• audette

    Your approach is similar to what I break down here: http://www.rimmkaufman.com/blog/google-secure-search-one-year-later/18102012/ although I took it a step farther and used scraped data (via SEMRush) to ‘reclaim’ the lost queries.

    Ultimately though, I think what we’re learning is that (not provided) is not that big of a deal. Keywords are what people use to ‘get’ the stuff the want. The stuff they want resides on our websites. What’s truly valuable are URLs that hold that stuff. The ‘bait’ we use (keywords) is secondary to that.

    Also, there are plenty of good sources to get query data: third-party competitive insight tools, paid search, site search, keyword research tools.

    Until (not provided) reaches 99% I’m not worried.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Neil.J.A.Armstrong Neil Armstrong

    That’s a great partial solution to a common problem as opposed to just multiplying evrty result by 20% as had been my workaround……

  • http://www.devonwebdesigners.com/ Elizabeth Jamieson

    I have been wondering how to make sense of so that data – thanks so much for pointing out a solution. I seem to have more “not provided data” than anything else! What is confusing to me is that – these are not keywords, right? So why were they not inlcuded in referral data – as they look like referrals ….

  • Taylor Gould

    Thanks for posting. My company builds products for Google Apps users, so our [not provided] percentage is upwards of 80%. I’ve tried a number of techniques but this is one of the better ideas and takes fewer steps than most.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.hill1 Carrie Hill

    Hi Adam, Thanks for your comment.

    I also believe for many sites Not Provided isn’t really an issue. For some, like mine, where it’s a good chunk, just knowing the URLS is really helpful, because i basically know what keywords are driving visits to those URLs.

    I’ll check out your breakdown also, thanks so much for sharing!


  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.hill1 Carrie Hill

    Hi Elizabeth, Actually this is keyword data. Google reports (not provided) when someone performs a search and visits a website while signed into a google account> http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1033173

    From the page:
    “Keyword: The keywords that visitors searched are usually captured in the case of search engine referrals. This is true for both organic and paid search. If the a visitor is signed in to a Google account, however, Keyword will have the value “(not provided)”.”

  • Yousee

    This is a nice useful tips, something is better than nothing.

  • http://twitter.com/ItsHogg Jon

    Not just signed in users, it’s anyone on a https:// Google search page, whether they’re signed in or not

  • http://pedromatias.co.uk/ Pedro Matias

    Thanks, this is the easiest to implement take on the “not provided” I’ve seen so far!

    I also like the assertion that: “if you’re just looking at data, you’re wasting your time”. Lots of people install analytics and then just look at the visitor counts, in many cases not even filtering their own traffic, which is just misleading their own ego.

    Analytics should be at the core of page and site redesign and content planning. I’m right now in the middle of trying to make a small client see how the all picture works.

  • http://twitter.com/Chande Goran Candrlic

    Go to: Traffic Sources > Search > Organic
    Click on the “not provided”
    Pick secondary dimension: Traffic Sources > Landing page
    You have this data

  • Albert Foekema

    Thats an most nice way to work at least a bit with the ‘lost’ data! Most welcome tip and ill deffo try this out on a campaign! Cheers!

  • http://www.solvium.de/blog/ Jan

    Just wanted to post the same, don’t get the advantage of creating an additional filter for this purpose.

  • http://www.seo-first-page.com/ SEO First

    Awesome, fantastic share!

  • http://www.delivra.com/ Cody Sharp

    The best way to find out detailed info for not provided is simple. Basically you use data sampling. Get the running 3 months average of not provided in organic search (number compared to overall organic search words). Let’s say its 33%. Now just multiply all of your organic traffic keywords by 1.33. After all, it makes sense that the not provided people are searching for the same stuff as the provided visitors.

  • http://www.delivra.com/ Cody Sharp

    Yeh…but Goran, that wouldn’t fill a 300+ word article :)

  • http://www.delivra.com/ Cody Sharp

    All Firefox users now have a secure version of Google search used and their results also feed into (not provided). http://www.seroundtable.com/firefox-14-google-ssl-15443.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.hill1 Carrie Hill

    Hi Goran,

    Thanks for your feedback. 2 Things, 1) You can view Landing page as a secondary dimension but it makes kind of a mess out of the report with lots of (not provided) lines in the keyword column.. 2) my version combines not provided URL data with keywords in a cleaner view

    If I was working on the fly I would and have used your version, but what I really wanted this report to do was clarify the keyword report a bit for me, not just show me 100% landing page data. I also want data available without having to sort and filter and choose other dimensions, I need it delivered fast and easily without having to think about it, hence the advanced filter.

