As you may know or not know, Google is not providing keywords data when users are logged in to their accounts. This has been an on-going topic throughout the SEO world for sometime now. Link Worx Seo wrote about this topic on 10/23/2011 and 11/03/2011 and the effects it is having on SEO analysis. As you can see from a post by Search Engine Land, the numbers are increasing month by month. This is yet to be implemented world wide, but Google has plan’s to do so in the near future according to sources.
Steve Myers shared what he found after checking Poynter.org’s analytics: Keywords were hidden in 29 percent of searches in April. That’s up from 22.5 percent in November, shortly after the change was made. Now “(not provided)” makes up the largest category of search terms, dwarfing the second place term: Poynter. Overall, 6 percent of inbound traffic now comes from a black box. Source: Search Engine Land
If you are a large business relying on high amount’s of keyword data then this can be very disrupting to your business. As an SEO specialist this provides an annoying challenge of collecting adequate data. This data was said to remain in the single digits, but of course has surpassed the single digit numbers originally announced by Google. Currently, I have clients asking Link Worx Seo what the “not provided” means in the keyword list in Google Web Analytic’s. Trying to explain to the client why Google will not show the results of keyword’s being used to find their business is challenging to explain to some clients.
Some of these clients instantaneously ask, “Why would Google not show you the data?”. Clients say this makes no sense, at the same time quickly realize how this can effect their businesses after you have explained it to them in a way they can understand. For several of the businesses Link Worx Seo provides SEO services for, the “not provided“ is the #1 keyword in the list. As an original theory, it seemed Google may be trying to measure certain areas; such as:
Completely sure there are more, but this seems to make sense. There is no problem with wanting to provide higher security measures for Internet users, totally agree with these new measure’s of greater security. Along with Google and FireFox announcing the new secure search agreement, encrypted data has become a significant importance with regards to privacy issue’s surrounding Google and other companies. If your logged in to an account then this can be tracked by Google for obvious purposes… Of course if your logged into your Google account you always have the option to toggle the social and non-social button provided by Google. Your results are then filtered based on your toggle selection. Still believe that if your logged in, Google records the keyword data no matter what toggle choice you select.
At this point there is no information which has been found about whether or not the keyword data is recorded into Google Web Analytic‘s as “not provided” data if logged-in while the toggle button is set to non-social selection. If someone has some information pertaining to this, please notify us so we can be more accurate about our posting. Thank you in advance.
Google SSL Encrypted Searches Will go Beyond Just Google in the Future
As Google has implemented these changes to better privacy and has only been applied to the Google’s English version. Eventually it will be rolled out to all Google search versions, which will produce a larger percentage of “not provided” data. Is it possible that Google could be working towards securing all search data? What might this in-detail? What about all those custom search boxes on websites allowing people to perform searches directly on a website. It may be happening already considering you must have a Google account to obtain those custom search boxes for personalizing your website. However there is absolute sure fire answer for this one though. Anyway, at this point let’s say Google has already been collecting this keyword data by means of a tracking code generated when you fetch the form code for the custom search box. This makes perfect sense to try and secure data integrity as well for these custom search boxes. What is your take on custom search boxes?
“Make use of all the data you can from analytics.”
Okay, I have been following this topic closely and have come to several conclusions. I can understand it if Google only wanted to prevent you from causing a recording of a search if you were logged into the system as a Google user and they were trying to prevent you from recording your own search for your own website, but not for all of them in total. Of course the search is only registered as a visit if you click your own link.
Okay, recording the data from non logged in users still makes sense to me because then Google can measure all impressions from other sources such as software programs running analysis. Remember you do not have to be logged in to use the software to get your data back from the search engines and It would only make sense to me that Google would still be tracking the impressions for their own purposes but not releasing the data to its users. Of course this would be very touchy ground concerning privacy issue’s since Google does not own the data, but at the same time may be trying to prevent false impressions from various sources.
So let’s say Google is still recording those impressions of logged in Google users, what do you think they can do with that data? It might be a tad presumptive of Google to think all users logged in are using Google’s search engine… I do not think Google would be that nieve. I suppose you might say that the percent of “not provided” would directly correlate to the amount of users using Google’s search engine while logged In. It was mentioned on another blog I read today that it might be a strategy to boost PPC in efforts to increase revenue. Sorry, but I do not think Google has a revenue problem and their are other reasons behind this new implementation. It actually reminds me of a sandbox security layout or the same as AdWords when using the tool to show your ad but not recording the impression.
“Make use of advanced segmentation.”