SEO under attack (Google does it again)

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  • SEO
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When I first saw this I thought it was some kind of a joke but if you search on google for "google announces keyword search"

Google has announced that it would be hiding keywords used by searches signed into thier accounts.

Source: SEO Under Attack – The Google Analytics Keyword Data Apocalypse | Search Engine Journal
#attack #google #seo
  • Profile picture of the author Trapped
    The sweet thing...those keywords data will not be hidden from Googles paying services..like umm yeah Adwords clients.

    As Joost De Valk noted in a guest post at Google Whores Out Users With False Privacy Claims | SEO Book.com it more looks like a convenience to cut data from third parties rather then worrying about user privacy (which is the reasoning behind hiding the organic keyword referral data). Thing which makes complete sense to me what Joost says...but many might disagree.
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  • Profile picture of the author sam770
    what is the practical meaning of google's announcement?
    it will be difficult/impossible to make a good keyword research?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Google "...We have our best interests towards protecting your privacy, unless of course, you're paying us ....then we dont care"
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    • Profile picture of the author nick1123
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Google "...We have our best interests towards protecting your privacy, unless of course, you're paying us ....then we dont care"
      Awesome response! There are not many forum posts that make me laugh out loud but this one did.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul200
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Google "...We have our best interests towards protecting your privacy, unless of course, you're paying us ....then we dont care"
      LMAO That made me lol
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    • Profile picture of the author orina
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Google "...We have our best interests towards protecting your privacy, unless of course, you're paying us ....then we dont care"
      nice!!Google's honest spokesman
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    • Profile picture of the author Daedalus
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Google "...We have our best interests towards protecting your privacy, unless of course, you're paying us ....then we dont care"
      Exactly, since you want SSL when you're searching, but you don't really mind if you're investing money into AdWords.

      I bet they are going to introduce more and more changes that will lead to a subscription fee for most of their tools. For privacy matters of course, money is irrelevant

      @paulgl: That's true, organic ones are the ones that matter. But I sincerely doubt their aim is to help anyone, and this will be one of many changes to come.
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    • Profile picture of the author autumnsmith
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Google "...We have our best interests towards protecting your privacy, unless of course, you're paying us ....then we dont care"
      I like the honesty, this should've been the best explanation for all the things happening around.
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  • Profile picture of the author sam770
    where they want to cut the info from? adwords keyword tool? analytics? other tool?
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    I don't see the big problem.

    We used to have to make do without this stuff before GA even existed, so all this means is that the people who don't really know what they're doing and rely on tools that scrape GA will need to use their brains a bit more - that's all good.

    If you have access to your own sites logs (which you should) then you don't need Google to tell you anything.
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    • Profile picture of the author Affiguy
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      I don't see the big problem.

      We used to have to make do without this stuff before GA even existed, so all this means is that the people who don't really know what they're doing and rely on tools that scrape GA will need to use their brains a bit more - that's all good.

      If you have access to your own sites logs (which you should) then you don't need Google to tell you anything.

      Exactly! Furthermore, I rely more on my server logs than any keyword research tool.. Your logs will show you geniune searches people do!
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      • Profile picture of the author sam770
        Affiguy,
        I agree with both you and Andy, I also think that as a site owner you should not only rely on analytics but use the server statistics.
        However, your server stats will not provide you with the really useful information of what exact keyword logged in Google users type to get to your site. This is crucial information because you can optimize your pages according to the popular keywords and get more traffic!!!!
        Google is going to use SSL for logged in users and hide this information not only from Analytics but actually prevent that the information reaches any statistic services that used to get that easily since it was not encrypted.

        I understood that if you use the same Google account for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords AND pay for Google ads - then you will be able to see the keyword people type in Google to come to your site, INCLUDING the logged in Google users.

