Google recently announced that they are hiding keywords used by searchers that are signed into their Google accounts to protect their privacy. When a Google user is signed in and they visit your site from an organic search, Google Analytics will recognize this organic search but now they will not report the keywords that the user had searched to arrive at the site. Google’s goal is to provide user privacy by not giving out any search information to the sites that users click through to.
However, Google isn’t removing all keyword data, only a sub-set. This has less of an effect on SEO because we can still see current trends in analytics and we can still see the higher traffic keywords. The keywords we see are larger, we no longer see the minority. If there is a specific site that the majority of the visits happen when people are signed in to Google, then there could be a large effect from this loss of ability to see the general keyword trends. Google has said that”an aggregated list of the top 1000 search queries that drove traffic to a site for each of the past 30 days will be available through Webmaster Tools.”
It seems as if there is a bit of a double standard here. Google is saying that this change will have a small impact on only about 10 percent of its searchers, however that is still a good amount of keyword referral information that is kept from the websites owners. But, if those same searchers click on a Google ad, this information is not hidden because Google says “its advertisers need to be able to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and to improve the ads and offers they present to you.” What do you think about this change?