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Why your Google keyword search Analytics are showing not provided

Since around 2011 : Google started encrypting searches for signed-in users, and many thought that Google would eventually encrypt 100% of searches even for those not signed-in. That prediction came true as Google announced it would encrypt all keyword searches for all users starting in late 2013.   

What this means for you.

What keywords users are entering in Google to find your site, has been a critical metric in the past.   Specifically from a

  1. "discovery" process (e.g "wow users are googling "MyCompanyXYZ is awesome" to find us), as well as an
  2. "optimisation" process ("we've optimised  our site so "What my company does", gets people to my site).

However, what you are going to start to see is "not provided", in your Google Analytics:

not provided in Google Analytics

Quick summary

  • Changes only affect how we measure and report SEO performance.  Although at TMD we have also used the amount of traffic generated "overall" from a search engine as an "overall guide" to how our SEO campaign is running.
  • Organic traffic (e.g natural search) from Google can no longer be tracked at a keyword level via Google Analytics... however you can link Google Search Console to Google Analytics to achieve a similar result.
  • Decrease in visibility to discover new keyword opportunities (e.g discovery).