The Future of Google SEO with “Not Provided” Keyword Tracking

Keyword Not Provided! Whatever shall we do now that Google has decided to hide our keywords from us? Don't worry, let's see what the future has to offer...

Google began encrypting searches for signed-in users more than 2 years ago. Are we headed towards a “100% Not Provided” world?

Imagine a world where all search terms and keyword data were withheld by Google. Now, open your eyes... This isn't a dream, it's a reality. It looks like that day may arrive shortly.

Google has confirmed that it has begun work to encrypted all searches, even for those who aren’t logged into Google. We've been tracking the "not provided" results for some time now as more and more client's are reaching 70% to 80% "not provided". Meaning, up to 80% of their website traffic is encrypted by Google. Take a look at the graphic below and you'll see the massive push to a "100% not provided" world is right around the corner.

Fear Not. We Knew This Would Happen.

First off, search terms (aka queries) can still be viewed within Google Webmaster Center, but only the top 2,000 terms per day and only going back for 90 days. Heck, it's better than nothing! So, we are not in a "100% Not Provided" world, yet. As you can see in the graphic above, the rise of encrypted search terms is sky rocketing making it more important than ever to make sure you are creating high quality content for the visitor, not the keyword. 

Here at EBWAY, we've known about this for 2 years. That's why we started to track PEOPLE and put our emphasis on Increasing Traffic, Increasing Conversions and Lowering Bounce Rates - instead of just keyword rankings. After all, it's nearly impossible to track the actual ranking of any keyword, especially since Google is trying to deliver a specific experience to each individual. (Don't even get me started on the new Hummingbird update...) 

  • Is ranking important, YES. 
  • Is it the only way to judge the success of an SEO campaign? No. 

There's hundreds of factors that come into play when you're running an SEO campaign. Keyword data was just a small piece to a giant Google jigsaw puzzle. At the end of the day, if your content is high quality and people engage with you around it - you will succeed. Content is still king, and stuffing your content with keywords isn't going to help you win. In fact, Google is smart - so smart in fact that it understands language enough to know what your pages are talking about and who would enjoy reading them. Google could care less what meta keywords you've crammed into the back side of your web page - they want to see high value, good quality & engaging content. 

At the end of the day, my best advise to those of you who are in the SEO field is this - Focus On People, not Keywords. 

For more information on this subject, check out the articles and blog posts below...

Thanks for reading! 

Jonathan Hinshaw

Post Date:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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