        My question is:
        If I buy a minimum amount of Google Ads through Google AdWords, let's say for $10, will I get to see full reports of keywords that logged in users type to come to my site? or just keywords that are relevant to the ad I paid for?
        Can someone who is really familiar with this Google announcement answer this question for me?
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      If you have access to your own sites logs (which you should) then you don't need Google to tell you anything.
      As I understand it because of the Google encryption nothing will show in your own sites logs.

      You won't see what searches are being used to find your website.

      .
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    • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      I don't see the big problem.
      There is a big problem and you don't seem to understand it. Here is an official Google blog post about it.

      And for the impatient, here's the part of that blog post which is of greatest importance to you:
      As a result, we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users. Over the next few weeks, many of you will find yourselves redirected to https://www.google.com (note the extra “s”) when you’re signed in to your Google Account. This change encrypts your search queries and Google’s results page.
      So the problem is that many more people using Google will be using Google's encrypted search. The problem with Google's encrypted search for webmasters is that when a visitor finds your site through Google's encrypted search, no information including the search terms the visitor used to find your site will be made available to you as they are now with Google's regular non-encrypted search.

      The easiest way I can think to demonstrate the problem with this is to go to Google right now and search for something on your site using a keyword phrase that your site is known to rank for. Then, click on your site from the results shown and you'll see something like this in your web server logs:

      99.22.55.88 - - [25/Oct/2011:16:02:49 +0000] "GET /some-page-on-your-site/ HTTP/1.1" 200 4846 "http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=your+search+terms" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/535.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/14.0.835.202 Safari/535.1"
      Notice that when a visitor uses Google's non-enctypted search, Google passes the search terms used to find your site to you by means of a query parameter. This is good.

      Now, try doing the same using Google's encrypted search, which more of your site visitors will be using in the coming weeks and months.

      What follows is what you'll see in your server logs when more and more people begin to use the encrypted version of Google. Can you spot what's missing?

      99.22.55.88 - - [25/Oct/2011:16:33:17 +0000] "GET /another-page-on-your-site/ HTTP/1.1" 200 11803 "http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/535.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/14.0.835.202 Safari/535.1"
      In case you didn't notice, the keywords used to find your page get removed when Google's encrypted search is used and you will have no idea what terms were used by visitors to find your site if they arrived by Google's encrypted search. This is not good for web masters.

      Of course you can use Google Analytics which is ok for aggregate keyword information, but it still leaves much to be desired.

      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      We used to have to make do without this stuff before GA even existed
      No, we had full use of this stuff (the ability to see what users searched for to find our sites) on the very first day that Google opened up operations to the public, long before GA even existed.

      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      so all this means is that the people who don't really know what they're doing and rely on tools that scrape GA will need to use their brains a bit more - that's all good.
      This has nothing to do with scraping GA.

      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      If you have access to your own sites logs (which you should) then you don't need Google to tell you anything.
      If you followed what I wrote above, you'll find that your server logs are soon to become less useful.


      Originally Posted by Affiguy View Post

      Exactly! Furthermore, I rely more on my server logs than any keyword research tool.. Your logs will show you geniune searches people do!
      Soon you're not going to be seeing in your logs any of the searches that people logged into Google are doing.


      Originally Posted by sam770 View Post

      Google is going to use SSL for logged in users and hide this information not only from Analytics but actually prevent that the information reaches any statistic services that used to get that easily since it was not encrypted.
      I haven't seen anywhere where Google has said that keyword query data is going to be hidden from Google Analytics and I'm not sure why the would do so as the keyword data in GA is shown in aggregate and thus doesn't make any of it personally identifiable.


      Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

      Wow... Well, that's a completely different situation. Still, I don't see what the big deal is. I am willing to bet less than 15% of the searchers (guess from observation) are logged in to Google.
      Well think of it this way. How many google users also use Gmail? How many of those google users that use GMail also use the "keep me logged in to Gmail" feature? That might be about how many people are logged in to google. Also, think about all of Google's many services and the probability that any google searcher would be logged into one of those services at the time that they search google.

