diberry - 10:05 pm on Sep 24, 2013 (gmt 0)
Well, I don't use Analytics, but rather another stat package. Since we can't reliably know how many people searched "top key phrase" and got to my page, I'm trying to look at how many people Google has sent to that particular page, using whatever keyphrase including the "not provided". And that number is what appears to be so far down from the rather steady Adwords Keyword Tool number.
I'm willing to accept that the KPT is accurate. The problem is, last year KPT reported that around "14,000" people were searching my phrase, and I got around 14,000 people for that phrase. Now KPT still reports 14,000 people, but I'm getting a fraction of the visitors. Either visitor behavior has changed - i.e., huge numbers of people are ignoring the top organic result - or Google behavior has changed.
I can't imagine that users have started ignoring #1, at least not on that scale. So assuming it's Google's behavior that changed, I've spent the past year doing some testing.
-- Theory 1: when Google shows my page, it's at #1, but sometimes Google doesn't show my page at all, like maybe certain times of the day. But I can't catch it doing this. I've searched via proxies from various locations. I've searched all times of day. I can't ever "catch" Google not showing the page or showing it lower than #1.
-- Theory #2: my stats package is wrong in how it counts the number of people Google sent to a particular page. I've emailed the developer about that. But if shaunm is seeing the same behavior, and the chances are really slim that we're using the same stats package as mine isn't that popular or well-known.
I'm really stumped.