The “keyword not provided” issue in Google Analytics refers to the situation where the search query data from organic search traffic is hidden or unavailable. This started happening in October 2011 when Google began encrypting searches for users who were logged into their Google accounts. The main reason for this change was to protect user privacy and enhance search security.
When a search is encrypted, the search query data is not passed to the destination website in the HTTP referrer header, making it unavailable for Google Analytics to collect and display. As a result, Google Analytics shows “(not provided)” in place of the actual keywords users searched for when they found your website through organic search.
Over time, Google expanded encrypted searches to include all searches conducted on Google, regardless of whether the user is logged into a Google account or not. Consequently, the “keyword not provided” issue now affects a significant portion of organic search traffic data in Google Analytics.
While you cannot directly access the “not provided” keyword data in Google Analytics, you can still gain insights into your organic search traffic by using other tools and methods:
- Google Search Console: Connect your Google Analytics account with Google Search Console to view data about your site’s performance in Google Search, such as impressions, clicks, average ranking position, and top-ranking pages. You can also access some of the search query data in Google Search Console, which can help you understand which keywords drive traffic to your site.
- Google Analytics Landing Pages report: Analyze the organic search traffic data for your website’s landing pages. This can give you an idea of which pages are attracting visitors from search engines and help you deduce the topics or keywords these pages might be ranking for.
- Use keyword research tools: Tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz can help you conduct keyword research and identify the popular search terms related to your website’s content.
- Analyze your site’s content: Review your site’s content and structure to understand the primary topics and keywords you are targeting. This can give you a better understanding of which keywords might be driving organic search traffic to your site.
By using these methods, you can still gain valuable insights into your website’s organic search performance and make informed decisions for your SEO strategy, despite the “keyword not provided” issue in Google Analytics.
Why are keywords not provided in google analytics?
In Google Analytics, you may notice that a significant portion of your organic search traffic shows up as “(not provided)” in the keyword report. This occurs because Google has made changes to protect user privacy by encrypting search data for logged-in users.
In October 2011, Google started using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption for searches performed by users signed into their Google accounts. This meant that the search query data from these users was no longer passed to websites through the HTTP referrer header. As a result, Google Analytics couldn’t access the specific keywords that led users to visit a website through organic search.
Since then, Google has expanded SSL encryption to all searches, even for users who are not logged into their Google accounts. Consequently, the majority of organic search traffic data in Google Analytics shows up as “(not provided)” because the actual keywords are hidden.
While you can no longer access the specific organic search keywords within Google Analytics, you can use other tools and methods to gain insights into your website’s organic search performance:
Google Search Console: Connect your website to Google Search Console and use the “Performance” report to view data about your website’s impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), and average position in Google search results for specific keywords.
Google Analytics landing pages report: In Google Analytics, navigate to “Acquisition” > “All Traffic” > “Channels” and click on “Organic Search.” You can then review the landing pages that receive organic search traffic to understand which pages are driving visitors to your site.
Keyword research tools: Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to analyze keyword rankings, search volume, and competition to identify potential keywords for your content and SEO strategy.
By combining data from these sources, you can gain a better understanding of your website’s organic search performance and the keywords that drive traffic to your site.
Published on: 2023-03-31
Updated on: 2023-03-31