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Google encrypts keyword data. Who it hurts? Who it helps?

We all know by now that Google likes to change things up every now and then. Most marketers expect this and have strategies in place to bounce back from these changes quickly, but on September 23, 2013 Google threw marketers everywhere for a curve ball.

Since October of 2011, Google has slowly been increasing the percentage of keywords they were keeping hidden from marketers making it more and more difficult to obtain useful keyword data. But as of last Monday, Google made its grand announcement: All organic keywords will be encrypted from marketers. Dun, dun, dun!

Is this new change indeed a sentence of marketing doom, or is it an opportunity to strengthen an industry that has become all too dependent on keywords to drive traffic to their websites?

Google why would you do this?

Google claims that this new change is primarily to protect the information of their users. The encryptions in 2011 were only protecting users that were signed into their Google account. However, with claims that Google was providing the National Security Agency with information on their users, they are now fighting against said allegations by keeping ALL of their user’s information private, therefore blocking the NSA from obtaining search data.

Another justification for this change, popular among marketers, is that by making keywords obsolete, Google is gently nudging marketers toward Google Adwords.

Who does this hurt?

Many advertisers are reliant upon keywords to help them drive traffic to their websites. So what happens now that the keywords are unavailable to them? It is all a matter of How reliant they are. Advertisers who focus on creating quality design, authentic content, and solid a website have already discovered the importance of using masterful techniques to drive traffic. However, those that hold their keywords near and dear to their hearts are sure to feel this change in a negative way.

Who does this help?

Well ultimately, this change helps Google. It is protecting them from being classified as an informant to the NSA and also, it is helping them create a profit from Google Adwords.

However, with the days of organic keyword data long gone, it forces marketing companies to start producing more authentic content for their customers. So while this change may seem like a big dent in the internet marketing industry, it may actually turn out to be just another way Google raises the bar and demands higher quality content.

What are people saying?

Marketers from all around were taken off guard to hear of this change and knew SEO would never be the same.

Rand Fishkin from explained on his Whiteboard Tuesday, that he feels this change is “Google abusing their monopolistic position.” He explains, “our tasks as internet marketers becomes far more difficult- but not impossible.”

Yes marketers are frustrated, they’ve worked hard and now feel Google is making them jump through hoops, yet again, to be successful.

However, some marketers feel that this should be looked at as an opportunity instead of a death sentence. Jason Diller from The DSM Group, wrote an empowering message to marketers explaining, “It’s not about how many keywords you rank for and what someone typed into Google to find you…it never was… It’s about totally understanding your target personas and giving them what they want.”

Sink or Swim Time

Whether you like or dislike the new Google change, there is one thing everyone has in common – We must evolve. We wish you all the best!