"Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes." ---Bill Gates
Gee, thanks Google! Right when you thought things were going well, Google had to come out and ruffle our feathers once again. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google just announced last week that it would be encrypting all keyword searches until the end of time. Naturally many people start thinking, “Noooo!! This is going to hurt my business!” Well, this isn’t good news, but it’s not too surprising that Google would pull this sort of stunt. Google began blocking keyword results as far back as 2011, but on a smaller scale. In response to their recent announcement, Google had this to say.
"We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We’re now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in." Extra protection? Explain. Well, when someone begins a search on Google, the search query used to be public knowledge. Now that it isn’t this adds an extra layer of privacy between what is being searched and the individual conducting the search. Basically, Google isn’t allowing you to be tracked. It sounds nice, but is there an ulterior motive behind Google’s actions? Although, increased privacy is always highly regarded, I tend to lean towards Google benefiting from the recent news.
Safety and security are most people’s main concern in general. However, as you well know, money is also quite the motivator. In light of Google’s news to encrypt keyword searches for the organic side of things, their paid sides of search queries, Google AdWords, advertisers still have full access to keywords on all ad clicks made on Google ads. This being said, Google stands to profit heavily in the process. Prior to recent news, Google posted revenue was up 19 percent over the second quarter of 2012 at $14.11 billion. Now with some analytics reporting “not provided” keywords in some cases are as high as 95% of search queries for some businesses, Google’s profit is looking to soar even higher. It must be nice to have $54.4 billion dollars of cash on hand, and that was before the news.
So what can businesses do to help combat the recent difficulty in the digital world?
Analyze Non Google Keywords- Event though it’s a small percentage of searches, it still offers a lot of value and insight to the searches being conducted.
Use Google AdWords- Those greedy punks. I guess if you can see what people are searching based off paid ads, it’s better than guessing, right?
Use Google Trends- this can possibly give you insight on what is trending that is bringing you traffic. It can help you if you're struggling to figure out what specifically is bringing in large amounts traffic and why. Thanks for the help, GT.
Look At Historical Data- It doesn’t provide much help for future change and innovation, but history does tend to repeat itself.
Creating Landing Pages for Targeted Keywords- Although it may not be quite as specific as a generated list of keywords, you can definitely get a little granular about how specific keywords are performing if your landing pages with those keywords rank well organically.