Internet privacy is a highly contemplated topic that is often debated. All arguments made on the subject are valid. Monitoring and reporting is a major part of our work. As a web marketing company, Dynamic Search needs to deliver measurable results, and we work hard to keep up with improvements so that our clients see the justification behind their investments. Google Analytics is a great tool, one of the best available, and we use it on a regular basis. It is a primary resource for optimization and is safe to rely on as Google itself provides the platform. Despite its positive aspects, Google Analytics has its limitations. On October 18, 2011 Google announced the beginning of the transformation to making searches secure. The process includes increasing the use of an encryption protocol called SSL, as well as encouraging the industry to adopt stronger security standards.
What Does it Mean?
Your search and all transmitted data are encrypted! As good as that sounds, we now only have limited data on keywords through Google Analytics. Those who use ANY kind of monitoring and/or analytical tool (ex: Google Analytics) should notice that a lot of the searches are not assigned to any specific keyword; thus, Google will assign the tag “Not Provided” to searches that come from https. Other searches that previously used regular http will show their exact search query. It is important to know that all queries though organic/paid/ads etc are still reported back to Google Analytics and will be available to those who seek this information. Information on the keyword level will slowly disappear in an effort to protect the privacy of search engine users.
Google is making a significant effort to protect users’ privacy. This is a positive adjustment that we will all benefit from. Web surfing is becoming safer and sharing information will be up to the users’ discretion. This way, a person’s information will not be shared with third parties, or worse, hacked and used by unlawful cyber criminals.
How Does This Affect Website Owners?
If you use any kind of SERP analytical tool (ex: Google Analytics) you will see fewer and fewer keywords in your reports. This does not mean that your website has fewer visitors; it simply means that your platform cannot extract the keywords that were used to find your website. Dynamic Search clients receive monthly ranking reports and will NOT experience any kind of change. We report on positioning and visibility; our reports do not consider traffic data as a good measure of a successful campaign, and clearly – Google agrees. It is a bit different with e-Commerce websites, where tracking keyword levels is almost necessary. Several solutions can help in the calculation of traffic originating in specific keywords, though these methods are not accurate and should only be used as rough indicators.