Today marked an important day in SEO. It is the day Google turned off the lights on keyword data. Ok, we all saw this coming a few years ago and speculation abounded as to why. Google claims it was all in the name of privacy while conspiracy theorist state its all about the bottom dollar (converting more customers to pay into Adwords).

I don’t care what your position is about the change. The question I have is will you change? Well you don’t really have a choice anymore do you? SEO (and PPC) is all about change. If you haven’t figured that out in this business you probably shouldn’t be in the business to begin with.

So let’s stop complaining and bitching, and moaning, and move forward with what we can do to save our sanity.

I’ve compiled a list of the top sites that have talked about what you can do to claim back the (not provided) in Google Analytics from the past several years. Some post overlap but there are good tidbits to take out of them all.  And of course its always good to hear others opinions whether it was 2 years ago when it first started to today when it took effect.

Hope you enjoy!!!

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 11.53.49 PM
It has been over three months since Google announced the (not provided) update that would protect privacy hide search referral keywords for organic traffic…

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 11.53.33 PM

Google Analytics is a goldmine of useful information about visitor trends and behavior. However, there is one area where Google Analytics frustrates its users: the organic search terms report…

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 11.57.36 PMIn an effort to make search more secure, on Oct. 18th Google announced that users logged into their Google accounts using would be redirected to The search queries by these users would hence be encrypted and not available to website owners via web analytics tools such as Omniture, WebTrends, Open Stats, Google Analytics etc.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 12.00.20 AMWhat do you do when 36 percent of your traffic data is gone? For most of us, the answer is “panic.” After all, for an online business, traffic data and search-engine-optimization knowledge is essential. If you don’t understand the behavior of visitors to your website, then your business strategies resemble shots in the dark.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 12.05.12 AM
Funny thing – the same day Google made the announcement, I purchased the It’s been a source of humor that only SEOs could enjoy. The organic keyword report is worth a double-take. Fortunately, some very smart SEOs and web analytics folk have devised strategic plans of attack to deal with the “not provided” problem. These following 7 techniques not only offer the best ways to determine the scope of your problem, but also provide specific strategies to reclaim your lost data…

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 12.09.52 AMSince October 2011, organic keyword data from logged-in Google users is not visible in Google Analytics. Google explained its new policy as an effort to protect privacy, but as keyword data continues to be available to Google advertisers, one is left to wonder whether privacy or profit is behind the move.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 12.11.30 AMThe more actual keyword data you have access to, the more likely it is that your extrapolation across the (not provided) segment represents an approximate reality. While there have been a number of viable proposed methodologies for recovering lost keyword data, it remains clear that, at a granular level, the long tail segment has been the most victimized.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 12.15.17 AMMaking the Best of a Bad Situation – Surviving (not provided) Keywords in Google Analytics -Webmasters and SEO’s just need to work a little harder to understand what the data within (not provided) results means and get a smarter understanding of the site’s analytics. By following these three steps, you can stay on top of the change and get the most out of your (not provided) data.

That should keep you more than busy with some great reading.  Let us know if you have tips and strategies to recover some of that lost data known as (not provided).