Last Monday was the day SEO died as we know it.  All those lovely keywords in your analytics accounts showing all your Google search referral traffic are now dead, even though we have been seeing it die a “not provided” death for a couple of years now.  SEOs have been bitching and complaining about it since the flow of Google keywords shut off last Monday morning, although it won’t do one whit of good. Google-Products

Then, to kick a horse when it’s down, Google has gone and shut off all the keyword data in Google webmaster tools, which has been touted as the magical rainbows and unicorns workaround for SEOs. Supposedly it is a “bug”, but timing seems a bit suspicious, and I fully anticipate this “bug” will be permanent.

Google, from their perspective, is sitting pretty. They’re getting great press from switching to secured searches for all their users, whether logged in or not, and are coming off as the Golden boy. Not that secured searches is a bad thing, but when you’re trying to figure out conversions from keywords from natural search results, it’s pretty much impossible.

And what is the magical way for SEOs to get keyword lists right now? If you want it from Google, the only option is the paid for Google AdWords ads for all those keywords to get it.  So you better fire up those AdWords accounts that have been gathering dust while your search is killing it in the natural search results.  Otherwise, hope and pray that Bing does something to increase their search market share.

If you are an SEO, you are probably could be floundering. A huge part of ranking is knowing what keywords you need to be ranking for, or improve those rankings for.  If you can’t tell what a particular  landing page’s keywords are for converting, you’re flying blind.

The situation is even worse if we’re not talking about your own personal fights, but client sites. How are you to be able to give them legitimate ranking reports and conversion reports if you can’t even tell them what keywords are converting for them? Will this drive more of these advertisers to go the paid route because at least that can be authenticated?

Companies are going to be very skittish to invest a lot of money into an SEO company that can’t even show ROI for their spend, through no fault of its own.  A company that is paying $20,000 to an SEO company doesn’t care if Google is doing secured searches are not. They want to know the actual keywords that are bringing traffic to their site and which of those keywords are the ones that are bringing in the most money to the company. If an SEO company can only show an increased amount of traffic, without any kind of accountability to the quality of the traffic, or the keywords, there have a tough time mulling onto those clients unless they’re making buckets of money and don’t care where the conversions are coming from.

It also opens the doors for some pretty sketchy companies to do a lot of shady things. I won’t go into a lot of detail, because spammers are already planning to take advantage of this, but if a website can’t tell if their traffic is coming from quality search keywords versus horrible ones, the accountability is gone. Scummy SEO Agency can send anyone boatloads of traffic for some pretty shady keywords that won’t convert for shit once the users land on the website, but from all analytical reports, it just shows “Wow, look at all this great traffic we are getting!”  It will happen.

We had many long years enjoying all those fabulous and free keywords from Google.  RIP.

 

By seobitch

Seobitch is a pen name for a well known female expert in the SEO industry that most of you likely already follow. She has more than a dozen years experience and is a very respected expert in the field. Seobitch can be controversial but writes about issues that most people are afraid to talk about due to their employers, clients or friends. She also loves to tackle industry issues from a different point of view than what you normally see the "complainers" of the industry complaining about. She is also open to suggestions for future topics you would like to see the SEObitch tackle.

18 thoughts on “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Google feels fine”
  1. All you SEO whiney bitches need to suck it eff up all ready. The world changed, SHOCKING, I know, right? Well guess what, it changes all the damn time. Stop with the pity party and get with the program all ready. OH NO I HAVE TO PAY FOR ADVERTISING?!?! Shock and awe. Deal with it bitches. Google is our evil overlord, come to terms with it.

  2. I am still reeling from the shock of it all. Google claims it wants to be a tool for businesses and then it goes and pulls this crap and we’re all supposed to just smile and nod in approval? So frustrating.

  3. […] It’s the End of the World as We Know It, and Google Feels Fine […]

  4. This may be a noob question, but.. what happens to the niche programs that help with niche keywords. Will the still work? or will these paid programs no longer work for the niche webmasters anymore.. and even worse for the programmer who created it?

  5. Google giveth, and Google taketh away.

    Hopefully I am still ranking for “skinheads” because that is such an awesome keyword!!

  6. Now that SEO as we know it is dead, what is the solution? Where are our wizard programmers who are destined to fix this with their amazing dream software? At least we can leverage our ad dollars and know what keywords we are bidding for…so programmers, IT gods and alpha IT conquistadores: create a program and fix this by allowing the program to show us the metrics, the keywords, trends and cost of our ad dollars, etc., so that we can go on with business as usual. 🙂

  7. Google can create and destroy jobs within 1 day. Overnight, many marketers and companies will close down.

    If you never learn anything, learn this: making money through Google can be profitable, yet it’s just a dream. You can lose everything when Google wakes up.

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