UK Statistics: Keyword “not provided” share hits 93% in Google Analytics

Statistics from March to December 2013 show “not provided” keyword results are increasing in Google Analytics

not provided box

(not provided) was introduced in October 2011

A survey conducted by Intelligent Positioning in December has shown that keyword “not provided” in Google Analytics has grown by almost 30% since March. This research utilised our rich Analytics data consisting of around 175 million visits for the period surveyed. Using this information from a wide variety of sectors to study Acquisitions data in Analytics it becomes obvious “not provided” is being rolled out at a pace that is increasing rapidly.

Keyword Not Provided Methodology

The poll looked at nine websites of significant size from sectors including technology, beauty and retail. The average percentage of keywords “not provided” stood at a noteworthy 92.83% in the first week of December.

Data was taken from Google Analytics from week one of March, week one of July and week one of December to compare the increase throughout 2013. From this data we predict if growth continues at this rate keywords “not provided” will hit 100% within the next 3 months.

Chart 1: Breakdown of keywords “not provided” share by website chart and table

The increase is at varying rates, for example Site 4 and Site 8 who held a “not provided” score at below 60% in July saw a “not provided” increase of 30% between July and December. Sites with a higher “not provided” rate in July such as Sites 1 and Site 2 saw a slower increase of 1-15%. This data could be indicative of Google attempting to level out “not provided” for all sites

Chart 2: Breakdown of keywords “not provided” by average across all websites

keyword not provided averages

There is evidence here to suggest the average increase doubles over the period surveyed, from 9.4% between March and July, to 19.07% between July and December. This means richer keyword tracking will become increasingly imperative to websites wishing to understand their keyword acquisitions.

Chart 3: The arc of “keyword not provided” visits for Site 8 in Analytics, Since Google introduced the term in October 2011

notprovided arc

The above chart shows the visits to Site 8 since the roll out of “not provided”. Keywords “not provided” have double since March according to their acquisitions data in Analytics.

What is Keyword “Not Provided”

In October 2011 Google announced that to make search more secure in a blog post:

“When a signed in user visits your site from an organic Google search, all web analytics services, including Google Analytics, will continue to recognize the visit as Google “organic” search, but will no longer report the query terms that the user searched on to reach your site.”

This is due to Google attempting to personalise search, and they claim it is to protect the privacy of users. The “signed in” users they are discussing will be signed into into their Google account and experience secure search. The web browser Firefox also uses securing browsing. These searches will register as “keyword not provided”