Summary: Solutions for (not provided) on #SEOchat

Moderator: @dan_patterson

What are your thoughts on Google encrypting all organic traffic?

@ppamktg:   Upsetting, yes. Surprising, not really.

@RyanJones:   We knew this was coming for a long time. Yet many failed to prepare. Time to look at entry pages and WMT. It doesn’t change wha twe do, how we do it, or why we do it. Just changes the reporting. I kind of feel like charlie brown, with Google being Lucy and the football being data.
@troyredington:   It CAN change how we do CRO, and change how we choose SEO priorities though

@Casieg:   Meh. Inevitable just unfortunate. We have other data to use. WMT, Bing data, referrals, bounce rate, funnels, etc. There’s always a way to learn how people interact on your site.
@AmirLearner:   Yeah, can also piece together what’re they came in on based on landing page.

@AaronCohrs:   It is annoying but I think in the end it will be a good thing for the industry as a whole.

@sbenhart:   I’m hoping it will allow us to focus less on rankings – not rely on them more!

@Scripti_Ashley:   From day one, Google encrypting search made it difficult for us to better UX for our site visitors.

@tannerpetroff:   Google still hoards that data, then sells the move as increased privacy in retaliation to NSA garbage. Lies. Boo.

@KevinDoory:   It was brewing for a while and people spent more time worrying about it then prepping and adapting technique.

@thompsonpaul:   Lack of general reaction seems to indicate lot of general marketers haven’t been using the info much in first place.

@AaronCohrs:   More difficult to jump in and find keywords performing, it will force better content and prep.

@sbenhart:   I’m hoping it will allow us to focus less on rankings – not rely on them more!
@Thos003:   I can see it making us rely on rankings more.
@dan_patterson:   That’s sort of my thought as well.
@Thos003:   ..go to WMtools, see KW they say we rank for, scrape those keywords to find which page ranks, assign KW data to page

@sbenhart:   That’s what’s so unfortunate – ranking tools are unreliable and GWT average ranking data is worthless.
@dizzySEO:   Agreed. between personalized search, geolcated, A-B testing, no one can claim ranking for sure
@Casieg:   Did you see the article on rankings data from @dr_pete? It wasn’t too far off

@ConcerningChris:   I like that it forces us to look beyond the kw level. People don’t think in terms of kws, they think in terms of problems. Book store and shop are the same thing. SEs recognize this. So knowing which version drives more traffic is irrelevant.

@dan_patterson:   I think the biggest frustration is that the data was just given to us before. Now we have to try and piece it together on our own.

@Sonray:   ’loss of data’ further underscores that we shouldn’t focus only on Google; internet is big man.

@dizzySEO:   It’s Google’s way of encouraging websites to shift budgets from natural search to paid

How have you adjusted so far to the increasing (not provided) traffic? What will you do when it’s ALL (not provided)?

@AmirLearner:   It was a good opportunity for us to update our reporting. Instead of brand vs non-brand we’ve been rolling up landing pages.

@AaronCohrs:   I will smile and I will continue to do what I am doing, honestly if you are creating for people you will be found and in high #s

@ConcerningChris:   Some of our clients have had NP as high as 75%, so we have been adjusting for a while.

@tannerpetroff:   Well, reporting has been a lot more fun. :-/ I’ve had to start looking for data in new places, too.

@Casieg:   We’ve been giving WMT data and showing discrepancies between GA for a while now. More of that

@ConcerningChris:   We primarily leverage PPC data and landing page performance data. We use PPC data for new terms, and look at LPs to measure performance of current efforts.

@Sonray:   I’ll use PPC data a little more to make decisions but my storytelling and marketing is still the same.

@troyredington:   Segment by landing page. know the KW strategy of that page and what the phrases and ratios are and then pay attention to KW ranking, potential, and traffic trends to gauge performance and direction.
@tannerpetroff:   How do you find the ratio data if you’re optimizing new pages from the ground up?

@ppamktg:   We’ve focused on landing pages, engagement, conversions for a while. Our people want to see that we’re helping them make $. It was never just about rank. SO, that helps.

@RyanJones:   I predict browsers will kill the http_referer within a few years too.

@sbenhart:   Internal site search will become more relevant as well. I think that data is under-utilized.

@dan_patterson:   How often are you guys pulling GWT data? Daily, weekly…?
@Sonray:   Do the other #seochat ‘rs consider WMT data accurate? I haven’t found it to be so.
@dan_patterson:   I think it’s valuable. Sure, it’s not 100% the same as GA data, but it at least gives you trends.
@Thos003:   I still don’t like it as much. Plus I had pretty fancy KW data playing into real time content strategies. I have to change some of internal site development metrics for sure now. even had KW linked to phone lead.
@Casieg:   In terms of accuracy it’s obviously not 100%. But it can offer some good insights by page. GWT does offer some great long tail keyword data. I’d guess for many Bing is such a small part of traffic but it’s a piece to help fill in data.
@tannerpetroff:   Numbers never match up. This blog sums my thoughts on GWT data up nicely. .
@sbenhart:   The problem with GWT is that it’s “average position” so for multiple rankings for 1 term it looks lower than it should.
@ppamktg:   It can be esp. hard to see trends in GWT for niche markets, as if the traffic isn’t high enough for the math to work.

@AaronCohrs:   Research your audience, what do they search on, build site with content on that, who cares what Google hides, its about the user

@KevinDoory:   Appreciate the archiving of WMT data similar to the way @RavenTools does it.

@Scripti_Ashley:   Take advice from your clients as well. They know a lot about their industry that you may not.
@AaronCohrs:   If you focus on your client and their clients then it doesn’t matter what is and isn’t provided,you already know it.

