Deep Dive into (Not Provided) Data and Ways Around It #SMX

Deep Dive into (Not Provided) Data and Ways Around It #SMX

28th March 2014

Currently in Munich SMX Munich is taking place. Timon Hartung is there for us and is reporting the talks. This post looks at the rising (not provided) data and ways to get around it.

Florian Stelzner and Stefan Fischerländer

Florian Stelzner, Managing Partner at Wingmen Online Marketing and Stefan Fischerländer, founder of Gipfelstolz, showed a great presentation about one of the major topics that is currently on our radar: (not provided).

Google wants to make browsing and searching on the web safer and wants to protect its users so it introduced (not provided). Since the introduction, hardly any keyword data is passed into web analytics tools. (not provided) should not be confused with “not set”. “Not set” means that you cannot see any referrer information. It is very different to (not provided).

The website measures the development of (not provided) based on 60 websites. Here you can find information about the progress of (not provided) in Google Analytics. Since February 2014, the number of (not provided) keywords has increased tremendously. On average, over 80% of keywords are replaced by (not provided). And it is still rising.

Unfortunately (not provided) makes a classic keyword analysis impossible.

The following information was available through keywords before the introduction of (not provided):

  • From which keywords does the landing page receive most of its traffic?
  • For what keywords should you create separate landing pages?
  • Which keywords convert best?
  • At what step of the customer journey is a user who comes to the site over the keyword XYZ?
  • How does the interest in a keyword change during the year?

Dealing with (not provided)

But how can we deal with the (not provided)? Here are a few possible options available to you to determine the keyword data for your site:

Extrapolate Keyword data from Analytics: While a percentage of keywords are still being reported, you can try to calculate the share of total clicks. Problem: most of these keywords are transmitted by mobile devices, so the forecast could be distorted. Mobile users often search for local searches and brands which can distort the extrapolation even more.

Link Data from Webmaster Tools & Analytics Account: The downside is that the GWT data is not as meaningful and it is limited as only the last 3 months data are available. Additionally, there is no usable API. Tip: regularly back up your GWT data.

Link data from AdWords & Analytics: Obtain data from your AdWords keywords in your Google Analytics account

AdWords as brainstorming supplier: Book broad in order to determine the keyword diversity. Goal: halfway valid search frequencies for keywords in a narrow subject area.

Conclusion: The keyword is dead in the analysis, but you should focus on the landing pages in the future. The requirement: For every topic a focused landing page (rankings) and a well structured information architecture.

Landing Page as the Secondary Dimension

The secondary dimension “landing page” is useful for analysis in Google Analytics. You can see which URL gets how much traffic => these URLs must then be matched with the rankings (e.g. with Sistrix or Seachmetrics) and then the keywords for which the URLs rank will be shown and the keywords can be guessed.

Are keywords in times of Hummingbird updates still relevant?

“Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query – the whole sentence or conversation or meaning – is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.”(Danny Sullivan, Founding Editor of Search Engine Land)

The search phrase of the future: “I want to spend a summer vacation with my wife from 17/08/2014 to 08/24/2014 in the Canary Islands for less than 1,000 euros per person.”

  • Who is “I”?
  • Who is “my wife”?
  • Summer = Hot Vacations = leisure offers relate to the “I” and “my wife”

Be careful: The personalized results from Google distort an analysis directly on Google. Therefore, a keyword-based analysis is hardly possible and meaningful.

But what is really important?

But ultimately it comes to one conclusion: how users behave and how I can influence that to achieve my business goals!

The following questions should be answered:

  1. What pages have too high bounce rates? Pages over 80 % must be considered in any case! But on long pages it should be noted, that each visit without a next click is a bounce => here look at the time on page (maybe with Javascript) and other “conversions “.
  2. What are the entry pages which lead to conversions (also micro – conversions)?
  3. Which paragraphs on the page are read by the users and where do they leave ? Track the scrolling > which areas are interesting? => Look at!
  4. At what times were which products bought? Day of week, time of day?
  5. What sites have the best CTRs at the SERPs? Snippet optimization is very important especially for pages in good positions, but low CTRs.
  6. How many conversions result on brand/nonbrand entry pages?

Written by Timon Hartung..An online marketeer with 10 years of SEO and online marketing and 15 years of coding experience. Currently Managing Director of a global PPC traffic network based in Munich Germany. He blogs at


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