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More (not provided) data on the way to Analytics

Monday, January 21st, 2013 by Emily Mace tagged

Calculating your not provided dataOver the last few months, further online developments have led to website owners seeing more (Not Provided) data appear in their analytics and moves from Google Chrome (which took place late last week) will only increase this.

Any user logged into Google when performing a search is automatically searching using the secure (SSL) version of Google, from which no keyword data is delivered to Google Analytics.

However, Safari on iOS, Firefox and now Google Chrome have all changed to search by default using the secure version of Google. Once again, this will add to the percentage of people who will see an increasing number of their visitors coming from ‘(Not Provided)’ in their analytics.

Google is also encouraging more people to sign up for Google accounts, in a bid to ensure they’re logged in when searching; thus further pushing this trend of website owners not being able to view all of their keyword data.

There are still ways to see your data…

However it’s important to remember that you will be able to view the percentage of people who are likely to have clicked on your hero keyword rather than your brand name, as you’ll have access to the traffic data for at least some of your keywords.

Additionally, stats relating to the number of people coming into your site via organic search compared to direct visitors and the number of visits from Google versus Bing won’t be impacted – meaning you can still track the success of your SEO and compare this to other marketing activities.

How can I get more from what data I do have access to?

So, what can website owners do about this? Last year, I confirmed that people could use estimated figures to help calculate the impact of this data; using it to make educated suggestions about the sorts of figures your keywords would have seen.  This calcuation is based on the percentages of visits you get to brand and non brand terms and then applying this same split to the (not provided) traffic.

As changes like these become more common, it’s important to remember you can still see information using techniques like this.

In addition to the information you can glean from Google Analytics using the above method you can also used the Google Webmaster Tools ‘Search Queries’ report which allows you to track which keywords are displayed and clicked most often from Google’s results. There are a couple of things to remember with this data:

  • The data is only kept for 3 months, so you will need to look regularly and if you want to track the information from this report then take a download of this information from GWT.
  • The information is shown as “the web” by default, so if you are only interested in traffic to the UK then you will need to change the location to the UK.  You can also include specific keywords for your site in the search and star important keywords.

You can also link your GWT search query data to your Google Anaytics to allow you to see the impression and click data from within Analytics

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About the author

Emily Mace

Emily Mace

Emily joined Vertical Leap in 2008 and is now the Senior SEO Campaign Delivery Manager. Emily previously worked in training, IT Support, Website development as well as SEO and worked for local Government departments and Tourism South East. Emily gained Google Analytics Individual Qualification in 2011, and regularly blogs on the technical aspects of SEO, sharing her expertise with our readers. Follow on Google+