Update: OK, this just happened.
Last month at the Search Engine Marketing Expo (West), Google’s Singhal said there would soon be an announcement related to changes with the controversial “not provided” issue.
Google implemented secure search a few years ago, and by doing so, stopped providing publishers with keywords searchers use to find pages on their sites. It has, however, continued to show such data to advertisers, which is one of the controversial parts. The apparent double standard has often been brought up by members of the SEO industry, but historically Google has pretty much brushed it off.
Singhal didn’t specify what Google would be announcing, but his words seemed to suggest that getting rid of the data for advertisers may have been the news.
Now, reports are coming out that Google is taking the paid search data away from third-parties. A.J. Ghergich (via Search Engine Journal) says Google will cease supplying 3rd parties with paid search query data, but that reports within AdWords will remain unaffected.
“This will also have an affect on website analytics packages but we’ve not yet heard about anything with Google Analytics,” he writes. “Services that use this query data may have no way to access it anymore.”
He says that his sources received a notice about the change directly from Google, and that he has read the document himself. The change, he says, is expected in the next few weeks.
If this is really all Singhal was talking about, it’s not going to do much to curb criticism over the double standard accusations. Google has maintained that the switch to not provided is about user privacy, but has continued to give it to those willing to pay.
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