As the browser wars continue, Google Chrome begins to take more of a share away from Internet Explorer, but the latest announcement that Google searches done via Chrome would utilize SSL layers has many SEO pundits up in arms.
According to the Chromium Blog, this change will hit with Chrome 25 which is currently in development and it will occur with both users who are signed in to Google and now with users who are not signed in to Google. To be fair, all browsers have implemented this action and most have been utilizing it for over a year now. The change protects users from information being seen by anyone malicious who might be trying to intercept their queries and use them accordingly. Once the newest version of Chrome hits the market, it’s affect on keyword research could take a nasty hit.
The problem that this creates is that it hides the keyword the person used from analytics programs, so instead of being able to see what the person is searching for, the keyword is shown as simply “not set” or “keyword not provided” since the data is hidden and not passed on after the click. Since a majority of searches are done via Google, this will make it increasingly difficult to analyze what keywords are working and which aren’t.
It’s said that Google Analytics shouldn’t take too much of a hit, but we found completely otherwise in our research with “not provided” showing up more than any others and increasing every month. Some report double digit increases every quarter. As for external programs such as IBP, Webtrends, SAS and others will become less dominant in that field making any keyword research data culled from Google searches useless. And what choice do the other search providers like Yahoo! and Bing have but to also follow the same trend or be seen as “not secure” and for the most part, they have already followed suit.
It’s hard to argue against user security, but it will make the task of keyword research even more difficult to pinpoint when trying to assess what works and what doesn’t. How are you planning to accommodate for this change in your keyword research strategy or will this even affect you at all?
by Chris Horton
As of this writing there are 3 major search engine players and they are Google, Yahoo! and Bing (previously called Live and before that MSN). I would say “in no specific order”, but that would be untrue. The order I gave them to you is the order that people use them. When you build a website, you have to let the search engines actually know about it and that process is called indexing. Think of a library. Your website is a book. The library is the internet. The librarian is the search engine spider and the library computer the librarian uses is the index (just like it is in real life).
If you were to write a great book (your website) and put it into the library (the internet), you wouldn’t just simply walk in and put it onto the library shelves. Nobody would find it unless it’s in the computer system. The only way that people could find you is if the librarian (the search engine spider) looks at the book to find out what it’s about and then puts it into the system (the index) so that people could find it. Then people could come into the library, put in what they’re looking for, find your book and check it out. And if more people check it out, the librarian makes note of that and will steer people to that book more often since she’s seeing that more people like it. That’s also why it’s important that your book is clear on what it’s about so that it can be properly indexed. In short, you have to make sure that the librarian knows your book exists. Simply building a website that is out on the internet means nothing. Ok. Enough of that analogy.
The way you do that is to submit the website to the search engines either by hand, using a submission service, or letting them find you via a link posted on another site that is already indexed like someone’s blog, link page, etc.. It’s been debated as to which is best and in truth, it really doesn’t matter although having the spiders find it on their own is supposedly a better option. Hogwash. It doesn’t matter how it gets there.
Once a person goes to a search engine, they simply enter the keyword they’re interested in and the engine returns a list of results based on a variety of factors. These factors are things like the age of the website, how many people link to it, the content of the website, what the page actually says, whether the page is even relevant to what they searched for and so much more. In some cases, the search engine will completely ignore the site age, and inbound links (links on other websites that link to yours) and just let it rank well because it thinks it’s very relevant based on how you placed text on the page.
Essentially, you could outrank a site that’s WAY more relevant than yours simply based on how you set up the page, adjusted your title tags, etc. And that’s what I’m primarily going to focus on during this SEO guide. How to get ranked as quickly as possible even though you haven’t set up any link partners, barely have any inbound links, how to structure your site and text, information, body text, etc to get quick results. I’m not going to ignore the important things, but you want quick results and that’s what I plan to give you. This is not about cheating the system. It’s about structuring your website to rank well on the major search engines and giving them what they want. Well most of what they want.
I will preface this by saying that there have been some sites that just can’t be helped at all. Sometimes well established sites are the worst to pull out of the mire. Especially ones with dynamic databases where the content is built on the fly based on what the person wants to see because there’s so much information that you simply could not build physical pages for each possibility. For instance, if you have 50 states and 10 categories, then you would have to create 500 physical pages so that each state has a page for each category. That’s mostly why databases are created is to alleviate that problem and give the user what they want on the fly. If they search for Georgia Photographer, the site goes to the database and pulls the names of the photographers from Georgia and just creates a page dynamically. Those could typically have the worst SEO nightmares sometimes. If that’s you, don’t lose heart. Make sure all of this other stuff is in line first.