There was a lot of hubbub yesterday about a dramatic increase in (not provided) traffic showing up in Analytics data. I'd say the most eye-opening part of this is the realization that the end of this upward trend is in sight: soon there will be effectively no keyword data readily available for organic search traffic from Google.
While Distilled hasn't seen as dramatic an increase across our own accounts it has always been a matter of time. This was not unforeseen. Since Google announced the encryption of searches in October 2011 we've been considering this possibly. Lately it's been seen as inevitable. So naturally Distilled has been thinking about and talking about this subject quite a bit. Here are five of our posts that deal either with (not provided) explicitly or the changing conception of keywords generally. Enjoy—and if you have any go-to resources you use please share them with us in the comments!
Keyword Analysis in a world of 100% ‘Not Provided’ by Rob OusbeyRob Ousbey is a pragmatic guy, so it should come as no surprise that he's written a pragmatic post about dealing with this very problem. Rob highlights four strategies for effective online marketing that are all applicable without keyword data—but also practical today as well. He suggests:
- Taking page-centric or ranking-centric approaches to performance tracking for specific projects you're working on;
- Using Google Trends for analysis of increases in brand visibility;
- Investing more in conversion rate optimization; and
- Adopting other methods (i.e. aside from keyword data) to develop content ideas for your site.
The Future of Search by Shelley Wilson / Will CritchlowShelly reports on a presentation by Will Critchlow at the Future of Digital Marketing Conference. (not provided) features in the presentation, which is mostly covering the way that search is changing the traditional model of simple text queries. Considered here:
- Things like social-as-search: what are the implications of asking your twitter followers to help you find a great hotel?
- Services like Google Now: will there ever be a point where queries are unnecessary and the user will just get information pushed to them directly?