Google hiding Organic Keyword Data – What are they smoking ?

by on October 24, 2011

Being a Google fan boy doesn’t cloud my judgement when it comes to all things Google. A lot of what Google does is awesome, some of it is average and a fraction of it is awful. Recently Google made a change around how organic data is captured that is truly awful and makes no sense. As Google explains, when a user is logged into Google.com, their default will be SSL search on https://www.google.com and they won’t show you any keyword data for people who visit your site via organic. This is true for ALL search engines, not just Google Analytics. Full details on this story here. Of course, Google can still show this data for CPC.

Does it help restrict personalized data ?

Google flags security as a key reason for this change. But you cannot (in GA anyhow) attribute a visit to an actual person. What difference does it make if we can see what keywords a user searched on to reach our sites. It’s totally crazy Google feels the keyword is giving away personal data if that cannot be attributed back to an actual person.

For analytic packages that can attribute data to an IP, why can’t Google block the IP and pass on the query data, or am I missing something ?

To me the move totally stinks, they are hiding data that helps webmasters improve the user experience of their websites, but still passing it on if we pay for it via CPC. One of the best comments on this has got to be:

 If you’re shutting off keywords for organic, do it for paid too. Otherwise you appear to be very evil and a hypocrite.

 

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