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How Jewelers Can Deal With Google Analytics "(not provided)" Keywords

Two years ago in October 2011 Google crushed the SEO industry when they announced that they would be withholding keyword search phrase information from Google Analytics whenever someone searched a phrase while logged into the Google Account. Their reasoning at the time was to increase privacy protection for their registered users by forcing them to use an encrypted login. The encryption blocks keyword information.

Google Analytics keyword traffic reports would never be the same after that. The appearance of--the now infamous--phrase "not provided" started appearing in all SEO reports and businesses that live and die by their ranking in search results became infuriated.

Today, two year later, Google is further crushing the SEO industry by encrypting all search results in the USA, even if you are not logged in. This change will also cause all keyword reporting from to be blocked. What was once an inconvenience to deal with in the Organic Keywords report in Google Analytics ( Traffic Sources > Sources > Search > Organic ) is now going to obfuscate 75% or more of all keyword tracking.

Google says they are doing this to further protect their users' privacy. Protect them from what? We might never know.

In June 2012, eight months after encrypting Google Accounts, the social network Google+ was announced. Back then, to me, it seemed clear that the encrypted user accounts were a prelude to what they wanted to do on Google+. Could this new move with encrypting everything mean a new, larger scale Google+ unification is about to happen? Maybe we'll see that happening in the next 8 months, or maybe this is part of the complete revamp of the Google Algorithm that apparently rolled out the same time keywords were being sunk.

With the Google Analytics Organic Keyword report gone you are going to have to seriously rethink the content on your website. Most websites are sloppy and disorganized with how the content written and how pages are grouped and linked together. This needs to change.

Let's start that change with a topic I've been brow-beating you with for three years. Every page of your website needs to be written on a single topic.

These single topic pages are important because Google Analytics will still show the "Landing Page" through which people enter your site. When looking at this landing page report; you will be able to reasonably extrapolate that your website visitors are searching for keywords relating to the overall topic of those individual pages.

In other words, you need to change your thinking from targeting keywords to targeting topics. The landing page visitor report will tell you if you are successfully attracting visitors to those topics, rather than specific keywords.

The next part of the change is going to be even more difficult than organizing a single topic per page. Navigation linking needs to be rethought again.

In the past few years, many jewelry website have slowly migrated to a navigation technique that uses drop down menus at the top of all their pages that link to every page of their site. Most jewelers have fewer than 50 web pages--not counting the blog or product catalog--so this drop-down menu works well for them. The good thing about every-page-linking is that the visitor can jump from any page of the site to any other page of the site with a simple hover of the mouse. The blog and the product catalog usually have their own self contained navigation.

The problem with these drop down menus is that this type of every-page-linking doesn't help Google or Bing understand how your website is organized. This is called a flat website structure because every page is linked from the home page.

A different strategy was more common a few years ago, and we might have to migrate back to it. It's called the "Silo Structure" where you organize your pages into groups of similar topics and then only link those like-topic pages together. Every group has a main, master page that introduces the group as a whole and links to all the sub pages.

In the past, this Silo Structure was used to help Google, Bing, and Yahoo understand that you created similar pages that should be indexed together. Many webmasters gave up on the Silo Structure when Google became smarter over time, leaving the topic/group organization to Google rather than doing it for them.

Even though Google is sinking our keywords into an abyss of "not provided," there are advanced techniques that SEO professionals can take to still figure out the keywords. But it's going to take time. That time translates into higher professional SEO service fees.

For the small jewelry store business that doesn't have a large budget to hire an SEO professional, I see no alternative other than using the silo structure and single topic pages. This website content strategy will help you understand how your site is ranking for topics rather than specific keywords.

AT: 09/30/2013 04:10:01 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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