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Why organic keyword data was a terrible thing to lose.

SEO Strategies for Secure Search: 1 of 4

Today’s intense emphasis on content marketing has caused a major sea change in the way marketers think about and approach their websites. The escalation of secure search by Google is yet another game-changer, in terms of how marketers need to approach their SEO strategies.

Secure Search Requirements

In October 2011, Google announced its decision to transition to encrypted “secure search.” As a result, organic search data was no longer made available at the keyword level. This is when digital marketers began to see missing queries in their organic search traffic data — indicated most often in their analytics by the dreaded “keyword not provided” source listing.

Originally affecting only signed-in Google users, the percentage of searches affected rose from less than 1% to 48% by August 2013. In September, Google implemented full-scale secure-search encryption. As a result, the percentage has quickly jumped to 100% — since then no keyword-level data from organic search is being provided.

Negative Effects on Search Engine Ranking

Over the last few months, digital marketers have seen a sharp decrease in organic traffic to their websites — according to their SEO analytics. The face is, the total lack of keyword-level data is giving them a false read. There only appears to be a sudden dropoff in organic traffic, which in turn is decimating their attempts to validate the effectiveness of their efforts.

A Change in Focus

The good news is, intelligent SEO in the honorable pursuit of page rankings, traffic, conversions and revenue is alive and well. The focus now is all about optimizing keywords as they relate to individual pages. The subsequent blog posts in this series will get into some of the specifics on how to retool your SEO strategy to meet the new reality of secure search.


Other Posts in this Series:

Why it's time to focus on the page
Best practices for retooling your SEO
Building solid analytics to connect the dots

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