If you use Google Analytics, you are highly likely to have looked at the keywords people are using when they come across your website in Google. This is a beneficial activity and we would recommend that you do this regularly to understand the mindset of your website visitors and potential customers. It is also good to check whether Google is providing you with relevant traffic. Increasingly however, the top phrase driving traffic to websites from Google is ‘Not provided’. These keywords are not released for privacy reasons, as it is deemed as secure information by the search giant.
In 2011, Google began to restrict the keyword data they released so that visits coming from secure Google search pages would appear as ‘Not provided’, instead of the actual search term.
More people are using secure Google pages now, which activate when a user is logged into a Google service, like Gmail, YouTube or Google Drive. The secure version of Google also activates when using browsers such as Firefox. You know if you are using secure Google search pages if their URL includes ‘https’; for example 'https://www.google.co.uk'.
Instances of the ‘Not provided’ keyword are on the rise. Based on the current growth rates, the website Not Provided Count predicts that by May 2017, ‘Not provided’ will appear for 100% of search traffic in Google Analytics.
Google is not protecting the privacy of visitors who click on PPC adverts though, so at the moment this is unlikely to happen. However, sceptics claim that Google could change their policy straightaway as they do hold an incredible amount of power over the industry.
So what can you do to get around ‘Not provided’ keywords?
There are other ways to find out more about your website visitors, using different features within Google Analytics. Try viewing the landing pages the ‘Not provided’ keywords are driving traffic to. This information gives you the content which the visitors first came to from Google and is a good indicator of the searchers' intentions.
Paying Google customers are able to see the data, so if you are running a Pay-Per-Click campaign you will see the ‘Not provided’ information if you are spending on advertising. Click here to find out more about Pay-Per-Click marketing.
There are of course some very technical ways of finding this information out and our expert team would be more than happy to discuss these options with you.
We also offer Google Analytics management, helping you to understand your online traffic and find out how effective your current website is for your business.
If you would like to know more about Google Analytics and how it could help your business, contact us on 01743 272609 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Categories: Articles, On-line Marketing, SEO