The day we have been dreading has arrived. `It was inevitable’ many would say, but now that it’s done, we need to work out “where do we go from here?” Google announced earlier this week that they have ‘secured’ all searches leading to organic search query referrer data to go
Considering that 70% of search queries are not provided anyway, maybe Google figured that they may as well take it that step forward and take it all away from us. They have what they want after all? Skibum at WebmasterWorld wraps it up rather nicely (and I tend to agree).
“Google launch a fantastic tool for Free that will give them access to our critical business data. They also own one of the biggest ad networks”.well take it that step forward and take it all away from us. They have what they want after all? Skibum on WebmasterWorld wraps it up rather nicely (and I tend to agree),completely 100% (not provided) in Google Analytics. So far, this is only affecting US searches but will roll out across the UK imminently.
All very convenient really and kind of predictable…. It’s all about driving people to AdWords no?
Google deny this (of course), in a statement to Danny Sullivan :
‘We want to provide SSL protection to as many users as we can, in as many regions as we can — we added non-signed-in Chrome omnibox searches earlier this year, and more recently other users who aren’t signed in. We’re going to continue expanding our use of SSL in our services because we believe it’s a good thing for users….”
So the question remains, is it as bad as it sounds and what next?
Agnete Toien Pederson is of the opinion that it is not that bad. In her blogpost for State Of Search, she mentions several ways to work around this. She makes some very good points…
1) There are ways to profile filter the keyword by friendly and unique URLs. You can filter what pages people are landing on, and guestimate branded or non-branded traffic. This can still provide you with some information lost in the (not provided).
2) If you are running an AdWords campaign, you have access to all that data – you can then combine both reports to give you a more accurate view on keyword performance. Search query reports in AdWords are particularly insightful.
3) There are there some really good alternatives to Google Analytics, e.g. Webmaster Tools. By connecting to Google AdWords you are able to see how your site appeared in organic search combined with ads, through the Paid and Organic report. (Again reliant on paid activity).
There is no real answer; we need to start looking at our data and our digital activity creatively, we need to start considering the customer, the visitor as opposed to the visits generated. That’s where the real value lies. Do you agree?
We will explore this concept further next month so *watch this space*!