Encrypted Keywords Make It Hard But Not Impossible
– In October 2013, Google announced that they would begin encrypting all keywords entered by signed in individuals. Simply put, Google began withholding the keywords that brought browsers to websites.
The move, many believed was in response to concerns about NSA spying, sent marketers into a tailspin.
Without knowledge of the keywords that actually performed well, marketing firms wondered exactly how they were to get their job done effectively. While encrypted keywords can be somewhat problematic, there is some good to be pulled from the change.
What Are Encrypted Keywords?
Keyword encryption is a fairly new phenomenon. Just as passwords can be encrypted on servers, so can other data and information. In this case, the company that services the searches, is choosing to take the data that consumers enter to get to webpages and encrypting it so that data can not be seen by others. Prior to keyword encryption, PPC management firms and webmasters could sign into their analytics account and see all of the keywords that were used to get browsers to their site.
PPC management was easy to do with this knowledge, because the performance of each keyword was there in black and white. Keyword encryption makes the act of PPC management and SEO much more difficult.
Problems Associated with Encrypted Keywords?
Encrypted keywords do pose some problems, specifically for PPC management as well as SEO management. While the data shows all organic visits and hits to the website it leaves out the keyword that was used to get there.
For example, if a signed in user used the keyword “apple orchard” to search for fruit farms in New Jersey, the hit will merely state “not provided”. If a non signed in user searches with the same keyword, the keyword will be provided. Many believe this was a move to make PPC management more appealing, and make AdWords more appealing by proxy. The encryption of keywords actually does neither.
Potential Benefits of Encrypted Keywords?
While encrypted keywords make PPC management a bit more hit and miss, it does open up an entirely new world of marketing. Instead of focusing entirely on each keyword, marketers working with PPC management firms can look the the whole picture, and notice how organic traffic moves in and out of the website. In short, it is possible that encrypted keywords, while removing one aspect of knowledge, allows marketers to finally see the forest for its trees.
Marketers who once worked with keywords, can begin looking at PPC management more organically, and figure out how to drive traffic in different ways. Why Google encrypted its data is something that remains to be seen. We may never know the true reasoning, but one thing is for certain, it is here to stay.
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