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Google Encrypts Search Results — Continue to Use Keywords Effectively

By September 24, 2013May 13th, 2019

Important Update About Your Web Analytics

Google has now encrypted all search results from Google.com, making web analytics tools unable to identify which keywords are generating organic search traffic from their website. Earlier this month, Google quietly made a change that encrypts search results for all of its users. As a result, web analytics tools like HubSpot and Google Analytics will no longer be able to identify which keywords are generating organic search traffic from Google.com to your website.  It is no longer going to be possible for any analytics system to identify what keywords visitors have searched for before they visited a website from Google.com. Google is now only sharing this information with its advertisers.

Does this impact you? Yes!

This is frustrating, to be sure, but it’s likely to re-focus SEO on what really matters: writing great content around your visitor’s interests and using the same long tail keyword strategy we’ve talked about before. What works for SEO today is great content with digital endorsements from authoritative and relevant websites and social platforms. This type of content moves us beyond the keyword conversation to real business results.

As marketers, we need to focus on raising organic traffic and achieving business objects for visitors, leads, sales growth and branding. Google’s latest change merely focuses us more clearly on what matters.

We can still track organic traffic at the page level. Although you might not know exact keywords, you can still correlate the work you do to optimize your website and create content to increases and decreases in organic search.

Overall, this is a huge vote for content marketing and inbound marketing. Create remarkable content and provide it to your visitors at the right time. These basics never change, and were actually designed to take into account the vagaries of the search engines.

What do you think of Google’s changes? How else can you use search data (sans keywords) to improve your marketing?

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.