• RyanMJones

    I predict that not only will Google’s [not provided] eventually hit 100%, but I think within 5 to 10 years, newer browsers will ditch the HTTP_REFERER altogether. It constantly comes up as a discussion in places like the FF developer forums, and there’s a LOT of support on both sides. It’s an interesting issue to watch.

  • http://twitter.com/bwhalley Brian Whalley

    I think it’s not that far off for some sites. My site, which receives a pretty solid amount of traffic from Google, is at 90% of google-provided search traffic being (not provided) for the last 30 days. It’s incredibly frustrating. Our audience is extremely technical and Google-saavy, and as a result we receive almost no keyword data at this point.

  • http://twitter.com/YoungbloodJoe Joe Youngblood

    Stop using Google+, stop promoting it, stop telling clients to use it, uninstall author rank tags. done.

  • http://raventools.com Jon Henshaw

    I predict it will hit 101%. You heard it here first!

  • David Rekuc

    I hate this double standard. Either its a privacy concern or its not. If you’re going to hide referring queries for natural search, it ought to be the same for paid.

    I understand this is Google trying to self regulate and avoid privacy issues. Self regulation seems to be fine as long as its convenient and doesn’t negatively effect an advertiser’s ad spend.

    Not to mention this effects search retargeting data, which can be seen as a competitor in the display space.

    I hate being cynical about these kinds of things, but if we’re going to regulate ourselves it ought to be standardized. Natural and paid get the same treatment. I haven’t heard a good argument about why paid search data is any more secure or anonymous than natural data.

  • http://twitter.com/anilopez Ani Lopez

    Unless Google decides to do a better integration between WMT and Analytics, and I mean all the way through to conversions or dollar value for the WMT data (unlikely to happen), it seems pretty absurd to say “there is no reason to freak out” for having a high volume of (not provided) and every SEO knows that.

    “We still have WMT data!” yes, a great argument when you are promoting something like Blueprint that seems, for what I see at the product tour, a WMT nothing more than a nice interface on steroids for WMT but it is going to suffer from the exact same issue that WMT suffers now, isolation from conversion metrics and such.

    I don’t recall WMT to have any API for traffic data extraction. Or Vanessa has figured out a better way to do it or her tool is using same old https://code.google.com/p/php-webmaster-tools-downloads/ or such.

  • http://twitter.com/seocharlie Carlos Chacón l SEO

    Data is importante, but user experience more. So, once we create unique landing pages with unique content, everything else will be less and less relevant.

    GWT is a great place to still seeing some data, at least now. Don´t forget about Google AdWords. The data right there still untouchable.

  • http://lostpr.es/ David Iwanow

    I thought 58% from my site and 47% from my blog was bad enough currently…

  • http://lostpr.es/ David Iwanow

    I think the one issue that is getting harder to track how branded traffic is changing against last year as even if you listen to Google and use GWT data that only goes back 90 days… so if they are serious about working to improve transparency they would expand GWT data beyond 90 days and offer the ability to filter out Google Products and see just Clicks or Impressions data….

  • http://lostpr.es/ David Iwanow

    i’m going with 102% due to recalculations due to multi-device use….

  • http://about.me/jemindesai jemin

    Google is an Evil and Google+ is big Ash…h.. Is Google have any rights to talk about Privacy? And if it’s really about privacy then why it’s still gathering our data, Google Map, our location and other things. Its time to avoid Google Now totally use other search engines so Bluddy Matt cutts and other Google Management people come to on road then we will see that how they react about all stupid things.

  • http://www.moonfiller.com/ Taran

    Data is important, but user experience more. So, once we create unique landing pages with unique content, everything else will be less and less relevant.GWT is a great place to still seeing some data.

  • http://twitter.com/localoptimizer Dave

    Vanessa: I run local smb sites. I run extensive ppc on all of them. Its 24/7 and typically the radii extend somewhat beyond our reasonable catch areas.

    Adwords impression data and webmaster tool data do not sync. They aren’t even close. webmaster tools doesn’t seem to have any grasp of geography. For local smb sites I don’t care how many worldwide impressions there are for “deli” or bicycles, or pizza. I only care about the impressions in my geo territory for those phrases and phrases with geo modifiers. Even the webmaster tools for phrases w/ geo modifiers are way off. I’ve run some of those phrases both regionally and nationally and run them now w/ relevance for the geo phrase regardless of the location of the user’s IP.

    To me webmaster data is like google places dashboard data, manipulated by google to present “feel good” data …but absolutely worthless in substance and pretty unreliable in detail.

    any other suggestions.

  • Pat Grady

    Shitake, as a paid search guy, I’m going to have more people asking me for data, and how to pull it, and what it means. and reporting, and how to use regex, and how… yuck.

