Google Not Provided 100% Of All Organic Search Queries


google not providedI assume by now, you've all seen the news that Google has secured ALL searches leading to all their organic search query referrer data to go completely 100% not provided.

In fact, I checked this morning, and this site shows 93.4% of all Google organic search queries as being not provided. What about the other 6.6%? Maybe the SSL migration of Google is not 100% complete yet?

I guess Google felt, what the heck, 70% of search queries were not provided anyway, let's go all in! Screw online marketers. Screw webmasters. Screw SEOs. Take away their real search queries. Make them depend on getting that data from Google Webmaster Tools, which is far from a complete picture of your data.

I like how skibum at WebmasterWorld summed it up:

So lets see. Google launches analytics and gets many (most companies) to hand over critical business data for free that would not in a million years have been given out to the largest supplier of traffic/sales for most companies unless it was at gunpoint. They also own one of the biggest ad networks to help fill in where analytics may not provide them with a complete view.

As a result Google knows more about (the online portion) of each individual business than the business owners probably do as well as the entire market in which said business operates.

Then Google takes away one of the best data sources for businesses to determine where their traffic and sales are coming from.

So now Google knows more about your business than you do and your insight into your business (as far as search traffic) is severely limited moving forward, though maybe a little less so if you hookup even more closely with this same company that claims to not be evil.

And now they've got you running around trying to get "bad links" removed that may actually be good in the sense that they send you business and/or leads. They may have other businesses taking up your time to remove links that you have to their sites as well.

Isn't there something seriously wrong with this picture? If nothing else, it should be apparent that there is no such thing as "free" and the more complacent businesses are about all this the more knowledge and control they will continue to lose over their businesses.

It is true.

How can they still give AdWords advertisers keyword data if they won't give it to organic search results. Heck, require us to use Google Analytics, just give us all the data. But no, Google Analytics isn't secure enough, only AdWords is? What?

Someone up there at Google needs to make a stand and either say we go all in, even with advertiser data or step back and don't do this with everything but advertiser data.

Google did send Danny Sullivan a statement:

We want to provide SSL protection to as many users as we can, in as many regions as we can — we added non-signed-in Chrome omnibox searches earlier this year, and more recently other users who aren’t signed in. We’re going to continue expanding our use of SSL in our services because we believe it’s a good thing for users….

The motivation here is not to drive the ads side — it’s for our search users.

This should make every webmaster, marketer and SEO angry.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, Threadwatch and Cre8asite.

Previous story: Poking Google With Fetch Requests Won't Lead To A Penalty


Austin Otaku

09/24/2013 02:14 pm

Oh yes, we are, in fact, quite angry. I would be happy to see a US Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit (similar to the one that broke up Ma Bell) levied against Google. It's about time they were humbled.


09/24/2013 02:33 pm

This has absolutely nothing to do with monopolies and the antitrust. Why the hell would you want the government to get involved? And what are you angry about? Same thing as I am probably, the fact that Google isn't presenting you with information about users. Good luck making that case in any way that doesn't sound creepy to the average user. "Your honor, I know that I and everyone else gets angry when the government collects data on us working through large tech companies...but I want you to do something about large tech companies not giving ME your browsing information!" The ever more common, 'man the government should really do something about Google because Google isn't acting like I want them to and in a way that benefits ME', mindset is disturbing. Google is a single entity which has control over its properties and platforms...there are workable alternatives to all of this. Get the government involved and they don't stop with's like letting a dog into a butchers and telling them that they are only to eat the sausage. Ridiculous, non thought out, and irresponsible position to take if the free exchange of information has any value to you at all.

Courtney Miller

09/24/2013 03:08 pm

Angry, Crying, Annoyed what more can we all say about this change. IT SUCKS

Austin Otaku

09/24/2013 03:23 pm

Overreact much to someone having an opinion different from your own?


09/24/2013 03:26 pm

I agree, but what are some of the alternatives you're suggesting? Please elaborate.

