Google's most recent update serves to enhance the effectiveness of a robust SEO strategy instead of diminishing its impact.
In a recent policy revision, Google has made changes to its privacy policies, resulting in Google Analytics no longer providing reports on the most frequently used keywords to reach a particular website. Instead, researchers will now encounter the phrase "(not provided)." What does this mean for SEO strategists? Developing an SEO strategy now requires more than relying solely on data. It is no longer as simple as relying on Google to provide a list of effective keywords and blindly following it. Crafting an SEO strategy now demands a more comprehensive understanding of the market.
Experienced SEO strategists may not view this change as a significant shift. Industry leaders were already accustomed to formulating strategies based on a deep understanding of target user personas. However, digital marketers across the board have lost the ability to employ one-dimensional SEO strategies that solely rely on keyword rankings. They have also lost the ability to present keyword rankings to their clients as a surefire way to justify their strategic decisions.
Fortunately, this algorithm change does not impact the execution of SEO strategies. The same proven best practices for content creation, optimization, and link building still apply. What has changed is how marketers shape the direction for these executions, which has become an even more critical step in the SEO process.
In a broader context, this adjustment reflects Google's ongoing commitment to providing users with the best search results. Encrypting keyword data is one of several measures implemented to prevent digital marketers from manipulating trends to achieve higher rankings that may not align with the quality of their content. This implies that, now more than ever, strategists should focus on creating relevant content that genuinely appeals to Google users, rather than attempting to deceive Google's algorithm. As Google continues to update its algorithm with user experience in mind, this remains the only sustainable long-term strategy.
As mentioned earlier, this strategy necessitates SEO strategists to consider multiple data points. Instead of relying solely on a keyword list, they must become experts in their respective markets and leverage a profound understanding of their target user personas. In this way, Google's changes do not undermine the effectiveness of a good SEO strategy; they actually amplify it.