"Not Provided" Keywords In Google Analytics Higher Than Expected

Nov 3, 2011 • 8:43 am | comments (46) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google SSLWhen Google announced they are defaulting logged in Google users to SSL search - Google told us this would impact less than 10% of statistics in the analytics.

As of yesterday, it seemed like the switch over is now complete and we can see the true impact of the percentage of searches blocking keyword data in your analytics.

For many, it is well above 10% but not all.

Seer Interactive reported that "Out of the 37 sites, 16 had over 10% of the Google organic traffic come from “(not provided)” and one of the sites was at 21.05%." Search Engine Land reported it was 7 to 14%.

I looked at a few sites and here are two of those charts:

Google Analytics Not Provided Keyword

Google Analytics Not Provided Keyword

Today, November 3rd, I looked at the stats for November 2nd and it was over 20% for this site!

The main issue is that this is still rolling out, so the number can increase in the future. And there is also no doubt in my mind that Google will eventually release this for users who are signed in, making this 100% the case.

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

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11/03/2011 01:34 pm

Over the last four days the (not provided) keyword has gone from 1% to 3% to 6% and now at 10%. I am guessing this is only going to continue to increase. Frustrating...

Ryan Freeman

11/03/2011 01:45 pm

Our ecommerce clients are still seeing above 1% but less than 2%. However, our high-traffic long-tail sites (info, forums, etc) jumped to almost 10% this week.


11/03/2011 04:09 pm

In my case  : 0.76% on the 30th, 3% on the 31st, 7.45% on the 1st of november and 9.41% yesterday! This is ridiculous!

Ani Lopez

11/03/2011 04:45 pm

After 18 days Highest percentage seen is 9.17% Lowest percentage 0.72% Average 5.01% All data here http://dynamical.biz/blog/seo-technical/non-provided-keywords-38.html

Break Up Google

11/03/2011 06:57 pm

18% on my site. Are you shocked that Matt Cutts  the spinmeister for Google lied??


11/03/2011 07:46 pm

Over 15% for us.


11/03/2011 11:02 pm

Not higher than I expected.  Based on the amount of people on Gmail and now Google +, which people can stay logged into all the time, did they really expect it to be 7%?  I'll bet in a month or so if this continues, we'll see 20-25% figures be the norm.  


11/04/2011 01:17 am

Rising every day. 20%. Bummer. What is the reason?

Bali Kuta Hotels

11/04/2011 03:11 am

from 3 days 2% - 5%  now 8%, i think this will increase everyday...what should i do, my client will not accepts this, is there any way we can know what is the keyword in it


11/04/2011 03:47 am

Current Week = 5% Today = 11% I think this is going to get worse with Google pushing Google+ wanting all of us to be logged in all the time - only then the Google+ and other Google services will work as expected. So as a result - less and less KWs reported in analytics....sad....


11/04/2011 11:04 am

This is gonna affect our client base.


11/04/2011 03:51 pm

Oh no, it's then end of the world. Lets hide under rocks!

Matthew Mcconaughey

11/07/2011 04:20 am

Thank you for explaining about (not provided). Since, I am checking my blog analytic and I found this. However, this will eliminate the chance of webmasters to link their most top keywords to link with other places :(

Justin Howley

11/07/2011 06:06 pm

I'm actually amazed at the amount of our returning users who are logged into Google. Gives me some insight as a result of my complaints.


11/07/2011 07:47 pm

It's my new top keyword on my main site...that's why I went looking and found this post...to try and explain what was going on.


11/08/2011 02:38 pm

The same problem - 32% is not provided...

SEO Greece

11/08/2011 03:48 pm

The same problem here... My percentage is 11.43% What are we going to do??

This is BS!

11/08/2011 03:57 pm

Maybe I'm daft... what the FUCK is the point of Google Analytics if a huge portion of the keyword info (and in the future, perhaps all of the keyword info) is rendered unusable by this worthless "(not provided)" metric? Google might as well have named the metric a big fucking middle finger, because if they aren't saying "Fuck YOU" to the SEO community with this change then I don't know what they're doing.  Worthless.

One Wave Designs

11/09/2011 06:55 am

This is so frustrating and in my opinion, an act of greed. So, we can see the search terms from paid adwords but not organic search results. In some of my sites it is over 30%. This is so, so ridiculous.

Tad Chef

11/09/2011 12:17 pm

Yeah, I see around 15 and 16% on my SEO blogs.

