Without a doubt, Google's recent changes make SEO performance reporting less accurate. In a nut shell, Google is removing the ability in their analytics tool to see keywords that users will type into search engines. SEO professionals and marketers no longer have the data that we once used to measure SEO results. We will need to use different performance indicators and trending metrics to approximate the data that is now lost.
However these changes aren't a surprise. It has been widely assumed by the SEO community for some time that this change was going to happen given that the lion's share of Google revenue comes from paid search vs. organic search methods.
Many SEO professionals have been preparing for this eventuality. It starts with having a solid plan in place to report on data that we know historically has a high correlation to the success that we were once able to directly measure.
The good news is, unlike Google's Panda and Penguin updates, this change doesn't affect our approach to optimization for the most part other than performance reporting (with the exception of being able to use analytics data for keyword research).
As Google's Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts has said: "Succeeding in SEO will be the same as it's always been if you're doing it right – give the users a great experience."
Future changes to Google's environment will continue and we'll be with you every step of the way. Need more information? Contact us today.