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Google (Not Provided) SEO - 5 Tips

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(not provided)

(not worried)

When Google announced keywords will no longer be available in organic search analytics the SEO world freaked out and rightly so.


Google Not Provided

For over 10 years now SEO consultants like myself  have relied on keyword referrals in organic search reports to show  clients how well our campaign is doing. Now we don't get that  convenience anymore.

Couple that with the fact that SEO rankings  mean less and less every year for the past 4 years and suddenly SEO  consultants and agencies are scrambling to find better reporting methods  and metrics.

So now that you've lost your organic search keyword data from Google, what do you do? Well there's still plenty of work arounds:

Focus on performing content

Sort  your content in organic search by a metric like visits or better yet  conversion rate. Study those higher traffic or converting pages to determine what made your content so successful.

Look  at the title tag, the headings, content, shares and inbound links to  those top performing pages and see what's causing them to perform so  well in organic search.  Rinse, repeat.

Extrapolate from Bing/Yahoo!

What  the hell is Bing? Oh yeah, microsoft's search thingy. Unlike Google,  Bing still provides keyword referral data in analytics software. This is  worth noting because Bing's total search market share is around 30% including their acquired Yahoo! index.

Just take the search traffic for your keywords from Bing and divide by 0.30.

Google Adwords PPC Campaigns

You  can still get keyword data from Google AdWords and they'll probably  continue showing that data indefinitely since that's what you're bidding  on. Simply run AdWords campaigns for your top performing keywords  before the (not provided) crisis occurred.

Use  performance metrics such as CTR and better yet conversion rates to  determine which keywords you should at least try to rank for.

Historical Keyword Data

You'll  reach a point of diminishing returns with this method and as time  progresses your historical data will fade into inaccuracy. For the time  being though, look at keywords that performed well for you over the past  month or so before the (not provided) crisis.

Odds are people will still be searching many of your historically driver keywords for a while longer.

Rankings Deduction

Just  as we're about to throw the rankings out with the bath water Google  makes a change like this and forces us to depend on rankings a little  more.

If you're ranking for a certain set of keywords and  you're getting organic search traffic, odds are you're getting traffic  from some of your keywords more so on a long-tail basis.

Rand covered some of these in his recent article on the first real threat to SEO.

My  favorite thing about the (not provided) crisis is it forces us to look  at the bigger picture which has been beckoned at by the Inbound  Marketing standard-bearers of our age like HubSpot and Moz with 100k  more to follow.  We have to look at all the various parts such as social  content sharing, email marketing, usability, conversion rates, ad  revenue, investments in content, link building and more.

My second  favorite thing about this new change is it takes the SEO competition,  the folks who can't or don't want to keep up and places a gulf between  them and us.  We understand that if anything SEO is as powerful today as  it's ever been. It's more difficult to do now but that means higher  fees, more effective campaigns in comparison to top competition, and  better focus on key metrics as opposed to just rankings and traffic.

Now  we ultimately have to answer the questions of organic search ROI and  not try to bullshit our clients with huge keyword reports.

What do you think about Google (not provided) and do you have any SEO tips to add to this list?


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Jeremiah Smith
Jeremiah Smith

Jeremiah is Chief Executive Officer at SimpleTiger, responsible for high level vision, team growth, partnerships, and revenue generation as well as sometimes consulting clients directly.

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