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How Google Encryption Is Affecting Analytics Data

To highlight the effect of the Google encryption of keyword data on their organic searches, we’ve been analysing the data presented in Google Analytics.

This table illustrates the average percentage of searches that are showing the keyword data over the past 6 months and shows a steep decline in keyword data presentation from search engines.

Keyword Table

The data was produced by finding the average from 6 disparate websites over the past 6 months of percentage of traffic without “not provided” against the keyword data.

You can see the drop graphically in this diagram:

Keyword Graph

The majority of the remaining traffic with keyword data is organic traffic from Bing, Yahoo, and others but there still is a small amount of traffic from Google. This is expected to completely disappear in the very near future.

The main concern here for anyone using Analytics, is you can no longer judge the effectiveness of the keywords that you are trying to rank your site for organically. Our earlier post discusses some of the business issues surrounding this, but there this steep decline in keyword data also presents a significant issue in comparing like-for-like data from 2011, 2012 and 2013. All website owners want to see traffic increasing in quality and quantity, of course, but it is important to adjust those metrics to take account of the traffic represented by this change in Google policy.

It’s an unwelcome change for most, but we’re given little alternative. Time to roll with those punches.

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