Google announced this big (bad) change on October 18, 2011 that changes a portion of search data that they track in their Google Analytics data.
So what we are talking about here is when a user goes to Google.com and searches for something – like “churches in dallas, tx” and then if they were to click on YOUR church’s website AND you had setup Google Analytics on your church website, then Google would be able to report on what Google searches resulted in traffic to your site.
So this affects anyone searching Google from their computer or smart phone.
Now also, you have some users who are “Google users” – they have a user account with Google – they could by GMail users, use Google for Business for their church or business or they could use any of the great Google Apps that Google provides for free. If this is the case, they may stay logged into Google all the time. This change affects those users who stay logged into their Google account all the time.
What Google changed is that whenever a logged in Google user goes to Google.com from the desktop – those searches and clicks on your website will no longer be tracked. They state that this will only affect a small portion of your search traffic. But I think this will be a larger portion than they think and also – don’t they want EVERYONE to become a Google user? So over time this should and will become a larger problem.
Why we / you need this data…
We use this data to help determine what new content needs to be created for your sites. We look at how people found your church website – which search terms they used and then try and tune or create more content to match. The only reason we can see for this change is that Google wants to encourage more businesses to pay to use their Google AdWords service. When you pay for these ads, you will get the search keyword data on users who click your ads. This is an unfortunate change and hopefully there will be enough backlash that Google will change this back.
I already sent in my feedback to them regarding this change and I
encourage you to email them also… this is REALLY important data! Please comment below and send Google some feedback by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.