Queron Jephcott Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : SEO Google

More proof Google doesn’t like SEO

Queron Jephcott Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : SEO Google

It’s been just over 12 months since Edward Snowden rose to international fame when he leaked thousands of classified documents. Snowden has paid the price with exile, the rest of us have paid the price with the realisation that the spying, tracking and invasion of privacy that the most cynical and distrustful of us said was going on, was actually going on.

What’s done is done. We can’t stop the worlds spy agencies having the data they have on us, but what we can do, is attempt to stop it happening now.

Privacy is now important.

Well, it’s always been important, but it’s now risen to a level of awareness that could mean this up and coming generation are known as the ‘privacy generation’. This awareness now means choice of software is often based around privacy as much as features.

So rewind another couple of years...

Google releases the option for private search. It’s simple enough. The terms a person uses in Google are not made available to any other party.

This doesn’t sound like a big problem, until you think about analytics.

SEO companies had built a business around knowing what search terms we use. Google Analytics was one of the many tools they used to analyse these terms. Analysts became worried that this ‘private search’ would take an important facet of their data away. Google assure them that private search would only make up a small percentage of overall searches, thus, having minimal effect of analysis tools.

This might have been the case for a while.

If you were hanging out in Google Analytics, you would have seen (not specified) start to pop up in the keywords section and like Google told us, it was just a percentage of overall searches.

That percentage however, has increased… and increased… and increased...

What's the damage?

If we look a graph of the (not specified) keyword on our website over the last three years we see the problem:


Seo graph of (not specified)


Now this steady increase would have been fine, if our total searches would also increasing respectively, but this isn’t the case. (not specified) is taking over all other search terms for us, this last month, sits at over 95% of all searches.


Seo percentage of (not specified)


These means we now only know >5% of the keywords used to find our site! The rate it’s decreasing means this data will soon be useless.

So keywords are out.

The age of privacy has taken caused SEO to take a major casualty.

Although… was it just the age of privacy? Or does Google just not really want you keep messing around with the witch-doctory that was keyword-based search engine optimisation?