Google Analytics is a critical tool for determining search engine optimization success. Prior to recent changes, search phrases typed into Google Search would be passed to a website owners’ Analytics account. The reporting was anonymous to the SEO, but they could use this to learn what keywords people used to find your site. But with Google Plus becoming more and more popular and searches becoming far more customized, those analytics are becoming less helpful. Under new policies by Google, signed in users will not have their queries reported to Google analytics. However, this information, according to Google, WILL still be passed to AdWords advertisers. So, while Google may claim it’s a privacy issue, one wonders if that is really the motive behind the change.
The result? Keyword reports will increasingly start to look like this:
Google told the web community, especially those who relied on search engine optimization, that it would only affect a small percentage of organic searches, however, Google+ is increasing in popularity and will only increase the number of people who will be affected.
While there are no clearly defined numbers for how many members the site currently has, Google+ might already have 4.5 to 5 million users, and it is growing. Because these searches for the logged in users of Google+ are going to make SEO more difficult, it might mean that more competitors can get their foot in the virtual door, which may benefit the customers of these businesses most of all.
Whenever a signed in Google+ user comes to a site from an organic Google search, it will still generate the same number of analytics. Google will still recognize the visit but will not report it as it had in the past. For instance, the query terms that were used to generate such a search will not be reported. Conversion rates will still be collected and reported as segmentations. Organic searches, or those that are appearing on the search engine results page because they are relevant to the search terms used by the searcher, are used more frequently in most situations.
The whole key and purpose to these changes was the desire to protect personal privacy. Everyone’s searches are now becoming almost laser tuned to them directly, something that is not lost on anyone in the industry, including potential scammers, hackers and others.
To protect users, Google will be using a SSL search as the default experience for all of its signed in users. SSL, or secure sockets layer, is a type of protocol used to secure data being sent via the Internet, including web browsing, emails, instant messaging and more. That means that the information that is being transferred is protected from being decoded or read by a third party.
As a business owner who relies on SEO for internet marketing, it is important to focus on these changes. If Google+ is going to continue to grow as predicted, it is important to keep making the right changes to how you approach your business as well as how you gather the information to follow the success of your efforts.
If Google Analytics is not the metric to use to follow the success of your marketing, for example, then it might be necessary to find another way to make sure that your business is staying on track.