Recover Some Not Provided Keyword Data

Posted on February 14, 2012 • Written by Ben Smith

Frustrated with Google for giving you “not provided” instead of the keyword a visitor used to find your site? Here is a work-around to recover it.

By Todd Atkins
In October 2011, Google added a new security/privacy “feature” for their SSL searches. Long story short, if you are logged into a Google account, Google scrubs the seach query from being reported to the site owner in Google Analytics. Instead, they lump all that traffic into a keyword they call “(not provided)”.

keyword query not provided by google analytics

If you’ve seen “(not provided)” as one of the most common keywords driving traffic to your site, you know how frustrating this can be. Here is a dead simple trick to gleam a little information about how those visitors found your site.

Go to Traffic Sources>>Keywords


Select Landing Page as Secondary Data

select secondary data to keyword report

Gain Insight to What Brought Visitors to your Site

keyword not provided work around

You can now see what page the visitors entered your site on which gives you a lot more information in what they may have been searching for.

Instructions for New Version of Google Analytics

If you use the new version of Google Analytics, you can still get additional traffic data if the keyword is “not provided”. It looks a little different and slightly more difficult to find, but the process is basically the same. Go to Traffic Sources>>Sources>>Search>>Organic. Then select “Landing Page” under the “Secondary dimension:” drop down menu. It’s filed under the “Traffic Sources” category.
keyword not provided new analytics

Ben Smith

Written by Ben Smith

Ben Smith is a Researcher at Fruition, specializing in Google's Algorithm changes. Ben is a graduate of the University of Denver’s Mathematics program, and he enjoys learning about Google’s search algorithm updates. He's a vital asset of the Fruition team, and he one day hopes to publish a book. In his free time, you can find Ben enjoying the outdoors of Colorado.

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