'll be doing this by analyzing as much information as possible (including keyword data from Bing and Yahoo!), performing A/B tests, scrutinizing your site's internal search data, and building compelling calls to action that move your clients through the sales funnel.

Though Google is taking away some of the easiest-to-use information we have for your website, this doesn't mean that the data is gone. We'll be extrapolating it in other ways, and in the process we expect to uncover great data and even better ways of doing things. Just because keyword data is the easiest to understand doesn't necessarily mean it's the best way of refining your website– and we've been longtime proponents of using keyword data to enhance other techniques, not as a crutch.

In short, the information you receive from Volacci on your site's performance may change a bit, but you can still expect to receive great service from our team. We take your success seriously, and are committed to making the transition to non-keyword-driven Marketing Intelligence with as little notice on your end as possible.

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