      Originally Posted by asimbawany View Post

      at the end of the day, we will only see a smaller number under our keyword section in our GA account.
      I'd really like to see where Google has stated that this will affect the keyword reporting in Google Analytics.

      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      As I understand it because of the Google encryption nothing will show in your own sites logs.

      You won't see what searches are being used to find your website.

      .
      That is absolutely correct. As long as people are using the encrypted version of Google search, no keyword data will be reported in the referral string in your logs. More and more people will be using google's encrypted search in the coming weeks so, less search query data will be found in our server logs.


      Originally Posted by nicktyler View Post

      They don't owe us this data.
      Good point. As big of a disappointment this might be, Google doesn't owe us any data revealing what their users searched for to find our sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      If you have access to your own sites logs (which you should) then you don't need Google to tell you anything.
      I have to disagree with you on this one Andy.

      I couldnt think of anything worse than spending 4 months of my time, developing a product and building a site, only to find out, by way of checking my server logs, to find theres no search volume or the product wasnt really viable in the first place.

      For me, its always been ....

      1. Find the demand, fill it

      Not

      2. Try something, then check to see if its working afterwards

      Not having access to search volume data ahead of time seems ridiculous.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
    Meh.. I don't care much about this. If I don't like Google Analytics, then, I can just use another tool that provide the same service. One great thing about the internet is, it's has tons of different software that do the same exact things!
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    • Profile picture of the author sam770
      Google is going to use SSL for logged in users and hide this information not only from Analytics but actually prevent that the information reaches any statistic services that used to get that easily since it was not encrypted.

      Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

      Meh.. I don't care much about this. If I don't like Google Analytics, then, I can just use another tool that provide the same service. One great thing about the internet is, it's has tons of different software that do the same exact things!
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      • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
        Originally Posted by sam770 View Post

        Google is going to use SSL for logged in users and hide this information not only from Analytics but actually prevent that the information reaches any statistic services that used to get that easily since it was not encrypted.
        Wow... Well, that's a completely different situation. Still, I don't see what the big deal is. I am willing to bet less than 15% of the searchers (guess from observation) are logged in to Google.
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        • Profile picture of the author sam770
          I think that the most important thing is that the keyword tool will not be affected at all, meaning - you could still know what are the most popular queries for your niche/area, even their exact numbers!!

          Secondly, I agree with you that its not a big deal because all analytics details will stay the same except of one thing: you will see a smaller numbers in the keyword section.

          The logged in users and the non logged in users are basically searching the same things at the same percents, so the proportions will stay similar to what you see today, the only difference is that the total numbers of the specific queries will be smaller because the logged in users will not be counted, but you will still be able to see the hot search queries that people used to come to your site at the same proportions as before and you could still see the total numbers of visitors to your site, including the logged in users.

          So on the bottom line - it is not a big change!

          Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

          Wow... Well, that's a completely different situation. Still, I don't see what the big deal is. I am willing to bet less than 15% of the searchers (guess from observation) are logged in to Google.
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        • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
          Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

          Wow... Well, that's a completely different situation. Still, I don't see what the big deal is. I am willing to bet less than 15% of the searchers (guess from observation) are logged in to Google.
          Hmmmm...My observations with owning an internet cafe would be highly different.

          There is this little site called YouTube that I'd estimate around 50% or more of our customers login to. Of course, when they click over to Google to do a search they are still logged in to their Google account.

          The two most important sites in the internet cafe are Facebook and YouTube, nothing else is even close.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeavery10
    I am also interested to know about purchasing system of Google adwords.
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  • Profile picture of the author asimbawany
    I really don't see a problem here...

    at the end of the day, we will only see a smaller number under our keyword section in our GA account. The base percentages will still remain the same and we will still be able to track the KWs on those who are not logged in which as someone mentioned above is only 15% of the total users anyways...
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    • Profile picture of the author sam770
      that's basically what I said...

