Google’s Not Provided Feature Provides a Frustrating Experience to Webmasters
As a webmaster you may surely love to browse through different search terms fed into search boxes on different browsers by your visitors and customers. Knowing your customers and visitors precise needs that enabled them to reach your website can certainly help you to improve your marketing campaign.
However, Google does not always display the search term typed in by visitors and webmasters may end up getting a large number of Not Provided figures along with the name of the URL that lead to their website. The visit would be recorded as an organic search, but without the crucial search term being displayed in the web analytics reports, webmasters and web-owners would certainly face a tough time in understanding the exact needs of their visitors and clients.
Since May 2010, Google has constantly changed their secure search program to reduce the amount of data available for webmasters to improve their services. Your visitors and customers may now need to be logged in Google while searching and your results may also vary depending on the browser used by your target market.
Again, if your target traffic shifts from one device to another or uses a different browser then your results may vary. In fact, the day may not be far off when you may notice that all your data sports the Not Provided message as you try to uncover this crucial data of search terms used to reach your website.
While Google’s Webmaster Tools merely provides data for the past 90 days in terms of top 2000 search terms used by your audience, you may want to dig deeper into the past to observe past trends and chart out future action. You can try out new search analytical software such as Blueprint to get access to this critical data beyond the stipulated 90 days. You should also use the Webmaster tools data to analyze impression data and click through rates for all the queries to locate the true reason behind changes in search volume.
In case you utilize paid search then you can use AdWords to extract valuable search data too. However, this may prove to be useless in case you wish to analyze organic search results. In addition, you will also need to extract search term data for visitors that use other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing in addition to Google. On the other hand, using custom advanced filters in Google Analytics Profile too will help you to reduce a substantial chunk of Not Provided figures and better understand your market.
If you too have been frustrated by Google’s reluctance to divulge data important for your marketing strategy, you can try the above tips and tools to extract a bit more from your reports as well as lower the Not Provided figures.