This week we witnessed what could be Google’s biggest disappearing act to date: the complete and utter cloaking of organic search data. After years of asserting its domination over search traffic and analytics platforms, Google has officially put its most valuable information – keyword referrer data – under lock and key.
For those who own a website, that means that the ability to capture insights on traffic and conversions has come to an abrupt and bitter end.
Or has it?
The AdWords Alternative
AdWords users can still access Google search data for keywords by linking their AdWords account with a Google Analytics account. This gives website owners all of the numbers they want on keyword searches as well as insights on strategies and conversions, so they can continue to discover what drives traffic to their website.
In addition, Google Analytics users can tune in to page level data for other important details that will help search efforts.
For those without an AdWords account, this move by Google to encrypt referral data could be a way to align websites with an increasingly amplified call for higher quality content, authoritative site referrals, and social media signals as a way to boost rankings.
Where Will We Go From Here
There is nothing new in the notion that Google will always be changing the game of search. The difference in this news about Google’s encrypted search data is the uniquely profound and lasting impact it will have on the future of search marketing.
How are you dealing with the encryption of Google organic search data?