At the time of writing, according to (Not Provided) Count, we’ll hit 100% (not provided) on 29th November 2013. There’s plenty of debate and discussion about what this might mean for Google, users and marketers. I’m more interested in where we go from here.
Here are a bunch of great posts addressing the (not provided) issue:
From the Post: Every time I see an SEO report that includes things like year-over-year or month-over-month data broken down by keyword or non-branded organic traffic, I die a little inside. Why you ask? Because it’s junk data.
From the Post: Myth: I can just look at the keyword data that remains for a trend if it isn’t exact.
Reality: You can’t take credit for an increase/decrease in non-branded keyword traffic when you’re missing data. The keyword data that remains is a statistically unsound sample and can’t be relied on for even a trend.
From the Post: Establish macro context, Understand the performance profile of the (not provided) traffic, Match up performance profile to Brand & Non-brand visits, Tentative conclusions, Landing page keyword referral analysis.
From the Post: finding opportunities to improve a page’s performance or its ranking. If you see that a page of yours is receiving a lot of search traffic, or that a keyword is sending a lot of search traffic (or even a little bit of search traffic), but the page is not ranking very well, you know that by improving that page’s ranking you have an opportunity to earn a lot more search traffic.
From the Post: Harness Paid Data.
From the Post: This is why you want to break out Landing Pages separate from the Overall numbers. With our downloadable spreadsheet, you can break out the traffic to a site’s top Landing Pages to determine if any branded bias exists for your site, as well.
From the Post: Here are five of our posts that deal either with (not provided) explicitly or the changing conception of keywords generally.
From the Post: One potential way to estimate the number of branded keywords that are coming from logged in Google users is to look at historical data.
From the Post: Perhaps more importantly, the same basic methods can be applied to other phrases (replacing your brand with another keyword segment – in my case, “seo” is a logical option – determining what percentage of our traffic is from “seo”-based phrases. You may be inclined to attempt to over-analyze your data. However, the closer the core metrics (pageviews for example) are, the less accurate your conclusions will be.
From the Post: Create Custom Reports for branded, non-branded, & (not provided) Goal Completions.
From the Post: Compare Google Analytics Keyword Data to Google Webmaster Tools Data.
Have additional ideas about coping with the 100% (not provided) future? Please, please, please share them below.