Goodbye Keyword Data: Google changes to Secure Search

google encrypted keyword search

WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!?!

Every time Google implements a dramatic policy change, it is a stark reminder of how influential this company has become. Even at their most prominent, neither Apple or Microsoft could match the level of economic and cultural power that Google now exercises. Right now, much of the online business community is scrambling to compensate for a recent Google move with incredibly far-reaching implications. The search engine has announced its intentions to ultimately encrypt all searches. Almost unprecedented, this move will prevent companies from gathering keyword data that has until now proven useful for SEO.

In retrospect, there were some warning signs that a dramatic change was brewing. As early as 2011, Google started encrypting searches for users who were logged into their Google accounts. Last June, Google faced public criticism following media reports that the company was sharing search data with the controversial National Security Agency. Though Google denied the allegations, the reports had a definite effect on Google’s public image. Some commentators believe that Google’s new encryption policy is an attempt to forestall further allegations of disregard for user privacy. More cynically, some believe that the new policy is an effort to improve the viability of Google’s AdWords advertising service. Google is so powerful and entrenched that it simply doesn’t have to explain its reasons for making major changes.

Google Encrypts KeywordsOn September 24, search engine analysts reported that Google was encrypting over 70% of all search term keywords. As the new policy continued to unfold, more and more companies lost access to information about how people search the Web. Plenty of commentators are crying foul about the rise of Google search encryption. However inconvenient this change may be, it is unquestionable that Google has the right to restrict access to its proprietary search engine data. Moving forward, Internet marketers will have to emphasize different strategies in order to make up for the loss of keyword data. At the same time, the most fluent marketers in the field will experience relatively few difficulties during this transition. After all, the best marketers use a multifaceted approach that isn’t vulnerable to any single Google announcement. Though keyword targeting is part of the Internet marketing toolkit, outstanding Internet marketers have always focused on boosting organic traffic. These professionals will now redouble their efforts to affect concrete measures like sales numbers, lead numbers and brand mentions.

Losing keyword data will force many companies to make serious changes. Although these changes won’t always be easy, surprising transitions like this often create opportunities to grow and evolve. Over the past few years, Google’s search algorithm changes have gradually forced many websites to abandon old-fashioned keyword stuffing in favor of readable content. The new encryption policy may spur a similar paradigm change producing untold benefits for businesses and consumers.

There are a number of important measures that people will take to deal with Google’s new search encryption policy. First and foremost, many people will look more closely at alternative search engines like Bing and Yahoo. Though only comprising 33% of the search engine market, alternative search sites might take on more critical roles as they continue to dispense important keyword data. In the final analysis, the world of online marketing thrives on fresh, diverse data sets. Any reductions in the amount of available market data will create problems. Fortunately, history has shown that the Internet marketing industry is capable of incredible adaptation and reinvention. Marketers have always operated on limited data sets and are often forced to make educated guesses about the nature of prospective customers. Whatever the future holds, Internet marketers will continue to do their jobs with dedication and skill.

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