Search engines are main tools used for exploring the internet and on them the positioning process is based. If we define well the phrases leading to our site and we are high on the search lists, it can result in high website traffic from users interested in our offer. In Google’s case it is usually about those few first results at the top of the first page. We rather shouldn’t count on user finding our site from 20th or 30th search results page.
In order to check whether chosen phrases provide expected results it is best to use the free tool such as Google Analytics which is usually already included with the site by webmasters.
Information about phrases by which people reach us from Google search can be found after logging into Google Analytics, clicking on ‘Traffic Sources’ tab, ‘Sources’, then ‘Search’ and finally ‘Organic’.
Report obtained in this place will illustrate which phrases lead users to our site. However, most interesting will be the data hidden from us, labelled as ‘not provided’.
In theory this label means that Google Analytics wasn’t able to define which words users used to reach our site. Lack of knowledge in this area rises to a serious issue when we observe how the mysterious ‘not provided’ data behaved in the past few months, e.g. from the beginning of the year until now.
Then it occurs that we have no idea which phrases generate on average about 30% of traffic from positioning. In other words, one of the most important areas of our activity changes into one big question mark.
If we investigate the ‘not provided’ phrase occurrence closer, we can notice that its presence in the statistics started increasing starting March this year. Even more interesting data can be observed by comparing its activity in different browsers. It turns out that for the most of the camouflaged results is responsible FireFox browser due to a major update at the beginning of March.
Is this a coincidence? Not at all. These kind of actions are planned actions by Google which has a direct reason to provide its users as little information about positioning as possible. Google of course states that it only cares about users’ privacy but…
complete information about phrases through which clicking took place is available via Google’s paid product – Adwords.
This example shows what changes took place in SEO during this year and allows to assume what can happen in the future. Basing presence on the internet on the effective positioning can no longer be the case because obtaining reliable data on effectiveness will be much harder. In such case it is worth thinking about developing other marketing strategies on the internet but this we will discuss in a separate article.