Numbers after a month of 'not provided' keywords
Update November 18th
This is the third and last update I'm going to do by now.
Not a surprise, all numbers are growing fast. Maybe another update in some months ahead to see if this stops here and how bad it gets.
- Highest percentage seen is 15.94%
- Lowest percentage 1.69%
- Average 9.35%
- 50% of sites are above 10% of non provided keywords
- 30% of sites are between 5% and 10%
- 20% of sites are below 5%
At this point it is clear that, thanks to Google, we have lost a big chunk of relevant information. Thanks guys!.
In any case, I'll stand by what I said from the very beginning: no crying, just move ahead. Take it or leave it. This is who SEO works.
The only thing that pisses me off is Google treating us as toddlers. Take a look at Accessing search query data for your sites and how they pretend to mislead us:
Webmasters can still access a wealth of search query data for their sites via Webmaster Tools.
Users of Google Analytics’ Search Engine Optimization reports have access to the same search query data available in Webmaster Tools and can take advantage of its rich reporting capabilities.
Are you kidding me? Any rookie Analytics / WMT user knows it is not possible to compare this data with other metrics like Conversion Rate or Revenue, for example, so it is pretty much useless.
More advanced Google Analytics users, the ones pulling data from API, know "Search Engine Optimization" section in GA is not accesible via API. Useless again.
Dear Google, it is your company / data / game, you can do whatever you want with the only restriction of law but pay some respect to your clients.
Update November 3rd
As mentioned down the article, here you have the first update. Let's see how this goes:
- Highest percentage seen is 9.17%
- Lowest percentage 0.72%
- Average 5.01%
Yes amigos, amount of visits from organic traffic with not provided keyword is raising pretty fast as anyone could guess. From 0.82% average the first 4 days after announcement to 5.01% average we have now after 16 days.
Percentage Distribution of missed keywords
- 43.5% of the sites are over 6% of 'non provided'
- 26.0% are between 4% and 6%
- 30.5% are below 4%
True that 5% average is far from the 10% some out there are mentioning but it is also certain that more and more sites are closer to that 10% what indicates the thing is getting worst quickly.
Checking number for those 23 sites I noticed (not provided) is now appearing at the top 5 keywords for most of them as the sum of keywords not informed is higher than the rest.
Not nice, on the contrary. Time to find another job? :D
Last Tuesday, October 18th, Google made an announcement and Armageddon came to SEO world (again). Signed-in users are routed to the SSL version of Google "as part of our commitment to provide a more secure online experience" they said.
This means some of the visits from organic traffic are not including our beloved keywords. Instead you can see reported a flaccid "(not provided)".
Ok, stop lamenting for a while, wipe your tears and let's see how much should we worry about.
I've checked organic traffic at 23 sites from Oct. 18th, first day when "not provided" appeared, till 21st. Not thousands of sites (disclaimer: it is Saturday and I should be having beers instead of digging data for you) but enough to bring some light. Here you have them:
- Highest percentage observed is 1.75%
- Lowest percentage 0.18%
- Average 0.82%
How does this affect sites?
- Only 35% of sites are above 1.0% of non provided keywords
- 40% of sites are between 0.5% and 1.0%
- 25% of sites are below 0.5%
I agree this adds a bit of inaccuracy to our work, nothing new as you may know if you are a SEO consultant. Are we going to cry in rage for some 0.8%-ish? Not me.
'Devastating effects' as some alarmists named it? Not at all by now. Although Google said that change will be rolling out over the next few weeks it is already there (seems a small proportion), otherwhise we would not be able to see those numbers.
I'll keep an eye on numbers and update this post over the weeks to evaluate how it goes.
Reasons for killing organic referral data: privacy? anti-competitive move? To be honest, when it falls to daily basis SEO work, I don't care at all. We are here to increase client’s revenue from organic traffic and Search Engines manage their business the way they want with the only limit of law. Are they hypocrites? No more or less than anybody else working for money.