What is Keyword (Not Provided) in Google Analytics?

The SEO business is always changing, and one of the most recent wrinkles is the sudden increase in Keyword Not Provided.  If you are used to checking your Google Analytics report for your SEO and seeing the search keywords visitors used to get to your site, you may also have noticed that all of a sudden, much of your search traffic is reaching your site through keywords listed as (Not Provided). If you’re unlucky, the share of (Not Provided) traffic may be up to 50%!

What Is Keyword (Not Provided) in Google Analytics?

If you are used to checking your Google Analytics report for your SEO and seeing the search keywords visitors used to get to your site, you may also have noticed that all of a sudden, much of your search traffic is reaching your site through keywords listed as (Not Provided). If you’re unlucky, the share of (Not Provided) traffic may be up to 50%!

(Not Provided) is the end result of Google working harder to protect the privacy of its users. Starting in October 2011, all users who are logged into a user account and using Google to search will have their search terms protected by default. This means that the search engine will not share the keywords used in those searches with you or with your optimizer. This can lead to a tricky situation in terms of optimization and customization of your site.

Fortunately, there are many ways our optimizer can get around this limitation.

Advanced Filters

One of the best ways to determine the identity of these (Not Provided) search results is to set up an advanced filter that takes these search results and correlates them with the landing page they directed visitors to. Remarkably, the distribution of (Not Provided) results often mirrors the distribution of organic search results where we know the keyword, giving us strong suspicion that the hidden keywords used are the same as the revealed ones.

Paid Search

Another source of data we can use is your paid search results, which are not concealed. Although we expect the performance to be slightly different, we can use this additional data to estimate some data about search behaviors that are being used.

With these tools, our optimizers can still analyze the performance of your site and improve your search ranking on Google as well as the other search engines.

 

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