For nearly two years Digital Always Media has been adapting to and lecturing about significant changes in the search engine marketing environment. Our clients and readers might have noticed a change in our language over the last year as we’ve talked less about keyword related placements and more about volume and quality of web traffic. Since 2011, Google has limited keyword usage data available to webmasters and website owners. As of today, Google has removed all keyword usage data with the exception of paid search keyword data and a very limited amount of keyword data available through Google WebmasterTools.
This change at Google will not affect Digital Always Media clients or the way we practice search and social marketing though you are likely to hear about it in the coming weeks. We sensed this change was coming almost two years ago. Since then, Digital Always Media has focused almost exclusively on creating and fostering conditions for stronger and better qualified web traffic. We have decreased emphasis on website search engine rankings and placed a higher emphasis on how unique web pages or web documents are faring in search rankings and in social media.
We will be placing even greater significance on our recommendations around highly active and engaged social media profiles in Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and, LinkedIn. Our techniques and strategies will not change radically. With or without easily accessible keyword usage data from Google, our job remains the same. We improve websites, recommend quantifiable web marketing strategies, analyse and recommend, and we educate our clients and other Internet users.
Here is a quick rundown of why organic keyword data from Google is now unavailable.
Google has been switching all incoming search traffic to run across secured servers in order to encrypt and thus better protect search-user information. The switch started in 2011 when Google moved to encrypt searches conducted by persons logged into Google service accounts such as Gmail, Youtube, or Google Analytics. As of today, encrypted search is universal across Google’s global organic search network.
An effect of secured searches is the redaction of keyword usage data in Google Analytics and other website analytics programs. Google Analytics and other web analytic programs using Google data can report on how many people found a website due to a search at Google, and offer a fair amount of information about what visitors do after finding the website. What Google no longer reveals is which keywords those searchers used to produce the search results in which they found that website.
For traditional search engine optimization specialists, today might be a difficult day. For us however, it marks a point in history, a milestone of sorts. It also marks a new starting point, one which we hope all our clients and friends take advantage of. Any focus on keyword driven rankings should cease as quickly as possible. It’s now, as it always has been, about qualified traffic. That’s been our focus at Digital Always Media.