With the most resent change at Google, online marketing has really changed. As reported by Search Engine Land, Google is encrypting all search engine activity. Unless you have paid programs in place, determining the sources of keyword searches is now extremely difficult.
Google confirmed with Search Engine Land the change with the following statement:
“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.”
In the image below, you can see that the “unknown” traffic source has significantly increased. Although we have begun to see this “dark Google” rise recently with clients, it will become more pronounced. Now it will not matter whether you are signed into Google or not…that data will not be reported.
So what does this mean to the digital marketer in today’s new world? Well, we have all preached about “getting the right content in front of the right people at the right time”. Continue to create keyword optimized content. You can still track this at the landing page level. You will now need to create more of the “right content” in order to attract more landing page and website traffic.
If you are consistently blogging, you may want to put your blog foot to the pedal a bit more. This will obviously increase visitors to your website as well as create new, indexable pages to your website. Keywords should be considered when creating the blogs, but increasing the quantity of quality blogs will help with natural search ranking.
I was participating in a discussion on LinkedIn recently around the importance of Social Media to a companies marketing efforts. Contrary to what some thought, now this became even more important since you need connections, likes, fans, subscribers, followers (whatever term you want to use!) to help share content across the most effective social media channels. Effective Social Media strategies just moved up the priority ladder.
As HubSpot shared in this post, Yahoo and Bing will continue to report keyword research data. This represents about 33% of the market. So, there will still be some data to draw from. But, how long will this last?
Key things to consider going forward:
- Understand the goals of what you want to achieve with your digital marketing efforts. Google Analytics can still provide a tremendous amount of value around “things” you are trying to achieve.
- Utilize landing pages in order to understand traffic flows and increase site traffic.
- If you are not utilizing a paid program, you may want to consider it (just what Google wants!!) since you will have access to all that keyword research.
- Increase your blogging efforts with quality posts.
- Re-examine your Social Strategies in order increase sharing of content.
If you have questions, feel free to contact us….