How To

The easy way to decode “keyword not provided” in Google Analytics

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Keyword Not Provided by Google Analytics :(

If you’ve been using Google Analytics for some time, you may have noticed that the fraction of search results from keywords that are “not provided” has been increasing over time. This is mostly because anyone logged into a Google product using Google search now has their search keywords hidden from site owners. So what are site owners to do? How do you know which keywords are driving traffic to your site?

Some suggestions involve decoding query strings, but this is a complicated solution that doesn’t yield that much useful information. Here’s one simple tip that will give you some insights into what those mysterious “not provided” keywords are.

From your organic search results page, click on “(not provided)”. Then find the “Primary Dimension” setting right above the table of results. Changing this changes what is represented in the first column in the table.

Find the "Primary Dimension" setting in Google Analytics

Click on the tiny triangle next to “Other” to find a pull down menu with other values you can change this to. Change it to “Landing Page”, which is under “Traffic Sources”.

Change "Primary Dimension" in Google Analytics to Landing Page

Voila. You can now see which pages are bringing in traffic via “not provided” keywords. While you still can’t see the exact keywords, you can see which pages are most successful in search and most likely, the keywords are related to the titles of these pages.