What does “Keyword Not Provided” mean in Google Analytics?

Are you finding it hard to identify which keywords your site visitors are searching for prior to accessing your site? The “Keyword Not Provided” status has proved to be a bugbear for site owners across the world attempting to find out as much as they can about visitor behaviour so can plan their content strategies effectively.

When did Google reduce keyword data levels?

This status means Google is declining to tell you about keyword data. The reason for this is that Google is attempting to protect user privacy. Google first announced it was no longer offering keyword data several years ago. If you are finding this problematic, you need will need to use a different metric to find out if the search giant is sending high-quality traffic in your direction.

How can you find out more about visitor behaviour?

You can still learn about the reasons for visits by looking at other data, such as the first page your visitors landed on when they came from Google. The Landing Pages part of Google Analytics will tell you which your most popular posts are and tell you about what kind of information your visitors are looking for. Traffic sources data can also tell you where your visitors are coming from when they are not reaching you via Google. Webmaster Tools can also give you a better insight into keyword behaviour, though this is not as comprehensive as the information provided by Google prior to 2011. Nonetheless, it will provide you with valuable information about click-through rates.

Can you obtain more keyword data?

Google is still offering some keyword data to AdWords advertisers, but only data related to traffic they have paid for. Many site owners have expressed annoyance at the level of keyword data they are missing. The search giant initially said only a modest amount of data would show as “keyword not provided”, though scores of site admins are missing a huge portion of their data. However, the level of missing data can depend on the industry the site is related to.

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