Google's Search Just Got Darker

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) may be giving competitors an opening by concealing referrals in search data, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

According to a new report from published by GigaOm, Google is concealing the origins of 87% or more of the search traffic data it sends to publishers. The strategy gets in the way of search engine optimization, or SEO, whereby marketers target a keyword to rank highly in Google and boost readership.Google, for its part, just wants to focus on finding and presenting the very best content, in context.

Are there advertising implications? Not really, Tim says, but he also wonders if the darkness in Google's data offers an opportunity for competitors such as Yahoo! to shed light and perhaps regain some long-absent credibility with marketers who've felt married to Google.

Do you agree? How are you handling changes in Google's traffic reporting? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

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