Today we have a big announcement – something that will help marketers be much more effective in connecting with their customers.
In October of 2011, Google announced that they were going to start to block valuable data on which keywords consumers use to discover your content. They said it was only going to affect less than 10% of all your traffic. Fast forward 24 months – web marketing has completely turned upside down. When Search Marketers opened their Web Analytics packages on Monday morning, they were greeted by a rude surprise: that 10% number is much closer to 100%.[Not provided] visits are those site visits that come from organic search, but no longer contain keyword specific data. Our research team has been tracking the phenomenon since October of 2011, when Google first stopped sending keyword data from logged-in users But, as of this Monday morning many industry sites are calling attention to a recent substantial spike in [Not Provided] traffic.
Our analysis of more than 11 million visits from three major retail websites showed one site with 65% of traffic [not provided], one with 75% and one with 80%.
Further research showed that some industry sites are actually reporting that all Google searches are now not provided, based on the evidence that all visits to Google.com are being automatically redirected to httpS://www.google.com. If all searches are indeed being encrypted over https, we may well see 100% of searches returning as not provided. We should have more definitive evidence on that in the next 48 hours.
Hidden Keyword Data for Organic Search, But Not for Paid
When we get past our initial bafflement at Google’s claim that they hid keyword data for “extra protection”–unless you click on a paid search ad in which case you are slightly less “extra protected”–the fact is, this loss of organic search keyword data creates a very real problem for Marketers.
Search Marketers use keyword data to see what terms searchers use to arrive at their site. With this knowledge, Marketers can adjust search strategies, develop content, optimize pages, and generally understand what is and is not working for them. The loss of this information means Marketers are, suddenly, painfully, flying blind. Creating great content that your customers will love was challenging enough before – but without the ability to read the interests of your customers through their search terms, it has become nearly impossible.
TrueTraffic: A Marketer’s Solution to Not-Provided
At Conductor – we’ve seen this coming, and as such, have been planning to give back that control to our customers. We could not be more prepared.
That’s why we’re thrilled to announce TrueTraffic – a new technology solution for dealing with ‘not provided’. TrueTraffic calculates the traffic and revenue generated by individual keywords based on their online visibility, consumer demand and consumer behavioral models (i.e. – B2B consumers go deeper into a set of results vs a B2C consumer). Armed with a clearer picture of the keywords driving traffic to your site, online marketers can make informed decisions on how to prioritize their content creation and SEO initiatives.
Now – instead of guessing at the 85% of traffic you can’t see, or even watching that climb to 100%, you can see specifically what is motivating the visitors to your site – and continue to respond.
Conductor Searchlight’s TrueTraffic provides a seamless transition from the loss of keyword traffic data – so marketers can continue to create great content for their ecosystem of customers.
A detailed update about Conductor Searchlight TrueTraffic has been made in this follow-up blog post, UPDATE: More Specifics on Conductor’s Not Provided Solution, TrueTraffic.