Google Analytics is an indispensible tool for anyone running a website. It doesn’t matter if you’re a non-profit or an enterprise or a blogger, the information that Google Analytics shares with you is highly useful and actionable. Even a quick peek at the dashboard of your website’s Google analytics will tell you the number of visits to your website, the sources, the main keywords, regions, your top content and how the people interact with your website. Armed with this information, you can take corrective action to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to your website and to fix navigation and page issues on it.
The keyword report in Google Analytics shows which keywords were typed on search engines when the visitors landed on your website. The higher the ranking, the more is the traffic. Using advanced analysis techniques, you can determine the relative value of keywords to your business too.
However, Google has recently stopped sharing keyword data if the searcher is logged in to her Google Analytics account. Google made this announcement a week back on their blog. This means that if the searcher who landed on your website typing a keyword on Google.com is using any of the Google services (like Gmail, Adwords, blogger, Google+, Adsense or any other service) and is logged into her Google account, all you see as the keyword referral is “Not Provided”.
It is not just Google Analytics that is devoid of the keyword data but for a logged in user, the search engine redirects them to https://www.google.com. HTTPS is the secure HTTP and no other service will be able to get the keyword data either. Well not all of them. If you are a Google Adwords advertiser, you can still see the exact keyword in your Google Adwords account.
What we are unable to comprehend is that how hiding keyword data for anonymous data set helps in improving the privacy for users. Moreover if it does, why has Google not implemented it in Adwords too? It is a legitimate question and a debate is necessary around this topic. As of now we have seen around 3-4% of our keywords across various client websites showing “Not Provided” as the keyword. This is bound to increase over a period of time with the increasing popularity of the Google+ service, which is fantastic BTW. If Google is able to push Google+ to a higher extent be ready to lose more than 10% of your keyword data. Way to push Adwords? Well, only time shall tell.