idodev rss feed
Graph showing the incredible climb of not provided in Google Analytics

Google Analytics (Not Provided) - The End is Nigh

At last look, the 19th of November spells the end of an analytical era. Google Analytics is flying at break neck speed towards the end of keyword visibility and the rise of the ever so annoying ‘(Not Provided)’ count.

The source of this frustration is Google’s move to https for search. This applies to anyone logged into Google or anyone who had been recently (crafty little cookie). With this, searched keywords are no longer passed in the referral http header to your site and your embedded analytics code is effectively blind to the source of the visit.

Click Consult have knocked up a handy if not bed wettingly scary website that shows the imminent end (a tad too dramatic?) to keyword visibility - The rise in ‘(Not Provided)’ has been exponential with the terminal date drawing rapidly nearer. Only a month ago it was estimating 14th April 2014 to be ‘the date’, however now its showingan estimate of the 19th of November and with no sign of letting up.

So what do we do after this date? Well there are several options, none that provide the granular detail we’ve become accustomed to but nonetheless options that are still quite viable.

##Google Webmaster Tools

So we can’t see what has been searched for in GA because the information is no longer passed to the site. BUT Google still knows all about it, they still process the searches and are fully aware of what pages users are heading off to. Webmaster Tools has a rough and ready approximation of keywords that have driven users to your site. Webmaster Tools is lightyears behind GA in terms of usability and finesse but when in a tight spot this might just do.

##Google Analytics > Search Engine Optimisation

Some might think that Google had anticipated this issue (surely not?!) and as a proving point, once your analytics account is paired with Webmaster Tools a similar report is available within. Navigating to Aquisition > Search Engine Optimisation > Queries will show you a full report of all terms used in search that resulted in a visit. Prefixed with a notice of “No data is available from the most recent 2 calendar days.” you might be a bit stuck if you need to know up to the second stats but its the best we’ve got right now!

So will life continue to exist beyond the 19th? Perhaps, but not as we know it.

comments powered by Disqus
Toby Foord - Web Developer

Hi, I'm Toby Foord. A 28 year old developer, wannabe designer, husband, and dad. I ocassionally commit, once in a while I tweet, and on a blue moon I might chat.