There has been an outcry today after Google announced that they would no longer be supplying keyword information for organic search terms where the user is logged in. This will have a big impact on Google Analytics, with this blog already getting visits for keyword “(not provided)”.
It was announced on a number of Google blogs, but the main information about how it affects Google Analytics was naturally on the Google Analytics blog.
Basically they have enabled SSL as the default search for those that are logged in, if that logged in user then clicks on a natural search listing to your website you will see medium as “organic” in Google Analytics, but you won’t see what the keyword is. But get this, Google AdWords is unaffected!
So basically – it’s for privacy, but not if you click the advert. Does that make sense? Not really, no.
I’ve noticed Avinash having to defend himself a bit on Twitter and the comments on the actual post are pretty scathing, no doubt they did it for good reason, but it perhaps hasn’t been explained well enough to Google Analytics users and SEO’s alike.
The other fear is that, like other Google updates, it starts with logged in users as a kind of test and then gets rolled out to everyone – can you imagine if you got no organic keyword details on visits to your website? How would you distinguish between brand/non-brand, people looking for info vs those who want to buy?
It seems like Google have managed to alienate the SEO industry quite a lot today.