Conductor Launches Modeled Traffic: A Marketers Solution to Not-Provided

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%.

Chart showing the not provide hockey stick showing the growth of not provided data over time

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 are being automatically redirected to httpS:// 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.

Modeled Traffic: 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 Modeled Traffic—a new technology solution for dealing with ‘not provided’.  Modeled Traffic 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’s Modeled Traffic 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’s SEO Platform Modeled Traffic has been made in this follow-up blog post, UPDATE: More Specifics on Conductor’s Not Provided Solution, Modeled Traffic.

19 Responses to Conductor Launches Modeled Traffic: A Marketers Solution to Not-Provided

  1. Francisco Meza says:

    Seth, quick question, but hard.

    Once (not provided) reaches 100%, GA revenue per keyword will not show in Conductor. Is TrueTraffic suppose to fill in that gap? You said:

    “TrueTraffic calculates the traffic and revenue generated by individual keywords …”

  2. Brent says:

    Ok. I’ll bite. How does this supposed to work? Magic? Do you have any examples of these reports?

  3. Is this suppose to operate like SEMRush or are you saying that TrueTraffic will provide actual keyword data for a specific website?

  4. Vu Thai says:

    How is this just not “keyword research”? The issue still exists that an individual won’t be able to see the keywords that are going to his/her site correct?

  5. Roger J. says:

    Interesting but what are the details on your solution? This article is of little help.

  6. Stephen Rhoads says:

    Sounds interesting and I think we are all hoping True Traffic is the solution, but you definitely need to supply specifics on how the [not provided] traffic data is calculated. Is it like AHREFS or Keyword Planner data x Search Ranking x Average CTR by SERP x Actual Actual Visit Metrics?

    Very curious. More details please.

  7. Kshitija says:

    Very interesting idea but this post does not give a clear picture of your offering. You will have to give some more information for us to invest in this.

    Hope to hear more soon

  8. Concerned GA analyst says:

    This sounds just like another formula trying to calculate this , just what we needed!
    Seriously what can you offer what is not out there already? You will NOT be able to provide the exact keywords so what is it?
    I’d guess Keyword rankings, landing page etc. so all just made up and hoping it can get close maybe by back testing on current analytics. Kind of like optimizing the future with past results. I seriously doubt this has any true value but maybe you can actually shed some more light on it ….

    • Hi Concerned.

      We’ve seen the percentage of not provided be up at around 95% for some time now. Using the term ‘exact’ when Google is blocking 95% of the data isn’t really a good use of the term ‘exact’ either, right?

      Value, in our opinion, is if you can make better decisions around whether or not the content you’re creating aligns with what your customers are looking for. If TrueTraffic gives you more insight and useable metrics to make those decisions, seems like there is a lot more value than what you’re getting from analytics.

      Again – more specifics here:
      UPDATE: More Specifics on Conductor’s Not Provided Solution, TrueTraffic

  9. This is a pretty mis-leading statement here “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).”

    Your missing the word “estimated”. Seem pretty clear this is just an estimate of traffic based on different click thru curves.

    Unless you go into great detail on how this works…I’d say this is just an attempt to mislead un-savvy marketers.

    • Not sure it’s misleading – but I do see your point, Amanda. I would make the point that it seems like for the last two years – Google has been giving us a pretty poor estimation of what the actual traffic from those keywords are – and that TrueTraffic is a lot closer.

      Appreciate the comment and POV, though.

  10. Got to hand it to Conductor for being prepared and reaching out to clients so rapidly with the news of the change.

  11. Russ Jones says:

    I would be fascinated to know how “TrueTraffic” matches up with historical data value data.

  12. Hey Guys – thanks for all the questions. We just wrote up a more thorough update on how TrueTraffic works. Thanks for the all the great feedback:

  13. Nate says:

    Just talk with your PPC team about search query data. Most of the time keyword revenues between paid & organic line up. You just may have to dig a little deeper into phrase match keyword query data for those content/help-based queries because they probably won’t yield conversions, but they’re definitely available.