‘not provided’ keywords now listed with estimated visitor numbers in the analytics report

Google Analytics does not show the keyword that was used by a searcher if the searcher was logged in to Google while searching. Instead of the actual keyword, Google Analytics shows ‘not provided’ in the statistics.

For many websites, the percentage of ‘not provided’ keywords is above 50%. That means that it’s difficult to find out how many visitors your website received through a particular keyword.

As from today, the keyword referrer page in the analytics section of SEOprofiler shows the number of estimated visitors that your website received through a keyword:

not provided keyword

How are the estimated visitors calculated?

We assume that the distribution of ‘not provided’ keywords is the same as the distribution of the provided keywords. For example, if “brown shoes” is the most popular keyword of searchers who are not logged in to Google, we assume that it is also the most popular keyword for people who are logged in to Google.

Example:

Keyword Referred visitors Percentage of referred visitors
brown shoes 40 80%
yellow shoes 5 10%
blue shoes 5 10%

If the website has 1000 referred visitors from search engines with a keyword that is ‘not provided’, the estimated ‘not provided visitors will be calculated as follows:

Keyword Referred visitors Percentage of referred visitors Estimated visitors
brown shoes 40 80% 800 (80% of 1000 ‘not provided’ visitors)
yellow shoes 5 10% 100 (10% of 1000 ‘not provided’ visitors)
blue shoes 5 10% 100 (10% of 1000 ‘not provided’ visitors)

Of course, this method is far from scientific. It is only a rough indicator that can help you to judge the popularity of a keyword.

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Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".

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