In the name of privacy Google has been stripping away one by one the tools website owners and SEOs have used to identify important keywords that drive organic traffic.
First, it was Google’s announcement that they were moving only to https:// and that they would no longer supply keyword data for organic search activity in your Google Analytics account. This was sold to the public as a way to keep you the user secure from prying eyes. The dreaded “not provided” for keyword data started to appear in all Google Analytics accounts for more than 60% of the recorded traffic.
Now Google is stating that they will not even flow AdWords search terms into Google Analytics. Although I do not believe that this change can be passed off as a user security enhancement, it clearly is a move on Google’s part to enhance their own ROI. Due to this soon to be enacted change, the only way a website owner can now know AdWords search terms is to login to their own Google AdWords account. Some data is available in the Google Webmaster Tools site but only the top 2,000 queries and only for a 30 day period. This data will no longer appear in Google Analytics.
“This change means that Google AdWords is not becoming the world’s most lucrative keyword search tool.” Nancy McCord, President of McCord Web Services
Remember when you used to pay for a subscription to WordTracker so you could optimize your own or client website’s with words with a high KEI index? Is this the direction that AdWords is moving in? Do we need to have a running AdWords account while we are optimizing a website so we can see keyword traffic?
To me it seems like Google has decided to start closing access to their own services and are moving to a pay to play model.