More details posted by Bill Hartzer early today

http://www.billhartzer.com/pages/google-no-longer-passing-keyword-referral-data-for-all-users/

 

Wow, I knew this day was coming at some point, but I really didn’t expect that this change would happen this soon. Google no longer is passing keyword referral data through to websites. Google just made a huge change: if you search at Google, it appears that all searches (even from http://www.google.com/) are now secure, https searches. For all users. Even those who are not logged in.

What does this mean? Website owners will no longer receive keyword referral data from Google (organic search). We will not know what someone searched for in order to find our website. Website owners will no longer be able to target certain keywords because we will not know what someone searched for and then converted.

keyword not provided

"According to Not Provided Count, the “not provided” count is estimated at going up to 100 percent in December 2013. However, since this change, I suspect that Google “not provided” keyword data is going to be 100 percent within a few days, not weeks.

Here is how Google is doing this."

Focus on SMALL BUSINESSES HURT - not me

Hi Steve, 

 

This is NOT about me. PR agencies are still asking bloggers to publish useful content that has a link to their client in the bio. THEY are going to get their clients slapped with an unnatural link penalty because they do not know about nofollow and neither does the average blogger. 

 

The point is Google penalizes small businesses that never hired a PR or SEO agency and never built links. They hide their products in Google product search. They send them worthless traffic and don't show their businesses or products for the money phrases in organic search. They intentionally created a zero sum winner-take-all game with AdWords. 

 

Google is DANGEROUS and while I do NOT expect SEOs or anyone else to publicly go against Google because to do so invites penalties, it is high time people quit defending Google's practices and insisting that only those who intentionally or even accidentally broke the rules deserve to end up with their employees in unemployment lines and losing what they built over years - often 10-12+ years. 

 

Businesses that are 100% innocent of any wrongdoing ARE being damaged. SEOs need to stop claiming that never happens. That recovering from unnatural links penalties is almost impossible is evident: 

 

Any time spent trying to recover a site that has been penalized is a waste of money. Even Michael Gray changed domains. That is how his site "recovered". 

 

Barry Schwartz on SEO Roundtable: Only 15% Say The Disavow Tool Benefits Their Rankings

 

“If you got hit by a penalty for bad links you’re probably looking at 6 months to a year to recover after you clean things up.” ~ Google spokesperson John Mueller in his Closing Keynote at SMX Israel.

 

Anyone who blames the victims of Google is making this situation worse. 

Focus on SMALL BUSINESSES HURT - not me

Hi Steve, 

 

This is NOT about me. PR agencies are still asking bloggers to publish useful content that has a link to their client in the bio. THEY are going to get their clients slapped with an unnatural link penalty because they do not know about nofollow and neither does the average blogger. 

 

The point is Google penalizes small businesses that never hired a PR or SEO agency and never built links. They hide their products in Google product search. They send them worthless traffic and don't show their businesses or products for the money phrases in organic search. They intentionally created a zero sum winner-take-all game with AdWords. 

 

Google is DANGEROUS and while I do NOT expect SEOs or anyone else to publicly go against Google because to do so invites penalties, it is high time people quit defending Google's practices and insisting that only those who intentionally or even accidentally broke the rules deserve to end up with their employees in unemployment lines and losing what they built over years - often 10-12+ years. 

 

Businesses that are 100% innocent of any wrongdoing ARE being damaged. SEOs need to stop claiming that never happens. That recovering from unnatural links penalties is almost impossible is evident: 

 

Any time spent trying to recover a site that has been penalized is a waste of money. Even Michael Gray changed domains. That is how his site "recovered". 

 

Barry Schwartz on SEO Roundtable: Only 15% Say The Disavow Tool Benefits Their Rankings

 

“If you got hit by a penalty for bad links you’re probably looking at 6 months to a year to recover after you clean things up.” ~ Google spokesperson John Mueller in his Closing Keynote at SMX Israel.

 

Anyone who blames the victims of Google is making this situation worse. 

Did you read the quote from the small business?

“Our family run business has been destroyed by Google’s animal updates."

