Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Why do I see 'Not Provided' in my SEO agency report?
Since October 2011 Google has increasingly been hiding the actual terms used in organic searches. This has been done by Google as they “believe that protecting these personalized search results is important”.
However, Google has only hidden these terms for organic searches and is seemingly prepared to overlook this privacy issue for its paid-for marketing service AdWords (or as search engine specialist Danny Sullivan put it more bluntly, Google Has Put A Price on Privacy )
These hidden search terms are now reported in Google Analytics under a generic “Not Provided” category and the comparative size of this catch-all segment has been steadily increasing over time. In fact, aggregated industry figures now put this figure as high as around 80% for some sites, with a major increase seen in the 3rd quarter of 2013.
Whilst there are some work-arounds to try to get some insight from this missing data, site owners have no real option but to ‘like it or lump it”, use the data they still have available for search engine optimisation and hope the figure doesn't get any higher in the future.