Google announced that from now on, all searches would be encrypted.
And this means a lot to Online Marketing. If converted this into one sentence, this means that SEO has changed forever.
I am an Online Marketer, someone who works on SEO, Social Media and Paid Advertisements for many online businesses. And the recent update from Google has generated so much buzz that I was compelled to share this post.
First of all, here is the official Google statement, which they gave to Search Engine Land, the biggest SEO blog on this earth.
“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.”
During January, 2011, Chrome had rolled out critical change in their internal process. They started encrypting searches for all Gmail users. This means that whenever Chrome sends out search data, it is encrypted and secured. Hence, no analytics tool can trace the keywords which a Google searcher has typed in.
Slowly, this has spread to all users, and as of now, irrespective of Google login, every search is encrypted inside Chrome.
In October 2011, Google did the same. They started encrypting searches for all users who were logged into Google. This created a lot of chaos for Online Marketers and SEOs as we were not able to track the keywords which they are searching.
And last week, Google has announced that every search done on its search engine would be encrypted. Hence, from now on, no one would be able to find out which search terms have been typed by searchers.
Hence, analytics tools won’t be able to figure out which keyword brought us how much traffic to any page of any website/blog.
Let it slowly sink into you: No keywords data from now on. And this means SEO has changed for ever!
Why SEO Has Changed?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an Online Marketing strategy, wherein we research the major keywords relevant for any business, and accordingly devise plans to conquer that keyword. The goal of an SEO is to make sure that when anyone searches those keywords on Google and other search engines, then our websites should meet the user at the top position (or atleast in the first page of results).
Once the SEO operations starts, and traffic starts coming in, we observe Google Analytics or any other analytics platform, and check the incoming traffic, filtered by keyword data to find the effectiveness of our SEO planning. Based on the incoming traffic for relevant keywords, we tweak/twist our strategy so as to get maximum leverage.
But since Google has decided to start encrypted searches, this means that no analytics platform can track the keywords which a searcher types in. This converts to total mayhem when it will come to track the ROI and effectiveness of our SEO campaigns.
No keyword data means no SEO, in very plain language!
The million dollar question, which is intriguing the online marketing industry. As I have observed this industry, I can say that SEO has now transformed into Integrated Content Marketing + Online Reputation. Social Media has become more relevant than ever, and Google is pushing us into Paid Search mode.
Although there can’t be any alternative to SEO, but yes, it has transformed.
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