In 2011 Google started removing keyword data for users who make searches while signed in to a Google account. The keyword information for these users began showing up in Google Analytics as “(not provided)”.
No more keyword data in google analytics! google goes fully
In 2011 Google started removing keyword
data for users who make searches while
signed in to a Google account. The keyword
information for these users began showing
up in Google Analytics as “(not provided)”.
The amount of search traffic coming in
without keyword data was small at first, but
has steadily grown, particularly for tech and
online marketing related sites.
What this means is that very soon you will not
get any keyword data for Google search
entries to your site. You will be left with three
primary options for making decisions
regarding your SEO:
What pages are getting search entries
(organic landing page report).
Google Webmaster Tools data.
Keyword ranking reports run by a third-party (or
Each of these has problems of course. For
instance, as an SEO you probably want to know
whether certain keywords are driving
conversions. You would also generally want to
know overall how brand name traffic differs from
non-brand searches. This type of analysis is
At the moment it doesn’t appear that this change
has been fully rolled out. It’s more consistently
showing for U.S. focused sites compared to
Canadian or UK ones from what I’m seeing. It’s
possible that Google might reverse their
decision, but quite unlikely.
Chances are good that you’re just going to have
to get used to doing non-keyword traffic
analysis. As noted above, there may be some
good ways to cross reference various data to
make decent educated guesses, but that’s the
best you can hope for.
ogle has been positioning this as a privacy
change to protect their users. There are some
merits to this argument, but at the same time
PPC traffic is still going to be fully available
for analysis. Similarly, the privacy concerns
over keyword data are minimal at best.
So Google says, the reason for the switch is
to provide “extra protection” for searchers.
Search Engine Land, however, suspects that
Google may also be attempting to block NSA
spying activity -- since Google was accused
of giving the National Security Agency access
to its search data back in June (which it has
his meant that marketers were no longer able
to identify which keywords a person who was
logged into Google.com searched for before
they arrived at your website -- even if they
were using a web or marketing analytics
Truthfully, it's hard to say. In terms of
preventing Google from making this change,
there's likely nothing you can do. We asked a
few SEO experts to weigh in on the situation: