No I’m not talking about the very dark evenings that are creeping in. Last week we told you about the Google update Hummingbird¬†that is starting to look at ‘conversational search’ rather than the historical ‘keyword search’

Well this change along with the announcement about ‘not provided’ information will have quite a bit of impact on measuring your analytics and here’s why

We’ve all seen the keyword ‘not provided’ listed in analytics data, this historically has been when users have been logged into their Google accounts (so about 10% of searchers) but now Google has confirmed that this privacy protection will be extended to users that aren’t logged in as well… although no time frame has been given, we suspect its going to be soon.

This basically means that using your analytics tool you will have absolutely no idea what keywords have been used as 100% of them will now be ‘not provided’

So Google have removed the publicly available keyword tool and have now stated they will remove the keywords from the analytics tool…leaving marketers ‘blind’ to the language prospects are using to find their products and services.

This is going to happen, so we suggest that you undertake a couple of actions to help yourself in the future.

  1. Download all of your analytics keyword data now. We do not know if historical information will be hidden, I suspect so… at least if you have historical data it may help you plan your content. Especially if you have ‘conversion’ data to hand make sure you know the keywords that have converted well in the past.
  2. Use your webmaster tools to complete the same exercise, again we are not sure if this data will be available in the future.
  3. Open a Google Adwords account, even if you don’t set your account live you can take a look at the keywords that other advertisers are paying for to see if they are valuable. Its not the same as the organic data but it will give you a starting point.
  4. Start updating your website to include semantic mark ups, this reinforces the meaning of the information on your website. For example you can tell Google that your address is your location. This is very valuable if conversationally someone asks for ‘a restaurant near me’. If your location is known to Google then you have a chance of getting seen.

Of course, keep going with your great content and Social Media strategies, moving forward its going to be these things combined that will make a real impact your online marketing.