Google is now encrypting keyword data for users signed into Google. Will this mean no more keyword research? Game over? Earlier this week, Google made a significant changepurportedly to better protect the search privacy of users. In reality, it specifically â€” and deliberately â€” left a gaping hole open to benefit its bottom line. If you pay-to-play, Google will share its search data with you. Google's a big company that goes after revenue in a variety of ways some critics feel put users second. However, I'm struggling to think of other examples where Google has acted in such a crass, it's all-about-the-revenue manner as it has this week. The best comparison I can think of is when Google decided to allow Chinese censorship. Yes, this is in the same league. "Not Provided" is what Google reports in cases when it now blocks referrers â€” or technically, it still provides referrers but is specifically stripping search terms out of them. Our number two keyword! And yet, we received nearly 15,000 keyword-related visits from Google yesterday. These terms that were withheld amounted to only 2.6% of them. On my personal blog, this is in about the 2% range. SEOmoz reported around 2%, as well. These low figures will makes it easier for Google to gloss over publisher concerns, especially when they're almost all being voiced by those in the SEO industry. The industry has a bad name, so if it's against something, that can almost seem like a ringing endorsement for good. Ars Technica had some comments like this, in response to its story on the Google change: I'm playing the saddest song in the world on the smallest violin in the world. Poor, poor, SEO leachesI AM completely unsympathetic. The sooner these SEO leeches, parasites, spammers and scammers die die die the better off the web will be.