LINK: Steal ‘not provided’ data back from Google

not provided analyticsFollowing Google’s implementation of secure SSL search for logged in queries we’re now not provided keyword and other valuable data in Google Analytics – damn and blast! In an attempt to counter this slightly, Econsultancy have come up with an interesting Analytics ‘hack’ using advanced filters of the data.

The hack essentially replaces the dreaded ‘(not provided)’ value, now shown when data is locked out, and replaces it with the landing page of the visit. This helps to get an idea of what kind of search term a visitor is likely to have used to get to the site.



@attacat_kiril has made the good point that the data is easily available in Analytics as the secondary metric – this is discussed on the Econsultancy post but he defends that it’s useful to have the data in one view. I’m not entirely convinced, but perhaps a matter of personal choice. And clearly the words ‘hack’ and ‘steal’ in their post title are attention grabbers – we know that a custom filter isn’t really a hack, and there’s no stealing. It’s worse than the Sun’s headline writers…


How to steal some ‘not provided’ data back from Google – Econsultancy



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One thought on “LINK: Steal ‘not provided’ data back from Google”

  1. Kiril says:

    It looks like a great idea but I am afraid it solves the problem which doesn’t exist. I don’t really understand quite a lot of things in that post:

    1. Since when do we call the rewrite filter hack?
    2. How does landing page traffic data is “stealing” back the keyword data?
    3. And finally why secondary dimension or just landing page report with some advanced segmentation is different from your solution?

    I’ve noticed that some comments on that post used the benefit of having all keyword data in one report as an excuse but it just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would you compare landing page traffic to the keyword data and vice versa? Based on proposed example their “np-/” with 129 visits can be either 129 various long tale keywords or just 1 short tale (which you can’t even get). What kind of insights can you get from that?
    Finally, bearing in mind that the biggest victims of “not provided” are mostly internet marketing content sites (Econsultancy would be a perfect example)with thousands of posts like this, ranking for millions of long tale keywords. Even that precise post can easily rank and attract traffic for such a huge range of keywords (Google Analytics, analytics hack, not provided keywords, or even completely irrelevant stuff like steal data or Larry Page) but all you would see is a number of visits. How useful is that? Call me old fashioned but when I need landing page data I just go to the landing page reports rather than try to reinvent the wheel.

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