Nick Ker

09/24/2013 03:31 pm

As someone who is frequently called a Google apologist, this does suck. Sure, It's Google's platform and they can do what they please with the data. But the claim of "security" is hogwash. I don't see how this does anything to boost Adwords revenue, as many will claim. Actually, I don't see how this benefits Google or its users (whether searchers or webmasters) at all. If we can't see what people are looking for, it makes it difficult to try to improve the search experience from our end. For SEOs, I guess reporting organic traffic will now be useless, or a lot more vague anyway. Back to keyword position reports?! Sheesh!


09/24/2013 03:34 pm

I meant alternative services, not alternative means of obtaining the keyword data. For alternative anything that Google provides, it is just a search away...ironically on Google.

Nick Ker

09/24/2013 03:34 pm

Maybe a bit hyperbolic, but dead on. Inviting the DoJ to police search engine practices or anything else on the web would almost definitely open the door to all kinds of over-regulation.


09/24/2013 03:38 pm

Nick basically said what I would have. I have a strong opinion on the subject, apologies if it ruffled your feathers a bit. Should we plan on a milkshake through two straws and maybe a walk downtown to mend the hurt of being disagreed with? But seriously, I have a real problem with all of this. "lets get the government in here because things aren't going my way" comments, so why not react. Sorry you were the one to receive it.

Austin Otaku

09/24/2013 03:47 pm

My point is that there should be some means of addressing this grievance with Google that will have some impact, and they seem to not be willing to have a dialogue. What other recourse is there? My frustration is everyone else's frustration - in order to succeed online and in business in general, you absolutely MUST be in Google's index, and you must open up your servers for them to crawl and use all of the data they want. They will track your users, retarget to them, expose them to as many ads as it takes to make money and then provide all of that data to PRISM (so, I call BS on their claim to protecting users with this change). And they, in turn, obfuscate data, restrict rank tracking tools, and force you to set up an Adwords account in order to plan how to build out content for your site. They've essentially blinded SEO's, most of who are not blackhats. So, yes, I'm frustrated, and it's only exacerbated by the fact that Google really doesn't care enough to open up a dialogue about this.

Austin Otaku

09/24/2013 03:52 pm

I don't know, man. Maybe. Can I have my own milkshake? I'm not much of the sharing type.


09/24/2013 03:54 pm

I never could understand why is it so much noise about the keywords reports. I never heard any successful web property owner used "keywords" to establish the business. Sometimes it's interesting to see, but for sure this is not the key point in this business. Well, unless you're traffic hunter, use spam as a weapon and see Keyword as the target )


09/24/2013 03:54 pm

NO! We share the milkshake and it is adorable!

Austin Otaku

09/24/2013 03:56 pm

*sigh* Okay. But no backwash, please.


09/24/2013 03:57 pm

Reluctantly agreed.


09/24/2013 06:39 pm

may be they do it to cheat adwords buyers (keywords stats) & webmasters (gwt keywords stats). When huge company hides something very big such as keywords, people using to find your website - it extremely bad sign. Antimonopoly???


09/24/2013 06:43 pm

it why they not have a future. because they are so big, start hiding lot of important data, destroyed their quality serp, no any real privacy for peoples (authors, gplus, users, computers hardware ids, - one db, analytics, etc, etc, etc). It not a company anymore, it new world gov.

Jaimie Sirovich

09/24/2013 07:17 pm

I wonder. Does _Google_ still know via Google Analytics which keyword resulted in the various visits to various pages on your site anyway? Nobody really knows what they're doing with those various 3rd party cookies. I'd bet they do. And that's very useful data that _Google_ would want to have even if we don't have it. The snippet is ubiquitous and an amazing source of data if you can tie it to a SERP click.

