Google Searches Now Secure – What Does This Mean For My SEO Campaign?

Within the past week Google has decided to make all of their searches secure. As a result, the organic keyword data from Google searches in Google Analytics will no longer be provided.

Below we will do our best to answer the most frequently asked questions we have received since notifying a few of our clients of this change.

What is a secure search?

We are not computer security experts so we do not know or understand all the technicalities, but what we do know is if you click on this link,, you will notice the ‘http’ will change to ‘https’.  The ‘https’ means you are communicating securely on an Internet network, which limits the data received in Google Analytics.

Previously only users who were logged into their Google Account (gmail, docs, calendar…) performed secure, ‘https’ searches.

What Do You Mean By No More Keyword Data?

When you login to your Google Analytics go to: Traffic Sources> Sources > Search > Organic (see image below). You will see a list of keywords that people searched to find your website. You will also see a ‘(not provided)’ keyword. The ‘(not provided)’ means the user performed a secure ‘https’ search… meaning we do not know what they searched to find your site. This is how all searches from Google will appear going forward.

Not Provided Keywords In Google Analytics Organic Search Traffic Report

How Do I Know What Keywords People Are Searching to Find My Business?

In short, if they are searching on Google you simply will not know. However, if they search on Bing, Yahoo, or another search engine the organic keyword data  should still be available.

Why Did Google Do This?

No one knows for sure. Industry speculation ranges from the constant pressure Google receives to tighten its security on personal data (most likely the reason), to Google wanting website developers and SEOs to stop focusing on keywords and start focusing on content, to Google flat out punishing SEOs (which is absurd).

What Does this Mean For My SEO Campaign?

Other than not being able to see the keyword data in Analytics, nothing changes. We will continue to create user-appealing content focused on either driving conversions or useful information that people will share socially (depending on the page’s or post’s goal). User-appealing content is what matters. Why? If people click on your site and leave then the keyword data would be a waste of time anyways.  As long as people are visiting and staying on your site the results will come in time.

Will We Have Any Idea If People Are Finding Us On Google?

Yes. In Analytics we can still see the organic traffic source just not the keyword.

Other Questions?

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us or comment below… We will be more than happy to assist you.

St. Louis Digital Media, LLC is an internet marketing company located in St. Louis Missouri. We do everything from website design to search engine optimization to pay-per-click management.