 

What will it take for people to understand?  Aaron Wall at SEOBook publishes the quote where Google's CEO proclaims: 

The internet is fast becoming a "cesspool" where false information thrives,... "Brands are the solution, not the problem," Mr. Schmidt said. "Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.http://www.seobook.com/google-branding

 

Let me put it more clearly. Google puts small businesses OUT of business intentionally. Here are just a few examples: 

  • Online only ecommerce engraved gift seller builds sales to over $1.2 M over 12 years. The MayDay update takes 1/3 of their traffic, Panda and they're down to half. Penguin and they're done. What happens to their employees? No corporations I know of even sell engraved gifts. Prior to the algo updates Google hides their products for only the phrases that convert to sales in Google Product search. Screen captures showing how this is done in http://growmap.com/farmer-update-google-competitors/
  • Online only manufacturer and wholesaler builds a business over about that same time. Penguin takes 58% of their traffic, apparently because they created a lot of content about their one primary product and most organically acquired links use the name of that one primary product as the anchor text. 
  • Online only business worth $3.3 million built over a decade. They are #4 in their space. eBay buys #1 in their space. Suddenly they stop ranking for money keyword phrases and lose 70% of their traffic and income. They never built a single link; never hired an SEO (before that traffic drop - when the best SEO I know confirmed there was no negative SEO, no manual penalty - NOTHING to explain their traffic drop).

 

The propaganda is that Google's also updates are mostly aimed at people cheating. I call b.s. and point you to this analysis that clearly shows the Panda update bashed competitors to Google: http://growmap.com/farmer-update-google-competitors/

 

So not only did Google take the ecommerce stores traffic away, they also tried to kill off extremely useful sites like TheFind and ShopWiki which allow consumers to find small businesses to buy from directly.

 

Who benefits if we can't find them? Google and Amazon - the Wal-mart of ecommerce. We should support small businesses and buy from them directly, or through others such as NewEgg which carries much of what Amazon does and is a small business. 

 

I would argue that towns shortsighted desire for malls killed off downtowns. That subsidizing corporations like Wal-mart who transfer their costs of doing business onto the taxpayer, refuse to pay a living wage so that their employees are on government assistance by design (and indeed have people HELP THEM to get on the dole) is as stupid as letting Google control the Internet. 

My point is make Google irrelevant if you are a smallbiz

The game is fixed. My entire point is that we need to STOP putting more time into trying to rank on Google. We need to IGNORE Google altogether and invest that time and those resources in getting visibility where potential buyers already are, bringing them back to our sites, capturing their attention and building relationships with them. 

 

Any time spent trying to recover a site that has been penalized is a waste of money. Even Michael Gray changed domains. That is how his site "recovered". 

 

Barry Schwartz on SEO Roundtable: Only 15% Say The Disavow Tool Benefits Their Rankings

 

“If you got hit by a penalty for bad links you’re probably looking at 6 months to a year to recover after you clean things up.” ~ Google spokesperson John Mueller in his Closing Keynote at SMX Israel.

Dr Pete's response to my question on Reddit:

Dr Pete's response to my question on Reddit: "As marketers, we have to cut our dependence - not just on Google, but on search in general. We have to get back to connecting - in person, online, wherever and we have to diversify. Too many sites are getting 90%+ of their traffic from Google, and that's dangerous - replace Google with anything you want and no matter how good or bad Google is, it would still be dangerous.

 

At some point, the rules may change to the point that organic search is nearly irrelevant, and if your business is 100% reliant on that traffic, your business will cease to exist. I don't say that to be alarmist, but just because none of us really know. I don't want to have to wonder every morning how Google might change the game. Better to stop playing it, if only little by little.

 

As for Moz, the truth is that building an index and building a search engine are miles apart. I can honestly say Moz has no plans to be in the search game in that way - the math just doesn't work. We will evolve beyond search to focus on content, social, and the emerging world of what people need to track, while trying to balance the reality of where people are in 2014."  http://www.reddit.com/r/bigseo/comments/1xm8nm/hey_im_dr_pete_meyers_marketing_scientist_moz_ama/

I wish people would stop blaming their victims

This is a really long post, but well worth reading. Most know how I feel about what is going on so I will spare them - at least for now. I commented on that post somewhere, but don't see it at that link. I don't expect Google to stop being evil, but I really wish people would stop blaming their victims as though they set out to be damaged on purpose. That is how they can continue behaving the way they do - because so many will latch on to any little thing to make the victims the cause of their own damage. 

Disavows filed by people who have no idea what sites to list

If Google uses data from disavows, they may as well throw in the towel. The tools that people use to recover from unnatural outbound link penalties list major sites and the people using them don't know any better. 

Even the sites with the toughest Editorial policies are getting disavowed. Sites that have strong editors ignore removal requests and that will get the people trying to recover to disavow their sites. What a huge mess this is.