Jaimie Sirovich

09/24/2013 07:19 pm

I'm pretty libertarian, and I don't some level of regulation of Google as a bad thing. I'd much prefer if Bing stepped up and gave them some competition. It just doesn't seem to be happening.


09/24/2013 07:58 pm

Once more, B A S T A R D S !!!

Frank C

09/24/2013 08:04 pm

i'd say the biggest thing SEO's can do is use adwords data to lower their costs with many of their higher cpc keywords by optimizing for those kw's.

Durant Imboden

09/24/2013 08:10 pm

"This should make every webmaster, marketer and SEO angry." Anger is a distraction. Suppress your fury and think like Spock.

Glenn Friesen

09/24/2013 09:17 pm

No good reason for this. A lot of PR BS, but no good reason.


09/24/2013 11:25 pm

and hate google polite and quietly.


09/24/2013 11:26 pm

google do everything to protect us from money ;) it exactly how they see - more transparency.

Jaimie Sirovich

09/25/2013 12:43 am

It may not be the one true way, but it's certainly a way to demonstrate you accomplished something when you start seeing terms clustered around 1 key term bringing in 5 times the traffic after building some content and building a few links. How do you demonstrate you've provided value? You look at the "organic" category of uniques and say "lookie the number went up." People know you can fudge data, but customers want to see metrics.

Nikhil Chandra

09/25/2013 05:18 am

This does not augurs well for search engine marketing. I completely agree to your point when you say why is it that Google could provide the data in the Adwords but not in Analytics? That's not fair at all. It was like first make someone dependent on your tool and when you have the trap set, you go in for kill. Now you won't release data untill one spends on adwords campaigns. I am not saying it's wrong to charge for your service but then you did it in an unethical way. Reminds me of the Anglo China opium wars. First make them addict and then charge them and drive profit and if they do not bend destroy them. Old sayings are never wrong: There's nothing like free lunch :-)


09/25/2013 06:38 am

Sorry, I can't understand you. What do you want to demonstrate ? Why ? Build your website and watch your monetization stats. If it's up - you're doing right things, if it's down - you'd better to pay more attention to your business. That's it. Nothing to demonstrate. Buy Ferrari, if you want to demonstrate )

Suresh Kumar

09/25/2013 09:22 am

"We’re going to continue expanding our use of SSL in our services because we believe it’s a good thing for users" There nothing "good thing for users" only use for GOOGLE ADWORDS, Actually they are collecting data for GOOGLE RE-MARKETING CAMPAIGN.

Jaimie Sirovich

09/25/2013 09:42 am

If you're doing it for a client, no doubt they want to know your efforts bring ROI. Even if it's your own empire, you want to know what's sticking when attacking search marketing via various techniques. Obsessing over keywords is stupid, but if you don't think these data were useful, I don't know what to say.

Nikhil Chandra

09/25/2013 10:26 am

And how do we know what we did wrong if we don't have keyword report. Not that I am saying keywords are the most important factor but they are one of the KPIs against which one could measure their online endeavors. A business needs to be traffic hunter. Even offline, more the footfall in a shopping mall more the revenue generated. What's wrong with hunting traffic anyway if you think you have what they want. The keyword is needed because you don't want that traffic which you don't want. I don't want to attract people interested in tennis bat if I am just selling tennis shoe. You get it?. A keyword does exactly what Philip Kotler said about marketing: Its about satisfying the needs and wants of customer. And keywords that a searcher types is his needs and wants, the benefits he is looking for and we as a marketer need to know what he wants to fulfill that need. Keywords tell us about the changing benefit in today's dynamic market place scenario.Internet marketing is essentially about providing that changing benefits to the customer's changing needs and demands. But Google has decided it won't provide what user wants and we marketers are here to provide.

Arun Sharma

09/25/2013 12:40 pm

We all are facing very big problem with NOT PROVIDED data. How can we track this organically KEYWORD WISE?

