As an online marketer, you are undoubtedly aware of the incognito mode feature of the world’s most popular browser – Google Chrome. It is one of the most reliable ways, after all, to ensure that your targeted searches on the web’s seminal search engine are not colored by tracking or filtered through targeted ads. Basically, for SEO, incognito mode helps you see what your search results would look like to someone who isn’t local (among other attributes).

A Direct Affect on Local Marketing

Since, as mentioned above, incognito mode restricts the proliferation of local advertising, a surface analysis would show that local merchants would lose business if incognito mode ever became the preferred mode of searching. In particular, since local search information is automatically saved in Google Maps (unless the user actively opts out of it in their search settings), local advertising would not be able to take advantage of this if users used incognito mode.

Now; as we said above – this is a superficial analysis. If you go deeper, it seems more likely that adaptations will abound – and you should position yourself to take full advantage of them. The fact is, Google understands better than anyone that business pays a pretty penny for their services so that they can have as wide a reach as possible. A more pronounced privacy suite that prioritizes incognito mode is simply a response to the European-mandated GDPR privacy clause – it is certainly not meant to hamper Google’s local search. As such, the goal is to give users more control over their own privacy – not to deprive local advertisers of customers.

Still – How Will Incognito Not Hurt Local SEO?

The numbers bear fruit: fewer than 35% of web users even employ incognito mode; Google’s recent changes are meant simply to address privacy concerns. Google needs to let the media know that they take privacy seriously, but the tech giant will not do so at the expense of advertisers. Look for a more robust investment in Google Maps, as well as a multitude of new personalization experiences to come as Google Search engages the surging competition from Amazon Search and Apple.