  • http://twitter.com/JSolis102 Jonathan

    This is definitely upsetting. Maybe they’ll offer it to people who pay. After all it is valuable data (not that I agree with they’re doing)

  • Guy Hadas

    I am wondering whether this is another try from Google to increase the use in AdWords… Even if you are doing a SEO campaign but would like to know where to emphasize your efforts you will need to conduct a PPC campaign in order to collect some data…
    I think this is something that we can see for the last year, the efforts of Google to send all advertisers into paid search….

  • Munaz Anjum

    The most predictable catastrophe may yet to come when % of ‘Not Provided’ in Google Analytics increases up to more than 60% or 80%. As of now, its 30%-40%,which least draws our attention, as we often claim that 80% data in GA is more than sufficient to analyze visitors’ search patterns. Sounds good but what if ratio inverses as 80:20? Summarizing my thoughts in agreement with Stephane that concealing search keywords should be actually a profile option rather than an arbitrary decision on the part of Google? Do you agree? Read here my full post on http://www.digitalgossips.com/

  • Abdul Wahab

    Yup, it seems like google trying to stop SEO or organc traffic.. I wonder in coming years google will not provide any kind of free traffic…. It will just allow adwords….

  • Unbound Marketing

    I miss it because i’m nosey, but looking at landing pages can tell you a lot of what’s going on. Unless you have all your keywords stuffed into your home page which is probably a bad idea anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/rankontop Troy Curfman

    Alot of info Depending on what tool used, there are still ways around this. Webmaster tools is still limiting your actual results. Data will be harder to get as se try to conceal and close data distribution to help thier own investments. Eventually it will leave public analytical only to the search engines.

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    I’ve been pushing “Search with Bing” on many of my clients internal search.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ranu.jain2 Ranu Jain Gupta

    My site is receiving half of its Google traffic via ‘Not provided’ and I won’t be surprised if it increases to 100%.

    It’s been more than an year now and I am still unable to understand that how hiding keyword data helps in meliorating the privacy for users. Even if it does, why has Google not applied it in Adwords too?

  • Trevor Fox

    I welcome this news.

    Working for a smaller agency who represents many boutique hotels with smaller data sets, I welcome anything that will provide parity with our clients’ larger chain competitors. Competition based on Quality of Analytics Rather Than Scale is key now and will become more so as more privacy issues arise.

    However, being fairly new to the industry, I just began reading Marketing in the Age of Google for some insight and its relevance is diminishing slightly. There is still a lot of valuable information in there. Anyway…

    Failure is not Fatal. Failure to Change might be. –John Wooden

  • http://www.ninebyblue.com Vanessa Fox

    Dave, You can filter the data in webmaster tools by country, but not to specific region. (Just choose Filters to change the property (such as web or images) and location). The data is definitely not manipulated by Google. It’s definitely accurate in terms of trends (although sometimes sampled, depending on site size and certainly bucketed).

    I wouldn’t expect your AdWords impression data to necessarily match exactly in any case, as not all searchers see all ads and all organic results. There’s some flux in organic due to personalization (and if the searcher went past the first page) but there’s definitely flux in how many searchers see your ads.

    I totally understand, though, that you would like regional data, and webmaster tools only enables you to drill down to the country level.

  • http://twitter.com/DerrickHicks3 Derrick Hicks

    Awwwwwwwweeeeeeeesssssssoooommmmeee!!!! I freakin love Google. SMH…

  • http://twitter.com/DerrickHicks3 Derrick Hicks

    That is exactly what I was thinking about doing now. Which is great! Now, instead of sending our sem traffic to a specially made landing page, we get to point it to the page ranking organically and burn through some more AdWords budget just to get some keyword level analytics data. I freakin love Google!

  • http://twitter.com/DerrickHicks3 Derrick Hicks

    Geez @twitter-10665432:disqus, sorry to hear that! @thelostagency:disqus, I was thinking the same thing.

  • http://twitter.com/DerrickHicks3 Derrick Hicks

    lol In their mind they already do. It’s called AdWords. :)

  • Mark

    Your statement that we can see the (not provided) keywords in Webmaster Tools is completely wrong. I was pretty sure it’s not possible; I have just extracted all keywords from Analytics and Webmaster Tools for December and both the number of keywords and visits per keyword are way lower and inaccurate in Google Webmaster Tools.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Guest/100002606955053 Ben Guest

    Let’s not forget about WIndows IE 8 InPrivate setting: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/What-is-InPrivate-Browsing

    Wasn’t that going to be the default? I don’t use IE so I don’t know if in fact it came enabled,

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Guest/100002606955053 Ben Guest

    Also remember GWT data is always 2 days behind in Google Analytics.