@tonynwright:   Yes. Not Provided is bad for SEO. Yes. We will all adapt. Yes. I saw it coming. No, I don’t think it will make SEO any better.

@dan_patterson:   Has anyone else had a demo of RKG’s Blueprint Search Analytics?
@AmirLearner:   yes! blueprint uses data from everything but they wont be able to use analytics anymore :)

@tonynwright:   I’m more mad at Google’s hypocrisy than anything. Who thinks this is about privacy? If it’s about privacy, take the data away completely. But that would cripple the adwords market, so it won’t happen. Don’t forget, Google uses OUR CONTENT. We can be justifiably frustrated with Google for this.

@ConcerningChris:   Kind of hard to be mad at a company who let’s us make money off of their platform and tools for free.

Currently this is just a Google thing. Do you think other engines will follow?

@tannerpetroff:   I think Bing & Yahoo! will both hold strong to try to gain market share. 2 years down the road, though.

@ppamktg:   Yes. Like all things, it is only a matter of time.

@Scripti_Ashley:   I don’t think so. If nothing else, Google gave Bing more momentum to become a bigger player in the game.
@AustenjAllred:   Bing is a long, long way from begin real competition to Google. No traffic.

@scripti_meg:   No. I don’t think so. I think the others recognize the opportunity for growth with what Google has done, try to fill void .
@KevinDoory:   No doubt. But Bing has been trying so long. We need culture/ customers to Bing before the marketing can follow suit.

@ConcerningChris:   Yes. If everyone (SEOs) adopt new ways to market based on Google, then others will follow.

@kmullett:   (shake, shake) “Ask again later” ~ Magic 8 Ball

@parallelpath:   Yes. If there is a monetary incentive, other search engines will follow.

@KevinDoory:   Wait. It’s not as simple as SEOs promoting Bing. Google is part of our culture. Bing needs more help than SEOs to gain ground.
@kmullett:   Exactly. They [Bing] can start by providing better search results so people want to use the product.

@dan_patterson:   I could see Google making their privacy move as a marketing advantage over the other engines. Make companies look evil, make themselves look like they really care about your privacy. Could this all just be a big marketing ploy? I knew something was up when the links in the SERPs started going through a Google redirect.

@tonynwright:   Yahoo owns a great analytics tool called Indextools.
@Thos003:   Logically. But Adwords is now more valuable with the added benefit of a Key Word tool. ..I see bids going up.
@dan_patterson:   My bids have gone way up this year because of the damn carousel.

How does this change the way you track success as an in-house or agency?

@AaronCohrs:   It’s always and will always be about what your KPI is, is it how well you rank, maybe, but most likely conversions

@Casieg:   It doesn’t. We’ve always qualified success as leads & sales . If we can see those sales/leads are coming from organic or social or pieces of content we’ve written, still great.

@dizzySEO:   At least one of my clients will have to completely re-write their internal analytics.

@Scripti_Ashley:   Measurements of success vary from client to client. I don’t think these changes effect that at all.

@Sonray:   It doesn’t; we’re focused on sustained increases in traffic @DragonSearch. It’s about making the client $ and giving success.

@AmirLearner:   We measure success based on non-brand metrics and growth – this makes tracking that more difficult.

@ppamktg:   We’ve always been focused on quality conversions; this just makes it a little harder to track.

@tonynwright:   The market reacts to realities. I have no illusions that Adwords revenue will increase because of this. I’m not saying I believe a premium GA solution is coming, but it has been speculated by some far more in the know than me.

@tannerpetroff:   Agency – Numbers are going to be more general, # of referring keywords is useless now. Leads and sales won’t change.

@ConcerningChris:   Our clients hire us to drive relevant organic traffic. They want outcomes.

@parallelpath:   No change. Building client lead revenue & engagement measure success, not just keyword traffic.

@RyanJones:   Why do people think GA premium includes keywords? it’s the same tagging. keywords won’t be there. WMT still tells you number of queries. use that to measure long tail success / trending.

@thompsonpaul:   Big problem w/ those workarounds is they completely miss long-tail, low-volume, but incredibly valuable terms .


  1. Haven’t fully thought through the technical details, but within site search (or internal search) coupled with the right setup in Google Analytics or some other analytics software should preserve keywords to target pages. This isn’t a great or perfect solution, but it’s something to throw into the mix of alternate techniques to try and recover keyword referral data, actually more of a substitute for that. See


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  3. […] Google ‘(Not Provided)’ Keywords: 10 Ways to Get Organic Search Data Na alle ophef vorige week zijn er deze week een groot aantal blogposts verschenen met daarin “oplossingen” en workarounds voor het probleem dat er geen zoekwoorddata doorgegeven wordt door Google. In dit artikel omschrijft Jennifer Slegg 10 manieren om toch een inzicht te krijgen en een inschatting te kunnen maken van de prestaties van het organische zoekverkeer. Daarbij laat ze ook nog vallen dat ze verwacht dat andere zoekmachines snel zullen volgen en het dus ook lastig zal zijn om vanuit bijvoorbeeld Bing (dat in de US nog een aanzienlijk marktaandeel heeft) data te extrapoleren en het prestatieniveau van specifieke pagina’s te beoordelen. Andere artikelen met tips & tricks zijn te vinden op: – Kissmetrics 5 Alternative Sources to Cope With Google Analytics Keyword Not Provided – iAcquire: Surviving the (Not Provided) Apocalypse – Martin MacDonald: Not Provided? Unintended Consequences of Killing SEO – Summary: Solutions for (not provided) on #SEOchat […]

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