Google has been moving in this direction for some time. In early 2011, it launched secure search for all users who were logged into their Google accounts. As of Sept. 4, all users who visit Google are considered secure users, and therefore their organic search terms will be encrypted. When asked about the change, Google said it implemented the change due to users’ privacy concerns.
Unfortunately, many brands, SEO teams, and content marketers have relied on this keyword data to help optimize site performance, so they will have to adjust their tactics.
There are a few key areas where marketers will see the effects of these changes:
• Content optimization: Despite removing performance data by organic keyword, Google has opted to keep reporting on webpage or URL performance. Content teams should focus on Web page performance and engagement, rather than on keywords. If a brand runs a paid search, marketers should use keyword data from paid search programs.