  • RyanMJones

    I would like GWMT to do a better job of tying pages to keywords. It shows me the keyword, the impressions, rank, clicks – but not which page is the highest ranking one for that keyword. I can piece this together on my own, but if they did that it would help to better tie it into analytics data. I could then get conversion rates per page and know the top keywords for each page to focus on.

  • http://twitter.com/cstechjoel Joel K

    What exactly would this solve? The query data is made secure outside of Google+. All you’d accomplish is setting yourself back.

  • http://ChiefAlchemist.com/ Mark Simchock

    Re: “The searches people do that lead them to a site is valuable data to an
    organization. What other data source do we have that gives us direct
    access to our customers’ wants and needs? Sure, we can ask them, but
    customers can lie. Or choose not to answer. By looking at exactly what
    visitors have searched for, we can learn a lot about who our customers
    are, what they really want, and if we’re providing it to them.”

    Yup. It certainly helps.

    That being said, the number of reliable conclusions you can glean from a couple of keywords – typically coming off an auto-complete / suggestions list – is probably too often over-valued. Yes, it gives you a clue but not really the type of evidence you can use in court (so to speak), eh?

    For example, I enter a product model number. Am I looking to buy? For the manual? For tips & tricks? The possibilities are endless, yes? But I’d bet most e-comm sites are going to assume “buy” and a site that does repairs will think “spare parts”.

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s a shame to lose these. Just the same, it might just be a blessing in disguise for those willing to optimize their “machine” to bypass would could be deception. Aside from webmaster tools, now might be the time to add site search and/or specialty landing pages to back fill some of the holes the unstoppable force called Google is now creating.

  • http://www.examiner.com/internet-and-technology-in-national/david-frankk David Frankk

    I thought (not provided) was because of the searcher was logged into their account and not because of any other reason.

  • http://www.ninebyblue.com Vanessa Fox

    Originally, but now other types of searches are secured as well.

  • http://www.ninebyblue.com Vanessa Fox

    You can back into this (a feature we’re currently working on with our product), both by combining top pages data from webmaster tools and integrating analytics data.

  • http://www.facebook.com/farhan.asghar.54 Farhan Asghar

    What exactly solution is? The query data is made secure outside of Google plus.

  • Stephen Olson

    This makes on page SEO even more important as if we know what the content on the page is we can start to look at landing page hits instead of query searches. Also it is even more important to have a site search field on the site so that we can see what users are searching for once they get to the site.

  • http://twitter.com/robkingston Rob Kingston

    He means stop promoting it, so that fewer people remain logged into their Google accounts.

    Ultimately, if you want this data back, you need to convince people to use Bing :

  • http://www.facebook.com/edea.krammer.3 Edea Krammer

    Yep! Well said! I shared the same thought… XOXO:D

  • http://twitter.com/JC_Davies Jon Davies

    Google appears to have launched it’s Chrome 25 over the past 2 weeks. Version 25 is now coming out top for Chrome browser visits

  • http://twitter.com/doloreshark Dolores Hark

    Entered the field over a decade ago because the data was SO interesting and useful – a revolution in marketing, really. (We’ve always focused on good content and landing pages data AS WELL as keyword data to get the big picture – getting the whole picture was the revolution – not just the data side.) Now I’m training for another more stable job as a musician in preparation of no data and still no one wanting to pay much (small businesses) cause Google is free, and this general attitude that is it okay to sign up for expensive monthly service fees related to other marketing services or high pay per click budgets, but custom creative work is frequently foregone (i.e., reliance on commodified marketing strategies). Also, if you track the want ads, Google is beefing up it’s SMB bench. Google Analytics is free because it makes everyone Google’s little marketing lambs. It’s been painful to hear otherwise seemingly very intelligent people support such a marginally useful product, which I just assume is due to lack of exposure to other products. I’d advocate that people stop using it. Other programs are much more user friendly, with key insights right there on opening the program, without having to link this and that and set up experiments and hunt and peck for granular data. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever gained any great unique insights from Webmaster Tools, that wasn’t much better presented by my paid for tools, but now I will definitely investigate Blueprint as an overlay product – good work on coming up with that. Also, wanted to note – I don’t think the large third-party dataset tools I’ve always used are even worth the bother now – the data was always highly projected from a small sample size and I believe the projection errors are even worse now, and basically feel compelled to just rely on Google Adwords data as the key third party data set. Too bad no one in our government seems to understand the anti-trust needs of our modern economy. It seems odd to me that one company, with this incredible data power which it is now attempting to monopolize, can have it’s digits stuck in literally every pie in the information age pie shop.