stages of grief - denial

The 5 Stages of Grieving for your Keyword Data Following the Arrival of 100% (Not Provided)

It’s official. Google is now moving towards encrypting all searches, meaning you’ll shortly see all Google organic keywords as (not provided) in your Google Analytics account. Cheers for that, Big G. Very useful.

Grieving the loss of your keyword data? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Thousands of SEOs have been through the pain you’re experiencing. Here’s what to expect throughout the next few hours/days/weeks/months as you come to terms with your loss.

1. Denial

stages of grief - denial

For me, this happened when Google first announced SSL search for signed in users.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “It’ll be alright,” I said. “They might make it available in Premium or something,” I tried to convince myself. Alas, my hopeless denial was short lived as each morning I woke up to a world with less keyword data than the day before. #sniffle

2. Anger

grieving keyword data stage 2 anger

When I realised my keyword data was gone forever, I whinged. I sulked on the Tecmark blog. And then I alluded to the fact that Google’s stance of ‘privacy’ was less than accurate and accused them of causing me migraines.

100% not provided data blog post

An excerpt from my 3rd rant about (not provided).

Offline, I swore a lot. Sorry, Nan. I called Google all sorts of names. I complained about it to everyone who’d listen to me.

3. Bargaining

Stage of grief not provided google bargaining

When your work brainstorming sessions turn into a 1o minute conversation about things you could bribe Google with to get your keyword data back, it’s gone too far. Stop. Stop it now.

4. Depression

stages of grief keyword data depression

To be honest, I think I skipped depression. I think I went straight from bargaining back to anger for a bit and then onto acceptance. But hey, we all grieve in our owns ways, right?

5. Acceptance

stages of grief acceptance google not provided

When you really have no choice in the matter and you realise that no amount of bribery, begging, praying, hoping or screaming will bring your keywords back, you simply accept. And then you figure it’s actually not the end of the world and there are still a few things you can do to  get some organic visitor insight:

  • Webmaster Tools
  • Insight from Bing
  • Insight from PPC
  • Filters to convert keyword data to landing pages

And ultimately, this doesn’t change how you work or why you’re working. Keep the end goal in mind, put the grief to one side. Yes, we have to work a tad harder for our insight now and some of us may have to change how we report certain things to certain clients. But really, in the grand scheme of things, what we do really hasn’t been hugely impacted by this.

So let’s relax a little and grab a cup of tea.

Speaking of Tea…

I turned a Google hat into a tea cosy. Unrelated, I know, but I’m really quite proud of it.

google tea cosy