Mountain View, California–Search giant Google dealt a big blow to marketers in 2011, when it began to phase-in its securing of keywords used in queries to find sites.
Webmasters and marketers watched as the data became less available; but now, the search engine is revisiting its own policy.
The news came from the SXSW conference yesterday, when search chief Amit Singhal, when attendee Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land raised the issue of the “keyword not provided”.
The policy has been a large issue in the SEO community, as well as the business community, with companies trying to assess their leads and quantify the origins of page visits through keyword data.
Keyword Not Provided Possibilities
Currently, only paying advertisers have access to keyword data, but the company is revisiting the policy because it’s attempting to balance paying clients with the privacy concerns of users, “Over a period of time, we [Google’s search and ad sides] have been looking at this issue…. we’re also hearing from our users that they would want their searches to be secure … it’s really important to the users. We really like the way things have gone on the organic side of search,” Singhal said.
There are five possibilities: 1) no change to the status quo is made, 2) secure server sites could receive the data, 3) organic keyword data is made available through Webmaster Tools, 4) organic clicks have data restored; and, 5) Google pulls said data from paid clicks.