Keyword not providedAt Digital Caffeine we receive near-daily inquiries from concerned business leaders, web designers and fellow search marketing strategists.  It seems some folks have been led to believe the latest Google update apocalypse has stripped away keyword data and this has somehow ruined their search optimization.  In fact certain attention-seeking journalists relate this update as The Death of SEO.  Well we are throwing down the gauntlet to set the record straight.  So grab your favorite caffeinated beverage and continue reading to learn why:

The Back Story

Two years ago (October 2011) Google introduced encrypted search for users logged into a Google account.  Google Analytics was immediately impacted since encrypted search caused most organic search keywords to disappear from visitor traffic reports.  The digital marketing community went into a panicked frenzy about the loss of keyword data … but alas, the sky failed to fall upon us and SEO survived.  Search keywords continued to arrive from people not logged into a Google account, plus those used on other search engines like Bing, Yahoo and Yandex.  And search keywords were still shown in Google Webmaster Tools.

Today’s Hype

SEO manic panic

Fast forward nearly two years later and Google quietly encrypts all search, even when not logged into a Google account.  That’s it; that’s the big drama.  In fact the change was so subtle that it took about a month before anyone noticed the difference.  But once it was discovered, boy did the panic ensue!

The truth is there are now somewhat fewer organic search keywords shown in Google Analytics.  Again, keywords used in other search engines continue to appear.  And Google Webmaster Tools still shows your organic keywords.

Reality Check

  • There may now be slightly decreased organic search keywords shown in web analytics reporting, but the change is hardly noticeable and not something new
  • Keywords reported from other search engines remain unaffected
  • Your organic search keywords are still available.  Certain popular media outlets fail to inform (or may not know) that organic search keyword data has been, and continues to be, available through Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Modern Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques remain unaffected – it is the ill-informed individual that states this change somehow makes SEO more difficult.  Solid, high-quality SEO involves focusing on high-quality website content that is relevant to your business and important to your visitors.  It is certainly not dependent on the number of organic keywords shown in an analytics report.

Take Action

Rediscover your keywords.  If you do not already have Google Webmaster Tools we recommend setting up a FREE account today.  Use this resource to review the organic search keywords people use to find your website.  Done.

Our final word about keywords and SEO – don’t obsess too much over which phrases people use to find your website.  Take them with a grain of salt and keep your eye on the ball.  Modern search optimization should be focused on developing high-quality, focused content to attract and engage your audience, improve awareness of your products and increase your conversions.  Everything in your digital strategy should be a means to reach that finish line.

Long Live SEO

If you need help figuring out what is happening in your Google Analytics data, or if you’re not sure your current SEO strategy is working for you, contact us to discuss.