It’s quite annoying, as a webmaster, not being able to see all of the keywords people used to find your website. We use this data simply to make our sites better for the visitor by helping us to tailor new content making it more relevant to them! This essentially helps Google in the long run, and yet they decide they want to start hiding a good chunk of this data.
“On Tuesday, October 18th, Google announced they’d be hiding search referral data for logged-in Google searchers. When questioned by Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineLand, Google provided the following estimate on the impact to search referral data:
‘Google software engineer Matt Cutts, who’s been involved with the privacy changes, wouldn’t give an exact figure but told me he estimated even at full roll-out, this would still be in the single-digit percentages of all Google searchers on Google.com’
Tragically, it appears that Cutts was either misinformed or gave misleading information, as ‘(not provided)’ became a major referrer for many websites, climbing into double digits in early November. Now, that percentage has risen even higher, into the 20%+ range on many sites. Hubspot’s Brian Whalley reported that the average website using their analytics lost 11.36% of keyword referral data and 423 sites lost more than 20% (15 unlucky souls lost 50%+, which seems almost crazy).
In an attempt to better quantify the impact, we ran a small survey last week, asking fellow marketers to supply information about the impact to their sites.
Here’s a visualization of…” [Read more]
My feelings toward Google tend to fall in line, more and more, every day with Ian Lurie’s:
“Dear Google: With your announcement yesterday, you’ve become the enemy.
My company is a Google Analytics Partner. We promote the heck out of Google Analytics, Adwords and your products. I’ve worked hard to emphasize to my clients that you’re not Evil, or Good. You’re just doing your job. We’ve kept our clients within your terms of service, and basically behaved ourselves.
But now you’re going to hide a sizable chunk of referring organic keyword data. That’s information I need to justify your value to my clients: Once you shut down organic search data from ‘signed in’ users, I lose any accurate picture of traffic generated by…” [Read more]
How much keyword data have you lost on your websites? How do you personally feel about this? Let us know by leaving a comment below.