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Search Engines Mask the Keywords that Lead to Organic Referrals

Published on 09 October 13
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What Should Marketers Do?
Search Engines Mask the Keywords that Lead to Organic Referrals - Image 1

Over the last two years, many businesses and internet marketers have noticed an increasingly frustrating issue: there has been a steady increase in the percentage of keywords that are not provided by analysis. These are known in the industry as Keywords (not provided) - in that they are masked by Google and other search engines in the name of privacy. Whether or not these are really masked as a privacy measure, or as a method for distorting search engine methodology yet again remains to be seen. However, one thing is clear: search engine marketers are struggling to learn how to react when 100% of the organic referrals are through keywords (not provided). Even though this can throw a complication into the SEO process, it is a fantastic opportunity to find other ways to map keyword data and understand where traffic is coming from.

Why Do Keywords (Not Provided) Exist - and What Do They Mean?

Since Googleâs announcement October 18th, 2011, Google has been separating searches that have been made on secure Google pages from nonsecure Google pages. In other words, if the website link began with https:// instead of http:// - the search would be masked and not given as data to the destination website. Google Analytics now groups these searches under the keyword (not provided) - which can lead to increasing frustrations with business marketers and analysts. How is it now possible to track the origin of clicks and visits with these key details shielded from view? Even more frustratingly, many marketers are noticing that all organic referrals - through which a website was found through search alone, and not from a link from another website or an advertisement - are becoming more difficult to analyze. Part of this issue is Googleâs promotion of the use of secure search and secure Gmail use, which leads to a larger user-base that takes advantage of secure browsing that does not want their search keywords available for analysis by SEO marketers or company analysts.

Currently, approximately three-quarters of keywords are showing up as not provided within Google Analytics - in fact, you can keep on top of the statistics by using the Not Provided Count website, which tracks the keyword data connected to over fifty different websites over time. At the time of publication, Not Provided Count reported that 79% of keywords are not provided, and they estimate that this count will reach 100% by November 19th, 2013 judging by the statistical analysis. In other words, now is the time to start understanding how to deal with keywords (not provided) - before all other keyword information disappears from Google Analytics altogether.

Taking Action: Combating Masked Keyword Results with New Techniques

Without a doubt, internet marketing is not impossible without keyword data, but it certainly becomes more of a challenge. One option for replacing this missing data - though the strategy might be expensive - is to run AdWords campaigns with Google targeting particular keywords, such that you track the keywords that might otherwise not be provided as a result of secure searching methods. Analytics tracking of keywords based on geographical location could be replaced somewhat by tracking your websiteâs ranking based on location, a service provided by Google that circumvents the keyword (not provided) issue altogether. Bidding on Google AdWords or phrases might also help reveal another piece of the keyword (not provided) puzzle, showcasing increases in hits over time as related to search terms. Marketers are also looking to use Google Webmaster Tools more intensively to access data involving search terms, ranking, and improvement potential.

For more information about what your business or marketing company can do regarding keyword (not provided) issues before the projected date that all keywords will be in shadow, consider scheduling a consultation with OrangeSoda SEO services. Known internationally as experts within the search engine optimization field, they have plans that will help companies overcome the challenge of understanding search analytics without provided keywords, and they can create plans for marketing more effectively as Google continues to roll out changes in their search engine operations.

What Should Marketers Do?

Search Engines Mask the Keywords that Lead to Organic Referrals - Image 1

Over the last two years, many businesses and internet marketers have noticed an increasingly frustrating issue: there has been a steady increase in the percentage of keywords that are not provided by analysis. These are known in the industry as Keywords (not provided) - in that they are masked by Google and other search engines in the name of privacy. Whether or not these are really masked as a privacy measure, or as a method for distorting search engine methodology yet again remains to be seen. However, one thing is clear: search engine marketers are struggling to learn how to react when 100% of the organic referrals are through keywords (not provided). Even though this can throw a complication into the SEO process, it is a fantastic opportunity to find other ways to map keyword data and understand where traffic is coming from.

Why Do Keywords (Not Provided) Exist - and What Do They Mean?

Since Googleâs announcement October 18th, 2011, Google has been separating searches that have been made on secure Google pages from nonsecure Google pages. In other words, if the website link began with https:// instead of http:// - the search would be masked and not given as data to the destination website. Google Analytics now groups these searches under the keyword (not provided) - which can lead to increasing frustrations with business marketers and analysts. How is it now possible to track the origin of clicks and visits with these key details shielded from view? Even more frustratingly, many marketers are noticing that all organic referrals - through which a website was found through search alone, and not from a link from another website or an advertisement - are becoming more difficult to analyze. Part of this issue is Googleâs promotion of the use of secure search and secure Gmail use, which leads to a larger user-base that takes advantage of secure browsing that does not want their search keywords available for analysis by SEO marketers or company analysts.

Currently, approximately three-quarters of keywords are showing up as not provided within Google Analytics - in fact, you can keep on top of the statistics by using the Not Provided Count website, which tracks the keyword data connected to over fifty different websites over time. At the time of publication, Not Provided Count reported that 79% of keywords are not provided, and they estimate that this count will reach 100% by November 19th, 2013 judging by the statistical analysis. In other words, now is the time to start understanding how to deal with keywords (not provided) - before all other keyword information disappears from Google Analytics altogether.

Taking Action: Combating Masked Keyword Results with New Techniques

Without a doubt, internet marketing is not impossible without keyword data, but it certainly becomes more of a challenge. One option for replacing this missing data - though the strategy might be expensive - is to run AdWords campaigns with Google targeting particular keywords, such that you track the keywords that might otherwise not be provided as a result of secure searching methods. Analytics tracking of keywords based on geographical location could be replaced somewhat by tracking your websiteâs ranking based on location, a service provided by Google that circumvents the keyword (not provided) issue altogether. Bidding on Google AdWords or phrases might also help reveal another piece of the keyword (not provided) puzzle, showcasing increases in hits over time as related to search terms. Marketers are also looking to use Google Webmaster Tools more intensively to access data involving search terms, ranking, and improvement potential.

For more information about what your business or marketing company can do regarding keyword (not provided) issues before the projected date that all keywords will be in shadow, consider scheduling a consultation with OrangeSoda SEO services. Known internationally as experts within the search engine optimization field, they have plans that will help companies overcome the challenge of understanding search analytics without provided keywords, and they can create plans for marketing more effectively as Google continues to roll out changes in their search engine operations.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and E-Commerce Community

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