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Not Provided - Looks like organic keyword data is gone

     
4:18 pm on Sep 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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All Google searches, logged in or not, appear to be routed to https today. Clients who previously were running about 40 to 50% not provided are now up above 95%. Looks like organic keyword data is gone.
9:21 pm on Sept 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing any keyword data in my WMT after September 23rd and I have an AdWords account tied to the same email address. Is this just normal data lag?
9:44 pm on Sept 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There's always a 3 day lag in WMT for search query data
1:06 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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wouldn't migrating a site to be on https preserve the keyword data?
from what I understand it's the browser that strips all keyword data when going from secure to a non secure page. so if the user is going from one https page to another, wouldnt the data be preserved and also available through analytics?
1:17 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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^^^ It has been tried and no, keyword data is not preserved.
8:10 am on Sept 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am still not seeing any keyword data in Google WMT after September 23rd.
10:00 am on Sept 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am mildly curious to know if the premium Google Analytics ($150k a year, yo) provides organic keyword data,

Watch this space - there will be GA version that will have keyword info, but it will require subscription

Good question .... some attendees of [analytics.blogspot.com.au...] and current users might provide inputs. It was only a couple of weeks ago an analytics expert [ attending the GA Summit ] told me Premium offered insignificant advantages over GA.

I don't know what the premium analytics market is worth, but we're likely talking billions. I'm sure big G may play the good citizen card re "privacy" in public, but there's always a commercial strategy consideration in every major move, thought out a long time in advance.

Keywords are important, but I changed focus from keywords to page-level metrics and brand development long ago, and it pays dividends.

Still, I am no fan of losing data that is helpful in decision making.

Good idea, if you're in the position to do this.
11:25 am on Sept 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Whitey I am pretty sure RyanJones said premium doesn't provide keyword data either.
2:21 pm on Sept 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Good idea, if you're in the position to do this.


What types of sites would not be in the position to do this, Whitey? That's a sincere question because we might be able to come up with suggestions for those sites in the wake of this data loss.

Also, I'm still getting keyword data from foreign Googles. Did they only roll this out in the US, which has the most lax privacy laws in the first world, rather than all the European and other countries that have actually sued Google over privacy matters? If so, that puts the lie to "privacy concerns."
2:33 pm on Sept 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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For me the biggest loss is the long tail keywords.
2:48 pm on Sept 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Did they only roll this out in the US

Nope. I watch sites in the UK mainly and they're all affected by this.
9:16 pm on Sept 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What types of sites would not be in the position to do this, Whitey? That's a sincere question because we might be able to come up with suggestions for those sites in the wake of this data loss.

With knowledge/expertise, those that see a ROI on the $150k a year subscription + management costs

But according to @RyanJones [ @viral i missed this comment ] it still doesn't contain keyword data [google.com.au...]

My guess is that Google Analytics will get progressively wound back to encourage folks who got adopted, to either settle with a 2nd rate GA package or subscribe. Bait and switch.
9:54 pm on Sept 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My guess is that Google Analytics will get progressively wound back to encourage folks who got adopted, to either settle with a 2nd rate GA package or subscribe. Bait and switch.


Whitey : I completely agree with this statement. Google doesn't make a lot of cash from Analytics and as we have seen lately they are willing to dump anything that isn't making them cold hard currency. iGoogle, Google reader and they have even made Google apps paid only.

I guess Google no longer needs loss leaders!
2:50 am on Sept 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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5k users x 150k ( just a hypothetical figure ) + Adwords lift is a lot of revenue, even for Google. Who knows what the plans are, but Google seems to be embracing those that need it, much more strongly in it's decision making over the last couple of years. Those that don't pay are getting a much lesser play in the "free ride" stakes.

With "HummingBird" conversation based search , Panda , Penguin , Brand building, influencing specific keywords is become a lot less important, or likely unimportant. As Google Vice President Search Ben Gomes communicates here on the future of search : [webmasterworld.com...]

Maybe folks are chasing a red herring in trying to hang onto something that has bolted. I think Netmeg and CainIV summed it up well in earlier remarks on their priorities for clients.
8:22 am on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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This is bad enough but my webmaster tools data is way off track. It's aying I am ranking far better than I actually am. If WMT were right I would be doing fine and I could stand the loss of the organic data. Is anyone elses WMT way out?
10:51 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Very upsetting. This will change the face of SEO.

Pros (with access to big data sets and lots of experience) will have a bit of advantage over the some-timers and part-timers, but over time, it will be interesting to see how the industry evolves.

Thanks NetMeg for pointing this bit of news out to us.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:35 am (utc) on Oct 3, 2013]
[edit reason] TOS [/edit]

1:51 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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With their "knowledge engine" rollout Google is preparing a massive information theft.

One way to protect themselves against lawsuits is to remove the way companies/people can track how the content theft is affecting their results.

Overall, blocking keyword data is about as evil as it gets. I am appalled (yet not surprised) that WebmasterWorld is not being more vocal about this.
7:15 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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With searches being routed to https, does this mean that searches conducted on Google to arrive at a site won't show up in a site's server logs?

If I arrive at a site by searching for "big green widgets" on Google, for example, will that show up in the keyword phrases section of a server log?
10:39 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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You'll be able to see that the person is coming from Google but not which keyword they used to get to your site.
1:54 am on Oct 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Dymero.
1:23 am on Oct 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am mildly curious to know if the premium Google Analytics ($150k a year, yo) provides organic keyword data, but I don't actually know anyone who uses it.


Belated question: How would they do this? I mean, physically how? GA code lives at google-- but it's called by javascript on your own individual pages, meaning it's triggered after the user arrives. So the only way GA could include information that isn't available to you is if you postulate a whole separate line of communication that goes directly from Google Search to Google Analytics, passing information that isn't included in the request header.

To me this does not seem likely.
1:50 am on Oct 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But they do provide it in WMT... although they stop at top 2000 queries in there. So they could pass it that way?
2:25 am on Oct 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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They "could", but do they "want" to?

I don't actually believe it is the same data.

I keep waiting to think this nightmare will be over - but i do not think it will be.

Personally, I don't have much faith in finding a technical or business solution in this particular thread (despite the substantial experience, expertise and wisdom represented) - if there is that turns up, it may be a while in coming.

There is too much financial incentive for Google to obscure referrer keyword data.

Plus I believe that if they choose to, they can easily obscure even more information.

I do not put it past them to mess with segments and other dimensions of the data.

Evil, your name is "Not Provided"
3:43 am on Oct 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But they do provide it in WMT.

But that's extracted directly from Google Search. No detours to unrelated databases.
1:18 pm on Oct 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@skibum
It seems like "relevancy" as a goal of Google has been eroding for quite some time as "revenue" becomes the only goal.


In some ways this does seem to be the case in my sector. But also it seem they are contouring quality results to big box and or large deep pockets companies than often use ADwords.

It did not use to matter if you used adwords we use to rank well either way. Now as mentioned there is ever more push to use adwords, income is a likely reason. But information control has the most value.

Google has slowly been turning Google customers into Google product. Front end they increase income, back end they accumulate huge amount of data that has value far beyond what we can totally grasp at this point.
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