Question: Google Analytics: How to determine ‘not provided’ keyword data?
Answer: The ‘not provided’ (not set) in keywords in Google Analytics is one of the nastiest tricks that Google played on the SEO community in 2011. Basically Google spun a big yarn that this was necessary to protect privacy; if a user is SIGNED IN to Google and lands on a non-https (non-secure) site, then Google does NOT share the keyword data.
Google invented some nonsense that this was for privacy; while at the same time Google has all this data, and it shares the data with AdWords advertisers. It’s a sad example of Google being evil, using its monopoly power and monopoly on search to distort the market. Sigh. Write your congressman (like they get it).
Finally, they DO share this data in AdWords, so sometimes I recommend you run in AdWords so you can see the actual data (learn from it, and then go backwards). There are a few workarounds, such as expanding your time horizon as well. But not easy solution here, and the long-term future is rather grim on this subject.
Oh, and something new – you can get some of this data in Webmaster tools.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
on SEO | AdWords | Social Media