Car lease

11/10/2011 07:39 am

13% and increasing. I am adding Not Provided as a keyword in my link building strategy now. ha


11/10/2011 10:11 pm

Don't worry ladies and gentlemen.  Google will offer everyone a paid solution real soon!   Google- "Don't do evil...BUT GET PAID!"


11/14/2011 03:55 pm

This is gonna affect sites which is targeting specific keywords,uptodatecoupons.com


11/14/2011 08:20 pm

More Google madness and I think Awhellnawnamouse is on the money. Google will start to charge to release this level of data. SEO is just getting harder and more expensive, so up go the prices.

cctv camera guy

11/16/2011 10:52 pm

My thoughts exactly.  This is absurd; they're defeating the purpose of their great free analytics tools!


11/21/2011 03:16 pm

A lot of my sites are around 20% ;( (not provided) 353 21.33%


11/25/2011 06:41 pm

Another horrible add-on to an previously great tool >:(

Troy Glancy

11/28/2011 03:18 am

They have an paid edition. It cost $150,000 a year!!!

Gary Sevounts

11/28/2011 05:12 am

We are seeing between 25-35% of the traffic.  It is naturally higher when you market to high-tech communities or SMB, where many are using other Google services, like Google Docs or G+.


12/18/2011 02:15 pm

We're a retail site getting over 15% 'not provided' in December and growing.  This is a keyword black hole.


01/03/2012 05:30 pm

Strangely enough, I have one client that is not seeing any (not provided) in their keywords, and they have high enough traffic that I would have expected to see it showing up at least 10-20% of the time.


01/03/2012 05:35 pm

Although, they are now getting a lot of traffic from (not set) - I believe there may be a glitch in their account and what should be (not provided) is showing up as (not set). Anyone else seeing this happen?


01/04/2012 11:07 pm

I suggest everyone not use Google Plus.  oh wait, that is already happening.   :) Seriously though - not provided is EVIL and i am boycotting google plus and providing the worst word of mouth I can muster in every way.  Hit them where it hurts.  Also mentioning to everyone that Google slews their search results without them knowing it (which NO ONE likes) Are the really 20% better than the unskewed Bing results?  I can't wait for competition to improve so I really have a choice and am contempleting removing Google as primary search tool.    (this is my 10 minutes of anti-Google PR that I am scheduled for daily)


01/10/2012 04:37 am

so, there are other ways to look at your keyword incoming stats folks. try your server logs, for a crazy idea.  and as a bonus, it will reveal the IP address of your visitor! WOW!

Lord of SEO

02/01/2012 10:16 pm

bunch of fucking tools, tell people to switch to duckduckgo or something

Justin Funderburk

02/12/2012 12:40 pm

I currently am at 66%


02/22/2012 06:01 am

I just love how people are given something for free, then turn around and complain about it because it wasn't what they wanted... What has happened to society to make people so ungrateful?  Oh wait, it's all the flashy Benjamins that everybody wants but won't part with...

Karma Dla Psa

03/16/2012 11:41 am

At first I thought there was some kinda mistake on my side with that not provided issue but ... now I see it clearly;) Shame on them


03/17/2012 06:12 pm

Im on 62,5% and still counting. It stinks - but when Google get it fixed, im sure it will be a great tool...

Abel WIke

04/06/2012 08:16 am

A few months ago, Google, the search engine, started encrypting searches for user who are logged into their Google account while conducting the search. As a result of this encryption, the keyword that the visitors search to arrive to your site is not passed in the referring URL. Web Analytics tools rely on the keywords passed in the referring URL to build the search engine traffic report and in the absence of the keywords there is nothing to report, though they still see that the visits came from Google search.

Nulled Scripts Full

04/12/2012 02:54 pm

72% in my case


05/31/2012 05:50 pm

23.5% for me. I wondered what that meant, so I searched and found this article. Now I'm pissed off! It's the second-highest percentage of any "key word" so it makes my life difficult.

Nancy Farrell

07/06/2012 04:00 pm

How annoying, looks like it's getting worse too as this only started happening to me about a week ago with my blog stats, and the changes were made last year. Hope enough people are complaining for them to do something about it.


07/09/2012 03:08 pm

27% for a client - when I take this and branded search out, it's hard to make sense of what's left. I know those are unrelated, but when branded is a big chunk of source KWs, removing 'not provided' is worse. DuckDuckGo


07/29/2012 02:23 pm

Our data in Stat Centric analytics shows not provided at 65%! We've looked into this issue and their doesn't seem to be any way around it.

Wintro Tech

10/01/2013 07:19 am

its should be unlock as the seo work now shown here completely and also the seo has not other tool to identify it.

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