The last few years have seen quite a distinct separation of interests of webmasters and popular search engines, mostly at the hands of Google. While many understood the value of hiding the full details of a search engine’s ranking algorithm, to stop outright abuse by spammers, many webmasters found 2011’s decision to begin encrypting the searches of their signed in users (a technology termed SSL) in direct opposition to the interests of websites.

Nonetheless it seems quite impossible that the “not provided” search terms will ever return from the dark. But now it looks like Google is pushing even harder to get users to sign in before using their search engine, making the amount of search data available out there increasingly scarce.

Google Posting For a New Product Marketing Manager

The evidence of this intention is Google’s latest listing on their employment posting tool, Google Jobs, looking for a new product marketing manager for Search (since removed). The job description itself stated that the main function of the role would be getting richer search and personal data on their users by having them sign up before searching.

Admittedly their intentions seem quite pure, even in the job posting they argue that having this type of search data allows them to get to know users on a more intimate level and anticipate their interests and needs when using the Google search engine. Basing it off how you’ve browsed the web in the past, they can offer a tailored experience for every individual user.

Less and Less Search Behaviour Data

While it’s a noble sentiment, webmasters and online advertisers are increasingly being left out in the cold and deprived of any of the meaningful data they need to properly optimise their website.

And while many SEO efforts are manipulative and simply try to attract advertisers with their visitor traffic while not offering any real valuable content to visitors, there are far more quality websites and white-hat SEOs offering useful and compelling content but seemingly incapable of getting noticed by Google’s algorithm and drawing in the wrong kind of traffic. Many of these sites suffer unnecessarily due to a lack of technical knowledge and easily available user data.