      Originally Posted by asimbawany View Post

      I really don't see a problem here...

      at the end of the day, we will only see a smaller number under our keyword section in our GA account. The base percentages will still remain the same and we will still be able to track the KWs on those who are not logged in which as someone mentioned above is only 15% of the total users anyways...
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  • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
    Most of those keyword data that G has been releasing has been sketchy at best for years now.

    I look at SEO different than most people probably. But I view each seo campaign as a mining operation. You never know exactly how much gold (if any exists at all) you're going to get. But you keep drilling and drilling (submitting backlinks) until you reach the bottom of the well (top 3 position on serps). Once you're there you can check for yourself what kind of traffic is available. Pretty simple process really.
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  • Profile picture of the author webdave
    I guess this will make all the keyword research tools like MS and MNF less effective in that when these tools tell you that certain keyword is getting x amount of searches it might actually be x + whatever Google is hiding.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Kage
    These guys on Google are starting to monopolize the market even more than they used to. Didn't they launch that product in Analytics or something that costs some hundred thousand dollars.
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    • Profile picture of the author Raul991
      Originally Posted by Sparda View Post

      These guys on Google are starting to monopolize the market even more than they used to. Didn't they launch that product in Analytics or something that costs some hundred thousand dollars.
      Google monopol is growing every year.
      More and more I am starting to think that Google plans to take over the world
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  • Profile picture of the author nicktyler
    Google has planned to take over the world for some time now. It is just getting closer. They are just trying to hide data from the people who are not paying for it. At the end of the day they aer a business and in it for the profit. You can use GA for free get free traffic with SEO have free e-mail and alot of other things. They don't owe us this data.

    We can have it but we have to pay and do some ad words to get the data. Not an attack on SEO just protecting their intellectual property.
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  • Profile picture of the author anthonyb
    The trend is clear Google wishes to obliterate all competitors. The size of their competitor is irrelevant to them, big and small is all the same to them. Some argue that the internet is unregulated, which is generally accepted as a good thing. However the Orwellian nature of Google over the net is just too overreaching and overbearing and destroying the democratic nature of the net. Google are by far one of the most undemocratic institutions I have seen for a while.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Q
    Banned
    Google taking over the world? Hahaha! This is already extremely tough for SEO fans out here!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sebastian Batiste
    It has been getting harder and harder to work with Google lately and I agree with matlaclear that Goolgle stats have been sketchy for a while now. If you are relying on Google for all your traffic you are at the Google algorythms mercy, you could be on top of the world 1 day (or top of search results) and have no business the next. I think what we should all take form this is that we must focus on multiple ways to generate leads - Fusion Marketing is the way foreward
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Agree with Andy

    Its by no means the end of the world and the OP should read the article he posted to. Furthermore if it only applies to logged in users than you should be able to get the data you need on a percentage basis from that. I may not be able to pinpoint exact figures for keywords and conversion but if I keep good position and traffic records I should still be able to track what rankings are causing increase in conversions.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    By now, people should be used to changes especially the ones coming from Ultimate Google. It is their time to reign...... and we OBEY!
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  • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
    I wonder if the search terms of logged in users will still be made available for Google Analytics Premium customers :rolleyes:
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    :)

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    • Profile picture of the author Raul991
      Are you a Google Analytics Premium customer? Or could anybody tell me what is the main difference between the free and premium version...
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    I have to admit, sometimes I am stupid.

    Can someone explain in plain simple terms what the Google change means?

    I do not know of anyone who is logged into G when they do a search. People just type in their search in the search box and click enter. So how does being logged in play into this "change".

    Is G saying that they are going to get rid of their keyword search tool or that the results will be completely inaccurate because they are going to "hide" certain keywords?

    I feel that I am missing something, but I just do not understand the "change".

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    Well said mojojuju. There's a lot of confusion and misinformation about the changes and you've summarised it nicely.

    The main point that is up for discussion is how many searches are affected by this change.

    A figure of 15% has been suggested in this thread, but that's obviously just a guess.

