Keyword (Not Provided). Thanks, Google.

Any SEO worth their salt will know that keyword (not provided) is a big issue. As Google continues to refine its algorithms, it’s always seemed that they were doing so with positive user experience in mind. But not this time. Google, this is for you:

keyword (not provided)

Because some things are too important to lose…

What to do when your keyword is (not provided)

I’d recommend taking a look at Moz’s Whiteboard Tuesday video for a really valuable overview from Rand Fishkin:

I’d also suggest a read of Abra Millar’s post for Hallam Internet, where she summarises well what SEOs can do when faced with (not provided):

Life after Keyword (Not Provided)

So what happens now? I’m sure we can all agree that the loss of keyword data is going to impact digital marketers. Apart from the issues we’ll face with client reporting and justifying our work, we’re simply going to struggle to understand our users in a way that helps us to improve the user experience.

Is this a money-making initiative from the Big G? An attempt to draw us all in through years of freemium services only to pull the plug once we’re ‘addicted’? Just a couple of the theories circulating the interwebs now.

But whatever the reason, however much we might feel like our parachute has been taken from us mid-skydive, keyword data is going to be far more difficult to obtain. And as digital marketers, we need to adapt.


Obviously, we’re going to need to adapt to this change from Google. But in the spirit of good spirits, I’d like to set everyone reading this a challenge in the hope that maybe, just maybe, a small movement that starts right here on the blog of a small-fry SEO, can catch the attention of Google and persuade them that (not provided) is (not right).

My challenge to you is to create your own image/video, inspired by the one above, which shows incredibly important elements being omitted to negative effect.

Post links to your images in the comments below, or share them on Twitter by tweeting @lauralhampton using the hashtag #NotProvidedWhatIf

Because if you can’t laugh about it…


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