Earlier in the week I came across this article by Pamela Vaughan, Google to Encrypt ALL Keyword Searches: Say Goodbye to Keyword Data Understanding the impact this could potentially have, below is my reaction to the news.
Rumours abound that Google are about to further their “fight against SEO”, by encrypting all keyword data, except that from paid ads. This would effectively prevent SEO experts giving their clients a worthwhile ROI. Obviously, we will still be able to calculate the rank of keywords and estimate traffic from the keyword planner, but this is no where near as effective as showing which keywords lead to clicks and potentially conversions.
Google has already encrypted the data for searchers logged into their Google accounts, hence the increase in “not set” data in Analytics.
Google claim the reason for this move is to provide extra protection for searchers. (Some go further to suggest that Google is trying to prevent the NSA spying on their users).
Whatever the outcome or the reasons, it’s going to make the job of search engine optimisers that little bit more difficult.