1. “We Are All In This Together”
Every site will be impacted, so no one gains a competitive advantage here. Yes, you will see reductions in keyword traffic data, but so will everyone else. Even Google Analytics won’t be immune to this change. From a data standpoint, this change means that there are a few less visits for everyone to look at.
2. Only A Small Percentage of Searchers Are Logged In
Estimates vary, but Matt Cutts and others have suggested that the percentage of searches affected will be in the single digits. This doesn’t mean that you won’t see declines in keyword-level metrics, but the overall impact will be small. Assuming a worst case scenario of 9%, you will still have a large amount of data to use for analysis and research—this remains true even if the numbers are somewhat higher.
3. Keywords Will Not Disappear
The majority of top keywords receive traffic from thousands of different visitors throughout the year. While some will be logged in, most of them won’t. Consequently, visits on some keywords will decline BUT the overall picture of your top queries (and their percentages of traffic) should remain steady. You may see a reduction in the number of low traffic queries listed, but the keywords driving the major traffic will remain prominent and measurable.
4. Landing Page Data (Still) Matters
We all spend a lot of time thinking about and analyzing our keyword traffic. But good SEO relies on tying the right keywords to the best content. Landing pages should map closely to sets of keyword themes and can serve as ad hoc segments for keyword traffic. If you have been optimizing pages with tightly-relevant keywords and tracking those query-page combinations, then your landing pages can tell you as much (and arguably more) about how searchers are finding you and behaving.
5. The Keyword Data Well Isn’t Dry
Google has emphasized that Search Queries Data from Webmaster Tools will continue to be available. This data is not ideal, but it will help you stay abreast of large changes in keyword ranking and traffic patterns. Beyond GWT, you will still have keyword data for the other search engines, paid search data and Bing Webmaster Tools. Yes, it would be nice to have one place to look at and KNOW what keywords are driving traffic, but taking a more holistic approach to keyword data collection could reveal opportunities that you have been missing.