    Your way certainly works, you’re welcome to it, but it didnt do what I needed in several instances, namely report on what data was “lost” in the “Not Provided” hole.

  • http://twitter.com/crimsonpeng Adam Whittles

    Hi Carrie! This is an excellent post and I’ve already started testing it on my sites. I have a question though.

    Unfortunately I am still seeing a handful of (not provided) keywords even after implementing this method. Any ideas what could be causing this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.hill1 Carrie Hill

    Hi Adam, I’ve not run into this issue – so forgive my elementary line of questioning.

    1) is the timeframe you’re using 100% after you implemented the filter?
    2) did you double and triple check the filter steps, comparing what you have above with what you did? even missing something as simple as a period or coma can throw the filter off
    3) if you’d like me to take a look – shoot me an email at carrie (at) keyrelevance (dot) com.

    Thanks for the feedback :)

  • http://twitter.com/crimsonpeng Adam Whittles

    Thanks Carrie, I double checked the filter and stupidly I had put (not provided) in field A as opposed to (.not provided.). Doh!! I’ve restarted with a new profile and filter so I’ll let you know if I run into the same problem (I doubt I will now this has been fixed!) Thanks again Carrie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.hill1 Carrie Hill

    @twitter-464439706:disqus – you’re welcome! Glad you got it fixed!

  • Warren Lee

    Given the rise in personalized search, and recent adoption of secure protocol by browsers like firefox, using browser market share data I’d estimate that 40% is most common. Even with this % of data going into the void i’m sorry to say this filtering method sounds like a waste of time to me.

    Why not do it this way instead… Apply the % contribution of each of the known keywords to the “not provided” number and apply the result back to each keyword. My understanding is that this is the method of choice for most in-house SEO managers at leading brands. However at the end of the day, the method that one chooses in order to make their data based insights actionable must match the point that they are trying to make. That said I agree with your point about the value of making the data actionable but might encourage more elaboration regarding some of the actionable insights you might provide after using this filter. In short, how does using this filter make the data any more actionable, other than it being a little easier to see? For example, some really actionable examples of using the % contribution method to drive insights can include making a better case for new content or other optimization efforts, testing co-optimization efforts between paid and natural search where you need data at the keyword level, or driving keyword level insights into performance attribution.

  • http://twitter.com/gudipudi rama

    Sorry Carrie, this doesn’t serve any purpose.Waste of time

  • http://www.facebook.com/MS.tshirts Todd Walbridge

    Good stuff I feel compelled to think twice about data that is actionable or not. I am one of those that studies data on a weekly basis. My take is different in that I have my websites at a comfort level and am looking for problems. To that end if it is not going down I consider it non actionable. If I was looking to grow I would have to confer 100%. Thanks for a good read

  • http://www.facebook.com/seoglasgow Gordon Campbell

    Carrie, this is genius! As Goran said you can get the information using the method that he mentioned but your version is so much more organised and is a big time saver. Excellent post!

  • http://twitter.com/manishwebmaster Manish Chauhan

    Not sure how do you see this a time savor when you can simply do the same as Goran said.

  • http://twitter.com/manishwebmaster Manish Chauhan

    well said..seems author has attempted to look a bit creative, however I really don’t see any logic to use these steps when landing page details are available by default.

  • http://twitter.com/mrPerezMarc Marc Perez

    No tool can give you the not provided info.

  • http://twitter.com/danbarker dan barker

    hi, Manish, I actually came up with this method in the first instance. SEL said they were looking into why it had been posted here with no mention of the original post, but I never heard back.

    (original was here: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/8342-how-to-steal-some-not-provided-data-back-from-google )

    Anyway, you’re right – you can get this as a secondary dimension. The limitations of doing it as a secondary dimension was one of the things that prompted me to look at other options. It’s not right for every account, but it can help in many cases & I’ve found it useful in a lot. Here are some advantages:

    1. It gives you all data straight within the keyword field, whether you’re using it in the standard report, in a dashboard, via the API, or via any other means.
    2. If you use ‘keyword’ as a secondary dimension in another report, this data is present there too.
    3. You can quickly & easily filter it in/out of reports simply using ‘np -‘ in the filter field, and can filter out particular URLs (eg. filter out the homepage on the assumption it’s brand, etc).
    4. When using multichannel funnels, this appears in ‘keyword path’ too.
    It’s not always appropriate, and mileage varies depending on your URLs, the scale of your site, etc.

    Hope that helps,


  • http://twitter.com/ItsHogg Jon