What Google’s New ‘Keyword Not Provided’ Encryption Updates Mean for Merchandisers?
The days of receiving highly valuable organic search keyword data from Google have ended. Google announced this fall that it will be encrypting organic search activity, allowing sites to see only that someone came from Google, but not what keywords they used. With organic search accounting for up to 50 percent of all website traffic, and Google accounting for 60 percent of the search market, the announcement has online retailers scrambling to find new ways to preserve traffic, intelligence and share of voice.
This change is particularly unfortunate given the impact Google's new Hummingbird algorithm, most notably the support for more "conversational search," could have had on the intelligence derived from organic search traffic. Google's new focus on intent vs. individual keywords is a big step toward the natural search experiences that consumers crave, but insight gained from queries will no longer be accessible by the sites that Google links to. What are retailers to do? Here are some solutions:
Give shoppers more reasons to engage on your site. As Google becomes more naturally engaging, so too can your website. Google's Hummingbird sets a new precedent for engagement and discovery, and now retailers must keep up the pace to provide a more "conversational" website experience.
Step up your intelligence game. The wealth of new merchandising criteria and intelligence that can be uncovered through on-site interactions is limitless, but depends on two things: one, opportunities for shoppers to naturally express how they think about a product and purchase and two, the ability to turn interaction data into merchandising intelligence and identified opportunities. This information allows online retailers to derive the unique attributes that drive shopper interest, ultimately fueling search engine optimization.
Tap into unstructured product content and create a new feedback loop. Natural search is one of the richest sources of product discovery criteria and a cost-efficient feedback loop for merchandising optimization. However, there are great alternative sources — on and off your site: