Google Encrypts Keywords– How Your SEO Is Affected

Oct 15, 2013

By now, I’m guessing you’ve heard rumblings of Google’s new plans to encrypt all search activity, except for clicks on ads. Have no fear, MC Interactive is here to break it all down for you and explain how these changes will impact you and your business.

The Basics

Normally, when you want to search for something on Google, as long as you are not logged into Gmail, YouTube or other Google-owned properties, information is recorded: mainly, what term you are searching for and what link you end up visiting. This information helps marketers target their pages for the words users search for most.

What is an encrypted search?

An encrypted search previously occurred when users were logged into Google or one of its properties. The keywords that were input and the links that were visited were not accessible outside of Google’s search service, and thus, not publically available for marketers.

With this new announcement, Google plans to encrypt all searches, not just those executed by logged-in users. This means even less keyword data for marketers.

While this may sound quite concerning, its not time to panic. It’s time for marketers to remember the basics of SEO and stop relying so heavily on keyword reports. At its core, SEO is simply producing quality content to create a good user experience.

Where To Start

We are going back to the basics of solid SEO.  This means we must ensure your site loads quickly, is easy to navigate and offers pages with clearly defined topics. By being more content-oriented, you can focus on building your brand as a topical authority and setting up your site as the place to go for the best information on that topic. Remember that Google looks at who created your content, what else they’ve done and who’s shared it, in addition to the actual content itself.

Keyword information can still be accessed and utilized (though in a more limited capacity) through Google AdWords and other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. It’s important to realize keywords can’t make up your entire SEO strategy, but you already knew that, right?