The history of keywords (not provided) and where it stands now.

In the last few months, marketers have dealt with two keyword research tragedies including the death of Google Keyword Tool and the encryption of keywords via Google Search. Google Keyword Tool was extremely popular amongst marketers for researching keywords in order to see what people are really searching for on Google. This helped build copy for pages and write relevant content based on popular searches. Unfortunately, Google Keyword Tool disappeared by the end of the Summer leaving many marketers bewildered.

Currently, keyword data from Google Search traffic is slowly disappearing. Before, marketers and SEO professionals were able to track what keywords were being used in Google Search to track organic referrals. Unfortunately, last week HubSpot posted a blog article, Google to Encrypt all Keyword Searches. Say Goodbye to Keyword Data, stating that eventually all keyword searches from Google will soon be 100% encrypted.

This wasn’t something that happened overnight. Marketers have been watching the decrease of keyword data available from Google Search since 2011. As of right now – according to Not Provided Count – 80% of keywords from Google is “not provided” meaning 80% of keywords from organic referrals are now encrypted. It has been confirmed by Google that eventually all 100% of keyword referrals from Google Search will be affected by this change.

 

Keywords Not Provided

According to Not Provided Count, 80% of keywords are now encrypted.

This news led Moz.com to do a special Whiteboard Friday video on a Tuesday. Thank goodness because the video created by Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, is packed with valuable information to help marketers, developers, and SEO professionals move forward from recent keyword tragedies.

 

Keyword Research Strategies

 

Since SEO strategies such as keyword research is constantly changing, we’re thankful for companies like HubSpot and Moz for getting on board right away to offer some temporary and ongoing solutions. In a nutshell, here’s a few tips for post encryption keywords:

1. Link AdWords with Google Analytics and use that data for future research projects.

2. Use page-level data pulled from referral visits from Google Search to understand page performance, rather than focusing on keyword data.

3. Bid on AdWords terms.

4. Continue to create valuable, informative content.

5. Compare changes made on your site to the increase or decrease of organic searches.

Another great resource for staying up to date with SEO strategies like keyword research is an article written by Web Gnomes, The Most Actionable SEO Tips Ever. Web Gnomes recently decided to ask the top SEO industry leaders their tips on SEO strategies. They received 47 responses and categorized them into 8 categories including keyword research and content marketing.

What are some of your keyword strategies and other SEO tips?

About the Author: Shannon Callarman is the Marketing Coordinator at Cubicle Ninjas. She’s the tiny ninja behind the CN Twitter. You can also follow her on Google+.

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