Nick Ker

09/25/2013 12:58 pm

A paid version of Analytics with full data access is probably in the plans, or probably should be anyway. That would seem reasonable to me, but then G would have to pull back on that whole "we are doing this for privacy reasons" thing.


09/25/2013 01:27 pm

Yes! Another reason to get independent from Google.

David Faltz

09/25/2013 02:23 pm

Total Bull!!! The Evil Empire strikes again. This is good for nobody, but Google. However, you are right, the not provided data was upwards of 60% already, so what is another 40% going to matter. I would be happy to pay for analytics if Google would offer a paid version that SMB's could afford.

Rob jH

09/25/2013 02:48 pm

Google: We care about users privacy unless you pay us then we will give you everything we have on them. Don't do Evil as we want to do it all should be the motto

Matthew Hunt

09/25/2013 04:39 pm

me too. i'd pay for it.


09/25/2013 11:39 pm

How many of us in the biz, let alone the average searcher, thinks about privacy when they do a search? Yes they may clear stuff out of their browser so their spouse doesn't see what they've been searching for but does anybody really care if someone knows they did a search for "scaly itchy rash?" Of course not as they have no expectation that there is personally identifiable info attached to their search or to any of the clicks the make on a site. But this will change as more companies leverage Universal Analytics and integrate their own data sources, allowing them to see what individuals (who have pre-identified themselves via a login or something similar) have done on their site (besides the keyword used of course). But will Google let people know that this is possible? I believe Google has done a lot of great things; I don't believe Google when they say this blocking of data is for a searcher's privacy or protection.


09/26/2013 03:42 am

This is ridiculous! Google weaving its mighty power once more

Nikhil Chandra

09/26/2013 04:34 am

Just noticed...Barry you have inadvertently (I believe) misspelled Not Provided as Now Provided in your Title :-)

Nikhil Chandra

09/26/2013 04:41 am

There is a plan of launching Google Analytics Premium...according to the site: "Work directly with Google and a flat annual fee of $150,000 (USD) covers all the data, guarantees and service you could need. To get in touch with us, fill out the form below and a Google Analytics Premium representative will be in touch with you soon." How funny is that. Or should i say callous :-)


09/26/2013 06:28 am

"I need preaching that helps me to know God better. I don’t need preaching about culture and politics. I need to know God and his holiness. The world gives me its values. Preaching should guide me to God and his directions for holy living."


09/26/2013 06:30 am

Another Preacher, for you too: "I need preaching that helps me to know God better. I don’t need preaching about culture and politics. I need to know God and his holiness. The world gives me its values. Preaching should guide me to God and his directions for holy living."


09/26/2013 06:32 am

"I need preaching that helps me to know God better. I don’t need preaching about culture and politics. I need to know God and his holiness. The world gives me its values. Preaching should guide me to God and his directions for holy living."


09/26/2013 06:51 am

Get Google Analytics Premium for your business. Pay Google 12500 (USD) per month, to get all the data. Funny...

(not provided) Tool

09/26/2013 09:48 am

Some insights are still possible - using historic data and neural networks - The tool has been in development for over one year, and is near release. Let us know if you are interested.


09/27/2013 09:55 am

And they wonder why more people are moving to Bing in all forms of usage.

Michael Colart

09/27/2013 01:42 pm

(Organic) keyword analysis is a dying thing anyway, which originated from the era where webpages were mostly text and Google a mere index. Google is evolving into a predictive service, which actually will give you answers before you searched. I believe the most important set of metrics is actually behaviour. It doesn´t matter how a user entered your site, through what channel etc, but more how that user interacts with your site.


09/28/2013 12:12 pm "I’d bet money that there will be a large number of companies over the next 2-5 years who take dollars and people that would have gone to SEO and put them elsewhere because the ROI is too hard to calculate and show."- Rand Fishkin, and first place to invest instead of organic results is, adwords

Average User

10/29/2013 02:17 am

Cry more, SEO assholes. My privacy is worth more than your analytics.

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