    Remember that if you have a Gmail, Google+, Adwords etc, etc, etc account, then you have a Google account and will be using the https version of the search (eventually).

    I personally have no idea (only Google would know for sure) what percentage of people do Google searches while they are logged in, but it probably is a safe bet to say that with more and more Google services becoming available (which all need a Google login), the percentage is most likely to rise.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    "If you choose to click on an ad appearing on our search results page, your browser will continue to send the relevant query over the network to enable advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and to improve the ads and offers they present to you."

    TRANSLATION

    "If you're not paying us, then consider yourself completely in the dark"

    TOTAL BS.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaverickUK
    I don't get it, why did they decide to do this? Searching is practically anonymous anyway, now they're bitch slapping webmasters for some strange reason. Google is fast becoming a farce and I for one think Larry Page is possibly the biggest prick on the planet!
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  • Profile picture of the author farnamkia
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Come on people get a grip on reality.

      So, without anything from google, we have no SEO?

      Get real. Many of us could give a rat's hat about what
      google showed or did not show. Stats are just stats.


      I'm sure it may be a privacy thing. Does google promise not
      to sell, rent, or giveaway personal info? Then personal
      search would indeed be part of it.

      Anyone doing any logical SEO would know already that personal
      search results are not in the mix for doing normal SEO.

      Get a grip people. Personal search results should have already
      been eliminated, if one thought logically.

      Google is actually helping you out, if you choose to actually
      take notes.

      They will only show truly "organic" search info. Anyone should
      actually applaud this, as it is quite unique. Personal search
      results are something YOU should actually want to ignore.


      Once again, people twist stuff around and come up with BS.

      Seriously. If you are doing real SEO, customized personalized
      search results are an outlier, so to speak.

      It would be like doing a poll on whether you like drinking alcohol,
      but doing that poll in a bar. Would you not realize that polling
      people in a bar for that question is quite useless?

      Google is so smart, sometimes it's scary. Probably those who
      did not use Google Analytics, might give it a second look. No
      other service distinguishes between truly organic results and
      personalized results.

      How is this google taking over the world?!?!?! You use it, or
      not. The choice is yours. Get a grip people.

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Trapped
        Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

        Come on people get a grip on reality.

        So, without anything from google, we have no SEO?

        Get real. Many of us could give a rat's hat about what
        google showed or did not show. Stats are just stats.


        I'm sure it may be a privacy thing. Does google promise not
        to sell, rent, or giveaway personal info? Then personal
        search would indeed be part of it.

        Anyone doing any logical SEO would know already that personal
        search results are not in the mix for doing normal SEO.

        Get a grip people. Personal search results should have already
        been eliminated, if one thought logically.

        Google is actually helping you out, if you choose to actually
        take notes.

        They will only show truly "organic" search info. Anyone should
        actually applaud this, as it is quite unique. Personal search
        results are something YOU should actually want to ignore.


        Once again, people twist stuff around and come up with BS.

        Seriously. If you are doing real SEO, customized personalized
        search results are an outlier, so to speak.

        It would be like doing a poll on whether you like drinking alcohol,
        but doing that poll in a bar. Would you not realize that polling
        people in a bar for that question is quite useless?

        Google is so smart, sometimes it's scary. Probably those who
        did not use Google Analytics, might give it a second look. No
        other service distinguishes between truly organic results and
        personalized results.

        How is this google taking over the world?!?!?! You use it, or
        not. The choice is yours. Get a grip people.

        Paul
        Logical seo? Excuse me, but I got confused on that a bit. Does logical seo mean "try to guess what people search for and optimize your site for that keyword?" because if its that..oh lord, its like playing bingo, for most of the part. A good seo will rely on hard data (data that have been mined from the past or at the moment --> advertise on adwords to get some actual numbers to rely to = $$$ spent) .. so the only logic I see here is: don't waste time if there is no benefits.

