What Does GDPR Mean for SEO?

Since it became enforceable on May 25 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has had a massive impact on how business is conducted throughout the EU and around the world.

Companies must now take full responsibility for the safeguarding of customers’ private digital information. The failure to do so can result in fines as high as €20m or 4% of annual global revenue for the previous financial year.

Due to this there are now a number of issues linked with SEO that will have to be addressed and it is important to comprehend how GDPR needs to be taken into account.

1. GDPR & Website Goals

In most cases SEO success rates are linked to the goals that you track on your website that are caused by website visitors. In order for you to continue doing this under GDPR then you must ensure that website visitors have given their consent for the tracking to take place. Consent forms must include everything and be written in a concise and simple-to-understand manner so that your website visitor will known exactly what they are agreeing to.

2. Managing Consent Under GDPR

One of the biggest problems for companies caused by GDPR is how to manage consent. Since GDPR was introduced, it is no longer valid to use the phrase “by using this site you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy” in order to obtain consent from website visitors. It is now an obligation for users to actively agree rather than passively.

3. GDPR & Analytics

In order for companies to continue using analytics to devise marketing plans and campaign then the data must be anonymized in order to avoid GDPR penalties. Using any process that de-anonymizes the data is deem as breaching GDPR. In order to ensure that you as GDPR compliant you must conduct an internal audit to ensure that there is no specific information on web visitors being shared without the appropriate consent being provided.

4. GDPR & UX and Usability

As part of their search engine ranking algorithms search engines are beginning to take into account user experience (UX). Certains aspects of GDPR compliance such as cookie consent forms and clearly accessible Privacy Policies and Terms and Conditions are already having an impact on these areas.

Often SEO specialists work closely alongside UX designers so they will need to have a clear understanding on GDPR requirements. GDPR obligations need to be respected in all design aspects, and copy, in order to avoid breaching the legislation and being sanction with stringent financial penalties.


All of these aspects of GDPR need to be considered when coming up with and SEO plan and campaigns for your company. SEO is constantly changing due to the ever changing search engine algorithms and it is important that SEO specialists always take GDPR into account when new trends and tactics emerge. If you are unsure about any aspect of GDPR and how it impacts your strategy then you should consult with a GDPR specialist at your earliest possible opportunity.