Google Stops Keyword Tracking with Secure Connections
If you have a website, chances are you are tracking how your visitors found you online by using Google Analytics or another statistics program on your server. Have you recently noticed an increasing number of ‘not provided’ in your keyword list? This isn’t an error with your tracking program or Google, it’s because Google has stopped keyword tracking by using secure connections.
Now you must be scratching your head wondering “why?? why would they do this to me??”. Well, you may have noticed (or not) that when you’re on chrome, or signed in to your Gmail or normal Google account, everything you do is encrypted with an HTTPS connection. This means everything you’re doing, including searching, is done via a secure connection. This secure connection is what’s stopping your organic keywords clicks from being recorded by your stats program and even Google Analytics. Now you may think this is a huge problem and all your organic SEO efforts are now down the toilet, because you won’t necessarily be able to see which keyword your visitors used to find your website, right? Well, it’s not so bad really..
Other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo, have not adopted this policy (as yet, anyways) so you will still be able to see many keywords people used to find your website. Also don’t forget, the keyword meta tag is not important when considering Google.. The Googlebot ignores the keyword meta tag anyways, and ranks you based on many other factors like:
- How descriptive is your content?
- How many times have you used your keyword/key phrase in your content?
- What is your text to page size ratio?
- How many quality incoming links do you have to your site?
Any many more. Don’t forget that with proper organic SEO, you should be naming your pages with your main key phrase for that page anyways, so by spending a bit more time going through your statistics, you should still have a good idea about how popular your pages are, how many times each page was clicked, etc and compare that with your traffic sources report.