Google Analytics Keyword Showing as: Not Provided?

You logged into Google today, viewed you referring keywords, and BAM: One of the top referrers was: “(not provided)”.

Google have introduced a new feature into their search where logged in users have search defaulting to SSL. Supposedly this is only meant to be affecting 10% of statistics, as apparently only 10% of queries to google search come from signed in users, however, we are seeing a much higher value for pingable. Sites that target a more technical audience will likely see similar statistics as us, where this number might become quite high.

Here’s is Googles official announcement on the topic.

What does this mean for web masters?

Obviously less data. The number 1 referral to is now a keyword called (not provided). As annoying as this is, I guess the positive way to look at it is that it just scales down the data you can get from users. Overall, keyword referrals should be similar, however they will seem slightly lower, as you will not be getting the full picture.

The roll out has been taking place over the last few days, take a look to see how it is affecting out data:

GA Keyword not provided

So nothing to be too worried about. Your keyword performance is not dropping, Google are simply hiding the data from you.

14 thoughts on “Google Analytics Keyword Showing as: Not Provided?”

  1. I recently checked my analytics and I got the same. My number 5 referral is sending 600 visits with “not provided” as keywords too. I have read somewhere that we can still see these data with the paid version of Google analytics.

    1. I care less about the “not provided” keyword shown by Google Analytics. And certainly, I’m not paying Google just to know what that keyword is. There’s something wrong with Google’s thinking right now.

  2. I logged into analytics this morning and seen this “not provided” for the first time. Thanks for the post.. I was thinking there was something wrong with my code when I first seen it.
    If that is true about being able to see this data with the paid version, I’m not sure I’m a big fan of this.

  3. Wow, I thought it was because of Ad Words Campaign. LOL I linked the Google account with the Ad words Campaign with the one from Analytics and did not see that happening anymore, but I thought it was the problem

  4. Good things do come to an end, or should we say that some good things now come with a fee. I have experienced the same thing when I checked my Google Analytics and its really frustrating. Now, we may be forced to get the paid version of the analytics.

  5. Google seems to be changing the who online search thing at a rapid uncomfortable pace these days just like Facebook is as well. How are we supposed to optimize our sites for our keywords if that particular keyword is being hidden from us? Now I’m left wondering how I can beat Panda when next it strikes without having a clear knowing of what my site is meant to be all about in the eyes of the big G.

  6. Isn’t hiding data some sort of violation of the right to know in most countries? Google may not be affecting my keyword performance, but I do object to the fact that I have less data being made available to me. I personally don’t see the point in this. Not that any problems were caused when users used keyword searches. Hoping that this decision is revoked soon, I don’t see this feature having any people who will like it, hence the chances of it flopping are very high.

  7. Ahh, thanks for clearing this up for me. I have been getting a lot of those “not provided” showing up in my analytics, and wondered what was going on. It’s pretty frustrating but I’m imagining there’s some kind of back story to it, reading between the lines I’m guessing that they might be protecting themselves from some kind of legal action.

  8. I love how Google says this is due to privacy concerns. Well if that was the case then how come when I run Analytics as an Adwords customer I now get access to this forbidden information? It is a joke and they are beyond hypocrites. It is all about privacy until you are a paying customer of theirs and then it is all, “Here you go, whatever you need.” This is all about making people that do SEO on their sites have a harder time so they are forced to do PPC. I hope the DOJ really nails them.

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