In some ways, Google is a marketer’s best friend.
- The company released a version of Google Analytics for free, ensuring more people can get web analytics data, including those who don’t necessarily want to spend on tools like WebTrends or Core Metrics.
- They enriched Google Search Console over the years to walk marketers through search and crawl data, even the ones who don’t necessarily identify as webmasters.
- They make search volume available through AdWords Keyword Planner, make cheap qualitative data accessible via Consumer Surveys, and generally provide more information about web sites than almost any other organization on the planet.
That said, in the past few years, Google has been cracking down on some of that data.
- Data about keyword referrals are now generally gone, replaced in most tools by the ominous (not provided).
- AdWords search volume is starting to become pay to play, with reports of volumes obscured for marketers who do not spend enough on AdWords.
This is a slightly different Google than the one that democratized web site tools and search data. As information becomes less available from big G, you need to adapt.