Google has just announced it is removing access to organic keywords data if the user is logged in to Google while searching.

Knowing which keywords are used by site visitors is one of the ways to ensure that website content is relevant. Web analytics users can identify popular keywords that web visitors use in search to reach the website and whether these visitors bounce or go on to convert e.g. buy something. However, this new change means that analytics’ users will no longer see the keywords used by a proportion of their visitors.

Google have positioned this as a positive change i.e. increasing privacy protection for signed in Google users when using organic search.

The initial reaction from industry observers is mostly negative. Many remark that it doesn’t offer the same ‘protection’ to signed in Google users who click on a pay per click ad. Others complain this change was implemented to prevent compeitor networks accessing this valuable keyword data.

The effect of this ‘loss of data’ will vary from site to site depending on the percentage of visits from organic searchers logged into Google.