I have analysed a pattern of the "not provided" keywords on a couple of sites over the last 15 months. So far for March the first site has 32% of all organic visits arriving via "not provided" whilst the other has 37%.
The percentage has crept up from roughly 2% in Jan 2012 and the trend is up with increase averaging roughly 2% per month.
Here is graph for both sites:
I am wondering if this will stop or will continue to increase. Having a third of organic traffic arriving via "not provided" causes serious problem in analysing any ranking issues. For example, should there be a drop in traffic, it is now impossible to analyse keywords and find out:
- whether the number of keywords driving traffic has dropped
- which keywords drive less traffic
as seeing decrease in either of these two metrics is greatly skewed by "not provided" bucket. A particular keyword "decrease" may not really be decrease at all as visitors arriving via this keyword may have their visit recorded in "not provided" bucket. Equally, drop in the number of keywords driving traffic is not saying much either, as all these "lost" keywords may actually be present in "not provided" bucket.
Has anybody else looked at percentage of visitors that arrive to the site via "not provided" keywords? Are your numbers similar?
I have started to download and save the query data from WMT to have some historical information as WMT (as well as Search Engine Optimisation -> Queries in GA) only show the last three months of keywords.
Anyone has any other idea on how to "recover" the data we used to have?