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Browsers Behind (Not Provided) Growth

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Browsers Behind (Not Provided) Growth

Since its introduction, (Not Provided) has created a stir among both the SEO community and many DIY webmasters. The share of (Not Provided) keywords rose steadily and then disappeared all together, leaving many wondering “What’s next?”.

Overview of (Not Provided)

While the talk around the SEO world would have some assuming the demise of keyword data is a recent change, Google showed their cards in October of 2011.

Google’s move to protect keyword data from all secure search (SSL) users essentially means search engine optimizers and marketers alike are having their precious keyword data taken away. Gone are the days of accurately distinguishing which keywords are delivering the most value.

Since October 2011 (Not Provided) grew to account for approximately 40% of keyword data in July of 2013.  Since then figures have sky rocketed, blowing out to a substantial 80% across the UK & Australia as reported by

The Browsers Who Are Breaking Bad

This sudden rise was unusual as no major changes seemed to account for it. This left the industry puzzled, confused and baffled, so after looking deeper, I’ve found the culprits behind the September jump.

Across a diverse range of Australian websites, identified two browsers breaking bad; holding only 9% of the market in July, by September both Safari & Internet Explorer had taken 35% of the (Not Provided) market.

As shown below, Internet Explorer’s share of (Not Provided) search traffic grew 150% in September alone.  Safari also showed a dramatic increase moving from 4% of the market to a healthy 15% (Shown Below).

Not Provided Growth

The Death of Keyword Data

The growth of (Not Provided) impacts a marketer’s ability to analyze what keywords consumers are using to find their business.  Given this major loss of data, the following solutions have been floated as alternatives to informing effective SEO strategies:

  • Search queries within Google Webmaster Tools
  • Landing page reports within Google Analytics to identify keyword clusters
  • Buying keywords through Google Adwords to test effectiveness
  • Google Keyword Tool for traffic estimates
  • Ranking reports to gauge improvement

So given demise of keyword data, how are you adapting your strategies and reporting?


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John Rosato

Account Director at Bespoke Agency

John Rosato digital marketer from Melbourne drinking coffee & growing online brands.

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