waynne - 11:27 am on Jan 25, 2013 (gmt 0)
As a webmaster I need keyword data for the following reasons.
1) It's handy for SEO to know what people are searching for (Not a valid reason in Googles eyes.) It also means I can cover topics of interest for users.
2) If people are searching for "how to use a blue widget" I can adjust my page content to ensure it covers this question. It also helps me to work out why people are bouncing away and allows me to ensure my site offers QUALITY information that people need. Isn't Google campaigning for quality content?
3) Conversion data - without knowing what keywords bring in the sales we can't plan our PPC spend.
None of this is PERSONAL data. If I ran a real shop I'll use the CCTV to see where people go, which products they look at and work out which window displays people respond to. Shop assistants will ask what people are looking for and then provide them what they need by way of products or information. Why is it getting so hard to do this on the web?
In fairness I don't need to know that "Mr Billy Bob" searched for Blue Widgets, I do need to know how many people searched for Blue widgets though and then how many sales I made for these search terms.
Personal data and Privacy seem to be going the way of health and safety IMO!