(Not Provided) to Hit 100% on November 19th, 2013

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It is no secret that Google has put (not provided) on fast track and it won’t be long before it hits 100%. For those of you not familiar with (not provided), it is a faux keyword that you see on Google Analytics whenever Google doesn’t want to disclose a particular keyword. The official version of the story is that keywords from ‘secure’ searches are not to be displayed on Analytics. Gradually, traffic driven to websites by (not provided) keywords is increasing and will reach 100% soon.

In an independent study, it has been predicted that the 100% mark will be reached on November 19th, 2013. That means that it is only a month before the traffic directed by (not provided) keywords will be at 100%. As part of the study, 60 websites are being constantly observed in terms of their Analytics’ results. Over time, the (not provided) keyword has increased in frequency. This has enabled the team to estimate the data at which it will reach 100%.

The idea behind the (not provided) keyword is to ensure that secure searches remain private. In Google’s view, a search is ‘secure’ when:

  • The browser being used is Mozilla Firefox 14, Chrome, or any advanced version. The latest versions of Firefox have made all searches secure.
  • The user performing the search has signed in using his/her Google account on Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, etc.
  • The user has signed out of the Google Account, but hasn’t changed pages.
  • The user is knowingly using secure search.

Also, if you are on a secure webpage, i.e. the link starts with https instead of http, the searches will be secure.

The ‘losers’ in this regard are the businesses tracking keywords within their SEO efforts. They can no longer find most of the top-ranked keywords. This is because the (not provided) keyword doesn’t just replace a particular keyword, but a group of keywords. For a business, this could mean losing out on potentially lucrative keywords, something that could prove detrimental in the long run.

The only exception to the (not provided) keyword is for websites that are using Google AdWords. Google refrains from revealing keywords for secure searches to anyone except the websites that are paying them for their services. In other words, you can actually buy your way past the privacy. However, rest assured that the data is well worth any amount you spend on it.

With (not provided) having reached 80%, it is only a matter of time before it reaches the apex. Barring a last-minute change, (not provided) will be at 100% before the end of the year. The November 19th date may have been quoted in an independent study, but it may prove to be correct.