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Google Encrypting All Keyword Searches? Don’t Panic


When first reading the news that Google was going to keep secure all search activity (except for AdWords), I immediately thought of sending out a mass email to Silicon Valley based marketers to go rioting on the grounds of Google’s Headquarters.

Ok – maybe not that extreme, but I’m sure I share the sentiments of many others in the marketing profession that rumors of Google keeping all those valuable keywords from us was news that we did not want to hear.

Even though the majority of search data has been blocked for a while now, marketers could still assume the 30% – 40% that were reported was a similar keyword proportion to those that were blocked.  If Google blocks 100% of search data then we will be completely in the dark.


shutterstock_104403323Before panicking, let’s remember that we are constantly analyzing incomplete information and are still able to find creative ways to overcome those obstacles to maximize the results of our marketing efforts.

One Simple Solution

While racking my brain to try to come up with new ideas of how to find out the keywords used to find our websites, one solution came to mind.

Why not ask people?

User surveying is a simple solution that can turn out to be an effective one. For SEO, surveying has always been important for determining the true intent behind the keywords used in a search. However, surveying wasn’t that valuable for the keywords themselves since the 30% of unencrypted data was much a much more representative sample size than the 2 – 5% that surveys could offer.  But if all keyword data is blocked by Google, surveys can become an important tool for replacing this missing data.

Qualaroo can be configured to display an onsite survey for visitors coming from only search engines. It can even be configured to display for only users of  Google’s secure search. But even if it’s just targeted for search in general, you’ll get a more detailed picture of your most popular search terms as reported by your search-sourced visitors.

Tying conversion behavior to a keyword search

One of the major benefits of getting keyword data from Google was that it could tie directly into Google Analytics.  This was critical for figuring out which keywords actually led to conversions.  Fortunately you don’t have to give up that information when relying exclusively on surveying.  With Qualaroo’s Google Analytics integration, you can track the actual conversion rates and paths of people that  enter each keyword.

This is just one idea to overcome the Google keyword challenge. Also, this should only push us to create better content. No matter how strong you are with SEO, the key has always been providing great content, services, and products.

If that doesn’t work for you – well there’s always the rioting option.

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 10.22.52 AM

Everette Taylor



7 Responses to “Google Encrypting All Keyword Searches? Don’t Panic”

  1. Anyone looking for more information on Google’s decision to encrypt all search referral data should check out this article on Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/post-prism-google-secure-searches-172487

    Posted by Sean Ellis | September 26, 2013, 12:29 am
  2. Thanks for the tip Everette – could prove really helpful. Google’s unrivalled monopoly on search has always made me a little uncomfortable. Its now headed into the guarded territory of monetizing all of its products. Paying to be able to know how your customers arrive at your site. Whatever next? Pay for random searches on the internet? Another question – what are Bing and Yahoo doing to challenge this? Balance is needed in this search marketplace and the other search engines need to try harder so we the customers have options rather than continue to serve the powers that be at Google. IMO We need a buffet of choices not very little or no choice at all.

    Posted by Hypebabe1 | September 27, 2013, 10:21 am
  3. Sean, the resilience is an outstanding quality, it’s an opportunity for new companies to feel in the gap.

    Let’s consider Apple and Samsung- it goes to show that when you omni-invisible there are some vibes out there that tracks your invisble nature until you are cut down like a pack of blackberry.

    It’s just a matter of time. As they say necessity is the mother of invention.

    Posted by Peter Kanayo | September 28, 2013, 2:45 am
  4. It’s difficult to find well-informed people in this
    particular subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

    Posted by http://www.bubaj.com/ | October 8, 2013, 11:39 pm
  5. Its about time! The companies will have to start working on delivering better products rather than chasing “keywords” over Google.

    Relationship management is going to be the key for success!

    Posted by Piyush Mathur | October 11, 2013, 5:11 am
  6. Good points. Since the search engines seem to be looking for actual traffic

    Posted by http://finance-slot.blogspot.com | December 25, 2013, 1:18 pm


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