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Analytics keyword data now "Not Provided"

Google announced at the end of September that keyword data for organic searches will no longer be provided. This quite a big change, as this can be some of the more useful information to Google Analytics users about the keywords driving organic traffic to their websites.

What’s the reason for the change, you might ask? It’s because starting in October, all Google searches have been securely encrypted. Site owners can no longer see exactly which words people used when searching Google to find their sites. Instead, these organic search visits will be tracked as "not provided."

This is quite a change, but should not come as a surprise. To provide additional privacy and security for its users , Google announced in 2011 that it would be providing SSL encryption for search data for all signed-in search users to any Google product. This most recent change just extends that to all users, whether signed in to a Google account or not.

How will this change impact SEO?

Fortunately, losing Google Analytics keyword data for searches alone should not have an impact on your SEO efforts. To ensure the success of your SEO strategy without keyword data, make sure to utilize Google Webmaster Tools. If you haven’t already, connect your Google Analytics account with a free Google Webmaster Tools account. The Webmaster Tools will have a similar, although incomplete, set of keyword data for your site for you to review. Keep in mind, Google's algorithm updates are meant to reward websites that produce relevant, quality content and get nods of approval from other authoritative sites.

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