GWC’s Best Sales Tool: (not provided)

November 21, 2011
By Rhea Drysdale in SEO

Remember that rant I gave awhile back on how Google Invests in Privacy for Profit?

We’ve been watching the impact of those missing “not provided” results since then. Recently, while checking on the performance of a client’s recent redesign, we noticed the following in Google Analytics once we’d filtered the organic search traffic for our category and keywords:

Google Analytics: Organic Search Traffic

Google Analytics Organic Traffic Filtered

First thought: OH SHIT!

(the curse words were actually much worse, I’m sorry, I got my mouth from the Chicago side)

Next thought… wait, I wonder if “not provided” has anything to do with this. Sure enough that dramatic drop off occurred the same day that Google’s privacy update rolled out.

Here’s the keyword report for (not provided) that backs this up:
Not Provided Organic Traffic

Ok, great… I think we’re doing better, but this is really annoying to diagnose!

After a phenomenal dinner with Maile Ohye at Pubcon, I decided to give Google Webmaster Central’s Search Queries report more attention. Here’s what we found:

Google Webmaster Central: Top Queries

Google Webmaster Central Search Queries Filtered

Well, that looks a whole lot better!

Take what you will from the data, but on our end, we WILL be using Google Webmaster Central much more for reporting, flaws and all. In the meantime, I know the Google Webmaster Central team would love feedback on how to improve features and increase industry adoption.

My immediate suggestion: advanced filters and annotations please.

Let them know what you’d like to see. :)

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