Google Analytics Slams SEO. Hides Organic Keywords.


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Uh, what the hell?

So in an effort to make search more secure, Google is really dropping a bomb on SEO.

As internet entrepreneurs we really live and die by our Google Analytics reports. We want to track the keywords people use to find us and the referring websites that sent them here. We all want to increase our traffic.

The ability to measure ROI for SEO and online Advertising is the reason why we do it in the first place. Now we’re about to take a major body shot to keep these keywords hidden.

Continue reading for a 30-thousand foot view of what’s going on and how it’s going to impact your success with web marketing.

Google Encrypts Search Data

So here is the basic overview of what the Google update is doing to our precious resource:

  1. A user logged into a Google product (Google+, Google Docs, Gmail, etc) and
  2. They perform an organic search (i.e. fly fishing) and
  3. They find your website via the search result and click through to your site
  4. you will not be able to see what organic keyword they used to find your site, nor their visitor session information from Google Analytics associated with that keyword.

So what does it mean?

It means you won’t be able to effectively measure or track organic search funneling/conversions from logged in users.

Google states that users that are “anonymously” searching on Google will still be captured. i.e. not logged in.

Is This A Big Deal?


Over time you will start to see your organic keyword results drop which will make it harder to determine how visits are coming in. It’s also going to impact keyword research because Google will also encrypt that data in the Keyword Tool app as well.

Show me the money!

Ah, but what’s this?

You will still see keywords tracked for logged in users if they use paid keywords to get to you.

Well, that’s real nice.

Some analysts say that there’s still a way to track organic keyword referrals by making your site secure. This is still an unproven method and we’ll have to wait to see if they are right.

Now What?

So what do we do now?

There’s not much we can do. We don’t own this data to begin with.

Google says the impact will only be in the single percentage digits in the grand scheme of things. In other words, less than 10% of organic search traffic is done while logged in.

That’s great for now, but Google wants users to be logged in. They just launched Google+ and have been slowly rolling out seamless Gmail accounts. The design of all Google apps are becoming more unified. They are becoming more advanced with their mobile Android platform.

Within a few years, you won’t be able to do anything on Google without being logged in.

The Takeaway

Remember, SEO is just one (albeit very large) part of driving traffic to your site.

My favorite is still Inbound Marketing which includes e-mail newsletters, social media, and connecting.

If this is a pivot for SEO, we’ll have to start putting more emphasis on other areas of getting that traffic and making money.

Even if that does mean – gasp.

Get off your ass and sell.



One response to “Google Analytics Slams SEO. Hides Organic Keywords.”

  1. The google giveth… the google taketh away…

    Honestly with all the changes going on with SEO, pagerank, the google panda updates, etc. It’s becoming more of a crap shoot to depend on finding leads through keywords and targeted ads IMHO.

    It seems the only way to truly survive these changes is to create very strong platforms/communities… where people come to you versus stumble upon.

    But yeah. I can hear the screams already!

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