        Google is doing us a favor you mention...I wonder how? Why on earth would personal search queries not be counted in as organic, when they actually are organic and why should I ignore data from people that are logged into their own G account? If I am logged into my G account and I search for a product then I land on your website and I buy that same product...it will mean that you have ZERO chance to see which keyword I searched that converted me from a regular guy into YOUR customer - through a organic search > organic traffic > but logged into my G account. Organic traffic = search engine traffic. Non organic traffic = ppc advertisement, referral from other sites via link, banner advertisement, url suggestion (via social network, email etc..). So what makes a person that is logged into their G account, searches on G for something and lands to your site a ... non organic?

        Funny enough all this privacy turns out after the GA Premium account launched and then.. G+ which would mean more people will remain logged in to their social network.

        Data scrapers and third party analytics are being put off. Media companies like Chitika will no longer have as accurate data as it has...so far, so they won't be able to adjust their market based on consumers demand = refine/retarget ads. It is just one step further to keep off the competition.

        I do not see this change to be made out for MY, your or Joe's privacy but rather Google's benefit. Me you or Joe are not really any threat to a huge company like G, but there are some serious competitors that are surviving for years to come and learning more and more to become serious competitors...and what would you do when you see a competitor and you are able to stop the water going through his land? Give him more water?
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  • Profile picture of the author David Tan
    that is just so WRONG! how on earth are ppl able to manage their conversions and campaigns then?
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Becks
    Glad I never use anything google related anyhow aside from gmail.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesM
    In my day job I'm a web developer specializing in analytics implementation. I work for a fairly large travel company and this initially looks to be a big deal for us. However, stats are always about *trends*, and if it's only keywords from logged in users (i.e. personalised searches) then if anything your organic trend data is ...

    Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

    Get a grip people. Personal search results should have already
    been eliminated, if one thought logically.

    Google is actually helping you out, if you choose to actually
    take notes.

    They will only show truly "organic" search info. Anyone should
    actually applaud this, as it is quite unique. Personal search
    results are something YOU should actually want to ignore.
    ^^^ That's it right there.

    Once I'd stopped running around thinking the sky was falling in I realised that this will actually give a truer indication of how your organic SERPs are performing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben S
    I remember reading somewhere that the percentage of logged in users is in the 5-10% range.

    Now they might change over time but will it affect stats too much? If you really (and I mean really) wanted to rely on the stats to the letter just add an average 5-10% back on again.
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    • Profile picture of the author dabesa
      Originally Posted by Ben S View Post

      I remember reading somewhere that the percentage of logged in users is in the 5-10% range.

      Now they might change over time but will it affect stats too much? If you really (and I mean really) wanted to rely on the stats to the letter just add an average 5-10% back on again.

      Hi guys,
      do you think the ~10% number of logged in users is realistic?
      Everyone using Gmail or other G services is logged in automatically.
      I still don't see my searches redirected to HTTPS, but my fear is that the impact will be much more than expected.

      To clarify, loosing the referrals and the keyword will have an impact on SEO optimization.

      Thanks
      D
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      • Profile picture of the author Mystery777
        Originally Posted by dabesa View Post

        Hi guys,
        do you think the ~10% number of logged in users is realistic?
        I think it's more than that. But even if it were only ~10%... that's still a significant percentage to ignore.

        I still don't see my searches redirected to HTTPS, but my fear is that the impact will be much more than expected.
        Got nice news for you: It is already here! And it doesn't look appealing at all.
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        • Profile picture of the author pasik
          Originally Posted by Mystery777 View Post

          I think it's more than that. But even if it were only ~10%... that's still a significant percentage to ignore.



          Got nice news for you: It is already here! And it doesn't look appealing at all.
          Have you noticed that this thread is over a year old? :rolleyes:
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          • Profile picture of the author Mystery777
            Originally Posted by pasik View Post

            Have you noticed that this thread is over a year old? :rolleyes:
            Yes I did. Is there a rule that prevents us from replying to old threads that are relevant to current status?
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