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150 – What Happened to My Search Result Data?
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What Happened to My Search Result Data?

Two-Year Timeline to Securing All Searches

From the time Google began encrypting searches in late-2011, there has been a steady but aggressive increase in the percentage of search keywords reported as (not provided), with several highlights. It is expected that no all-organic-search keywords in Google will be (not provided) by Q4 2013.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the progress Google has made in encrypting users’ searches:

October 2011

  • Beginning of encrypted search
  • Only affected searches are those from users logged into Google
  • Google cited privacy as reason
  • Less than 1% of searches not provided

March 2012

  • Sharp increase in encryption; more than 13% of searches not provided

April 2012 – August 2013

  • Steady increase from 14% to 48% of searches not provided

September 2013

  • Encrypted search first implemented for non-signed in users
  • 77% of searches not provided

Q4 2013 (Anticipated)

  • Full-scale encrypted search
  • 100% of searches not provided

The Impact of Encrypted Searches on Online Marketing

With Google encrypting 100% of searches there are some challenges that search marketers will need to overcome.

First, the manner in which we collect, analyze and report on search data to make business decisions must evolve.

Because we will no longer receive data telling us which keywords are driving traffic, we need to identify new ways to answer these very important questions, including:

  • How will we find opportunities to improve a page’s organic search performance?
  • Is there a way of connecting ranking improvements to traffic growth?
  • Can we still understand how searchers perceive your brand and content?
  • Are there alternate ways of uncovering new keyword opportunities to go after?

Without identifying ways to answers these questions, it will be very difficult to quantify the efforts of organic search campaigns. Thankfully, there are some great alternatives to collecting this data that can be leveraged to continue to make strategic decisions.

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Published on: 16 Oct | Podcast | one response| Tags:

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Great podcast Dustin I always learn from your programs. Understanding what Google is doing helps me prepare for future material.