Those who have been scanning their websites keyword data within Google Analytics may have noticed an increasingly large portion of their keywords being attributed to (Not Provided). This is in fact Google’s most public effort at protecting user search data.
What is (Not Provided)?
(Not Provided) is an aggregate representation of traffic from secure sites where the keyword data has been blocked. One such site is now Google, this essentially impacts a business’s ability to analyse what keywords prospective customers are using to find their business.
Since first being announced by Google in October 2011, the following events have helped to shape the growth of (Not Provided):
- July 2012: Firefox 14 update includes secure search
- October 2012: iOS 6 searches become direct
- January 2013: Chrome’s “omnibox” goes secure
However since August we have seen Google go trigger-happy with secure search with an average increase of 5% per week of (Not Provided) organic search traffic. The figure below demonstrates the sudden rise of the (Not Provided) plague:
What can you do about (Not Provided)?
Whilst most Australian businesses will be severely inhibited by these recent changes you can make use of your (Not Provided) data with this simple process:
- Login to Google Analytics
- Navigate to Google Analytics organic search report
- Click onto your (Not Provided) keyword
- Set your secondary dimension as ‘Landing Page’
The pages found in this report can help you to better quantify which pages are delivering the most value. Whilst this data is not as good as our previous keyword reports, these insights can be far more valuable in determining the types of pages searchers are using to discover your website.