In a recent change, Google is encrypting more and more searches from showing up in Google Analytics (GA) to help protect user’s privacy. Since 2011, if you were logged in to a Google account your searches have been encrypted the same way, leading to a “Not Provided” section the GA keywords report. Now, even users who are not logged in will be afforded the same privacy. This causes an issue for people utilizing SEO who rely on this data to improve their SEO efforts, as they are losing a reliable source of data about where their search traffic is coming from.
There are a number of conflicting opinions on what Google’s true intentions are behind this, or whether or not these changes are making your searches any more secure. If you want to learn more about the changes and what people are saying about them, here is a great article from Yahoo!, and another from Search Engine Land. While this change means it is harder to know what results your SEO campaign is actually generating, there are still other ways to gather this data. Here are a few things you can do to see how your SEO efforts are actually paying off on a keyword level:
How To Use This Information:
First and foremost, it is important to note that you can still get the Keyword Report data from GA, but the majority of the searches will show up as “Not Provided.” You can still make references from this data and use it to adjust your SEO strategy but with a much more limited sample size. When and if this information ever disappears you can use the strategies I have listed above to help you analyze your SEO efforts. If you would like more information on how to track your SEO efforts, or if you would like someone to do it for you, please contact Webolutions today. If you have any other tips on this, please feel free to leave them in the comments!
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