It’s been a few weeks since Google rocked our worlds and stripped keyword-level data from the referrer, so it’s time to examine the fallout and see what’s changed in the world of search marketing. Surprisingly, not much.
Keywords were beacons of insight – fantastic beacons – but keywords were a double-edged sword leading us to create content that unnecessarily repeated specific terms for an ideal keyword density. Writing for a bot rather than for the user is not optimizing for user experience, so Google did something about it. Google head spam-fighter Matt Cutts said it himself: over-optimizing for specific terms now has a negative impact on your SEO.
I believe removing keywords from natural search analytics (note: select keyword data is still available in Webmaster Tools) is a good thing. Find out why and how you can cope in the new reality, in my Analytics & Marketing column on Marketing Land.