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69% of marketers claim that they focus on conversion rates and performance metrics when coping with their loss of Google keyword data.

This comes from the 2014 Industry Survey published by Moz.

By moving towards making all searches secure, Google has taken away most of the organic search-term data from its Analytics tool, thereby leaving the rather cryptic ‘(not provided)’ as the top keyword in the search terms driving traffic to your site.

Last year on the blog we were speculating on the speed with which we’ll be entering a world of 100% (not provided) data. Here are the experts’ views on the keyword data apocalypse.

If you're interested, (not provided) now makes up almost 95% of our organic referrals: 

Although according to Click Consult’s (not provided) count the percentage has plateaued somewhat in the last month.

There are ways and means to cope with this loss of data. Ranging from the ‘viable alternatives’ to the just plain ‘hacky’, however going back to Moz’s survey, here’s how 3,700 industry people answered the question “how do you cope with (not provided)?”

  • 69% focus on conversion rate and performance metrics.
  • 66% focus on landing page traffic.
  • 58% rely more on Google Webmaster Tools data.
  • 41% try to estimate traffic based on other data.
  • 37% focus on social signals (tweets, likes, +1s).

According to Moz, on average respondents selected three different solutions. It's clear to them that it’s going to take a range of solutions to solve this problem, with probably a great deal of trial and error.

Respondents who tracked more than 100 keywords were more likely to rely on rankings and less likely to rely on social signals than those who tracked fewer than 100 keywords.

Is Google Analytics the most widely used analytics tool?

Yes, by quite a long way according to Moz:

  • 94% of respondents use Google Analytics to measure data.
  • The second most popular tool is Wordpress Stats with 16%.
  • The next most popular tool is CrazyEgg with 15%.
  • In-house tools are used by 13%.
  • Ominture is used by 12%.

In our own survey conducted for the Online Measurement and Strategy Report, our figure was in line with this percentage.

90% of respondents used Google Analytics in 2013, up from 47% in 2012. With 56% using it exclusively in 2013.

Analytics itself is the top marketing activity according to the Moz survey.

Even with (not provided) at its highest in 2013, keyword research still made it into the top five.

In his article, Graham Charlton lists eight alternatives and workarounds for missing data, where he looks into more detail such solutions such as:

  • Using your site search data.
  • Using AdWords data.
  • Using data from other search engines - Bing or Yahoo.
  • Using Google's paid and organic report.
  • Using historical data to forecast trends.

For loads more stats and insight, download our own State of Search Marketing Report 2013 in association with SEMPO.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 5 February, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

686 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

Emma North

Emma North, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

Post-(not provided) for me is all about landing page analysis and Webmaster Tools search queries data, especially since this was recently upgraded. There is a lot of information you can still ascertain even without organic keyword data and I haven't had any major problems with data reporting since the change. Just another thing for us to get used to!

over 2 years ago

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