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Brian Pasch

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Could Google Block 100% Of Keyword Referral Traffic Signals?

By Brian Pasch

Today, a number of my automotive marketing peers found a blog post by Ralf Skirr that created some "alarm" amongst SEO strategists.

In his article "Another Blow For SEOs", Ralf stated that Google's policy to hide the specific keywords for organic referral traffic is reaching 75%, on a select group of websites.

According to Google "when SSL search is employed (e.g., if the user is signed in to a Google account, or using the Firefox search bar), Keyword will have the value (not provided)."  We are now hearing that Google will be blocking data from users NOT logged into Google! 

The reference website that Ralf uses in his blog post states that by Dec 2013, 100% of keywords will be blocked for certain websites.  This "change" would be a significant blow for weak SEO consultants. 

This prediction of 100% blocking may not hold water for automotive dealership websites, today.  Could it be around the corner?  Sure.    I have not seen a definitive statement from Google today. Traffic patterns this week are no different from last week.  So, we must wait and see what happens. 

In fact, fellow SEO consultant, Tim Martell commented on my Facebook post that he has seen some dealership websites at the 60% level. 


Is Automotive SEO Dead?

Of course this claim would cause a stir for automotive marketing professionals!  So, I created this video to explain to the automotive industry, what I see today and what we can do in the future. 

Take a minute to watch this video:

25-30+% Of Organic Traffic Is Blocked

My research shows that "not provided" traffic is on the increase, but nowhere near  100% of the organic traffic that predicted. For this Toyota dealer, 31% of there traffic was organic.  Of the organic traffic, 23.6% of the keywords that generated organic traffic was blocked. Not Provided Traffic

What Can Dealers Do For Keyword Research?

So, there are a number of things that dealers can do to compensate for the Google "keyword masking" policy:

  1. Look at the keywords in your Adwords campaigns that get a good number of clicks and see how you rank organically for those terms.
  2. Look at Google Webmaster Tools for keyword opportunities where you are not in positions 1, 2, or 3.
  3. Look at the popular entry pages to your website that are associated with these blocked keywords.
  4. Invest in 3rd party keyword tools like

So, the end of the Automotive SEO world is not here, but the trend of blocked keywords is on the increase!   We will just have to work a little harder and Google's latest moves will seperate the "SEO men" from the "SEO boys". . this job is never boring! 

If you found this article and video helpful, please share it on Twitter and Facebook.


Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Consulting



Brian Pasch
Also, Rand Fiskin has posted a video on this very topic, that if this is to come to pass, what marketing professionals can do.

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