Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Simon Fryer on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Wednesday, October 2, 2013).

What do you think of Google`s agenda behind masking keyword data?

We`re all aware of the arrival of (not provided) keywords in analytics recently, with Google claiming it was to offer privacy for searchers.

Has anyone noticed that keyword data has been removed from Webmaster Tools now since September 25th? 

What do you think this says about Google`s intentions for organic search, and their agenda behind masking keyword data?

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Collin Davis: Its a clear misuse of the power that they have now. The relationship of Google was based on the fact that we allow you to crawl our data and you then provide us with the information to improve our site.<br /><br />But now Google knows well that websites can&#39;t afford to live without Google. All these points of protecting user data is a facade because then they should also be masking PPC data which won&#39;t be the case because that will burn their pockets.<br /><br />Its just a way to push more companies towards PPC because when you don&#39;t have keyword data to refer back to, you need a reference point to see how they perform and in that case, only PPC can help you. So yeah, its unfair but there is little that one can do about it.
  • Simon Fryer:  ;I think we would all agree with you there.<br /><br /> ;Interestingly Bing was named as the back-end provider for Apple&#39;s iOS7 Siri searches. I think that with the rise of Windows 8 phones and Siri search we may be very pleased to see Bing claw back some market share.<br /><br />I hope so, because Bing Webmaster Tools rocks. ;
  • Slawomir Zdunek: I believe it is only a temporaty delay and the data in GWT will be available soon. John Mueller has confirmed that.
  • Jeff Smith: Yes, GWT data has been delayed before. Let&#39;s remember that it&#39;s a big software company; even  ;can have bugs and data processing issues. The volume and receptivity to conspiracy theories regarding Google sure has escalated a lot in the past week or two.
  • Simon Fryer: Hi  ;yes, this is true, and the data may well return this time.<br /><br />I not sure that I would call analyses of Google&#39;s business strategy &#39;conspiracy theories&#39;; it tends to devalue them unnecessarily.  ;
  • Simon Fryer: Thanks for the confirmation  ;
  • Jeff Smith:  ; It may not have been your intention, but when you use language like &quot;claim&quot; and &quot;agenda&quot; and a phrase like &quot;has been removed&quot;, you&#39;ve adopted a stance of mistrust and suspicion. Saying the data has been removed assumes intentionality rather than using a phrase like &quot;missing&quot;, which allows for any option, from intentionality to glitch or slow data processing. It&#39;s not just in this thread, it&#39;s happening all over the place.<br /><br />Where is the business strategy analysis? If Google intentionally halted keyword data from GWT, what would be the business benefit to Google? How would that decision make sense after they recently announced (within the past few weeks) that they would expand the keyword data to be available for one year and that they would expand the link data?<br /><br />In general, I think the SEO field has presumed there is always intentionality behind everything that happens with Google. The fact is, it&#39;s a huge company that makes software. Bugs are produced. Unanticipated side effects are produced. While Google produces amazing things, sometimes we give them too much credit (good or bad). ;
  • Simon Fryer:  ;All good points. I&#39;ll happily admit that my own opinions on Google make me biased. I would say, however, that everyone has an agenda. ;<br /><br />Really I wanted to open up the floor to hear what other people thought, so it&#39;s interesting to hear from you. ;<br /><br />Whilst bugs obviously occur (and in this instance it would seem this was the case) I struggle to come to terms with the idea of Google bungling through everything without a clear playbook, and am always looking for things which might provide us with more insight. ;
  • Sarvesh Bagla: Guys to me it all looks like a part of a bigger plan. Consider this... New keyword research tool is launched which shows substantially lower search volumes as compared to before. Then the Not Provided numbers increase in . Finally update is rolled out and the focus shifts from mere keywords to concepts. IMO it all points to one thing... wants us to focus on content not keywords<br /><br />
  • Greg Kristan:  ;I also think Bing Webmaster Tools rocks! Guys seriously also use Bing for webmaster tools. They provide way more than Google does...especially now!
  • Results SEO: They said it will be available in Webmaster Tools, now what???

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Wednesday, October 2, 2013).

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