Have you started seeing a new item in your Google Analytics keyword report that says (not provided)? Instead of showing you the keyword that users typed into Google to find your site, you see an item that says (not provided).
Google has just made huge changes in how they are presenting their search results. And this has major implications for your online presence.
The big change is that Google has begun to personalize search results. That's a pretty big deal, right? They actually made that change in 2009 and most people didn't even notice.
The big change I am talking about is what is referred to as Google Search results plus your world. These results are largely based upon what your contacts are sharing within Google+. Don't have a Google+ account? Doesn't matter. Even if you are not signed into a Google Account, Google will begin showing you results based upon past searches that you have conducted through the use of browser cookies.
One of the first items I have most of my clients do is to submit their information to Google Local Business Center. In doing so, Google finds out the important information about your business. That information then shows up in the "Local Business Results" section of a Google Search Result, just like this image:
Research company Hitwise just reported that Facebook passed Google as the most visited website in the USA last week. Facebook had 7.07% of all visits to the web and Google had 7.03%. The bigger side to this story is that Facebook's traffic is growing at rapid rates while Google's traffic has more or less plateaued.
This has enormous implications for online marketing. What this says is that people trust Friend Results more than Google Search Results. This may be obvious to marketers everywhere, but have online marketing companies changed tactics for their clients?