Lots of controversy in marketing community around Google's recent decision to encrypt search phrase information. No question it will make it harder to figure out where your site visitors came from, but in terms of where search is heading it doesn't really change much.
The fact is that people type in a search to find the answer to a question, and search engines are trying to get better at providing quality answers. Getting a high ranking without providing meaningful answers is not in the users' interest, nor is it in the search engines interest. Of course, to provide meaningful answers, you really do need to understand the question in the first place, and since you can't answer them all, you have to target and you have to put in a lot of work to create quality content. All of this happens long before someone comes to your site, but the whole trajectory makes it obvious how important targeting is (and if you're targeting anyway, might as well target on the questions that are most attractive to you and your business).
Encrypting phrases doesn't stop us from targeting strategically because search behavior is still available through the Adwords side of Google. At search Doppler, we're still able to map out the phrases that define your competitive space, and we can still highlight where there are competitive opportunities, and we can still overlay the map with your placement and that of your competitors, so our ability to target remains unchanged. What this really highlights is why strategic targeting is more important than ever before.