Hotel Industry Blog

Google Analytics Keyword Not Provided

By Ciaran Rowe | On Tue, October 15, 2013

Google Analytics Keywords (not provided)

​A couple of years ago, Google introduced limitations to data being provided by users that were signed in to their Google accounts. The data from these users was not passed across to analytics for security reasons, so instead of seeing keyword data, site owners were just seeing (not provided) in their keyword reports. At the time Google claimed that this would affect only a small proportion of searches, but this small number has been getting progressively larger and jumped recently when Google introduced secure search for all users, whether they were signed in or not. The main implication of this change is that it is now very difficult for site owners to ascertain which keywords are generating traffic to their site, but as we pointed out in our recent article on the Google Hummingbird Update, the focus has moved away from keywords to contextual searches.

Growth in (not provided) traffic 2013 to date
Growth in (not provided) traffic 2013 to date

There are still some ways to gain insights into keyword data:

  1. Look at keyword queries from Google webmaster tools, which can be seen in analytics at Acquisition>>Search Engine Optimisation>>Queries.
  2. Keywords from other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo are unaffected, so you can see them at Acquisition>>Keywords>>Organic.
  3. Historical data is still available, so change your date range to see which keywords performed well in the past.
  4. Adwords data is available at Acquisition>>Keywords>>Paid.
  5. Look at the landing pages that brought users to your website and try to ascertain which queries would have brought them there.
  6. Most importantly, move away from focussing solely on keywords, and look at creating good content that successfully answers contextual queries.

Ciaran Rowe is Senior Search Strategist at Bookassist (, the award-winning technology and online strategy partner for hotels worldwide.

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