Google remove keyword data from analytics

by Phil Aston

Google remove keyword data from analytics

by Phil Aston

by Phil Aston

As the SEO industry tries to keep up with Google’s constant changes to its algorithms and methodology, along comes a change which has some thinking it’s game over.

In the last few months keyword data has been disappearing from analytics data, especially from anyone signed into Google. This has appeared as ‘not provided’ in the keyword report page. As from last week Google has now made all searches secure, so that all keywords come under this ‘not provided’ heading.
However, if you use PPC then this data still appears, leading some to think that Google wants more people to advertise. Googles’ answer to this is that it wants to tighten up privacy for its users.

What this means and why I think it is not a bad thing.

The SEO model previous to this change entailed:

  • Carrying out keyword research
  • Choosing phrases based on volume and target market
  • Adding keywords to appropriate web page
  • Checking ranking for keywords
  • Checking analytics to see how many people used that phrase to access the target page

So if the page ranked well on Google for its chosen keyword and people had clicked on the page after using the same phrases we could say it was a success. But was it?

The benchmark now is business success. Ok, your page ranked well and people clicked on it, but did they follow your call to action, book a room, call you, subscribe, download or join your mailing list?
The role of SEO goes a lot further now than ranking against keywords.

We are all being told that content is king and that engaging content that answers your users’ problems or questions will bring business success. This latest change in Google underlines this very well.
SEO is now an integrated platform including social media interaction, content management, competitor analysis and, of course, keywords,

The New SEO model based on this change

  • Carry out themed keyword research (include social media mentions i.e. hashtags)
  • Choose phrases based on volume and target market
  • Carry out competitor analysis
  • Ensure themed keyword vocabulary is used naturally in your content
  • Check ranking for keywords
  • Monitor interactions on webpage and social media
  • Check analytics for traffic volume increases on your target page
  • Check business success measures, sales, subscriptions, downloads etc

For some in the SEO industry the role stopped at getting the client on the 1st page. The role now is being part of your clients’ online business success.
Phil Aston




Phil Aston is a partner at Genius Loci a Digital Marketing & Media agency based in Cornwall. Phil has over 26 years experience in SEO, Marketing & Photography and works primarily in the Tourism & Retail sector. He is also a yoga teacher and musician.

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