I just found a study from Optify that shows that 39 percent of the search related traffic from Google to our websites now is gone. Google will show the search terms as withheld.
Qptify made a study with 424 websites with over 17,143,603 visits and 7.241.093 referring keywords. This way they could check out how seriously the “not provided” issue is.
What does it have to do with me?
So why should you care about all this? Well imagine you have a shop in a shopping center Normally you will approach your customers and ask them if they are looking for something special right? But then one day you are told you can’t do this anymore.
You are only allowed to approach customers if they are specifically forthcoming and request help. Now you have lost the ability to proactively help your customers right? You will also lost some valuable information and feedback about your customers.
Google has started to encrypt search queries about 1 year ago. So now you will no longer receive “referrer” data from Google when the user is sign-in.
So you don’t really know what your visitors was looking for. Was it cheap dresses? Or quality dresses? Secondhand dresses? Blue dresses? You don’t know. So you can’t tell if they found what they were looking for.
Maybe half of your customers from Google was searching for blue dresses – but you only have red dresses in your shop. Bad for you right? And now you will not know that your customer love blue dresses.
You have lost a lot of insights.
So a hot term now in search marketing is behavioral targeting. You will have to know what the customer was initially looking for.
But now you will need to rely on later user interactions. You can use log-in information, or cookie based personalized experience.
If you are in the B2B business you can still get a lot of great information from Google Analytic about who are visiting your website and which pages they are looking at. Check it out here. But its getting harder to know about the initial search term.
If you have a newsletter – which search term did they use in Google to find your website? This is a very usefull information. But now its getting harder to get.
Google’s concerns about privacy is driven by a bigger force than this search marketing industry. So we might as well get use to it.
All the best to you as always, Henrik