Keyword Phrases and Who Typed Them

Nasty Google killed keywords

Once upon a time it was easy to see keyword phrases that people typed to find your website.  In recent years Google took the decision that it would start to block analytics systems (including Google Analytics) from seeing the keyword phrases that certain people (typically, those logged into their Google accounts) were typing.  This culminated in late 2013 with Google blocking all the keyword phrases typed by anyone organically.

This created a mass of (not provided) references in Google Analytics and, within systems such as A1WebStats, the keywords data available also shrank massively.

In a nutshell, keyword phrases data available to any analytics system are generally only available outside of Google organic search.  That’s another way of saying that there isn’t much keywords data available all the time the majority of people use Google to search!

Google had their reasons to stop people seeing the keyword phrases and there is much commentary about this online but ultimately, businesses are going to have to start managing without having such insights.


So what can you do?

Well, you can still see some keywords data but it’s a small proportion of the overall actual keyword phrases that people would have used to find your website.  You could estimate that (as an example), since you’ve identified 10 people found your website after searching for ‘red widgets’, that many others also found your site in the same way … but it’s still an estimate.

The reality is that you can no longer consider keywords data in analytics systems as being an accurate reflection of what people actually typed to find your website.   Your focus needs to change to one that considers any keywords data to be a bonus to analyse in more depth periodically, and at the same time, look at your website analytics in a different way.   Our blog on this subject gives you some insights into what you should be focusing on rather than keyword phrases.

However, the A1WebStats system still tracks keyword phrases where they can be identified (which includes PPC phrases, which are unaffected by the Google changes) and so the video below may still be useful to you.


The Keyword Phrases reporting functionality is just one feature within A1WebStats.  Sign up below for your free 30 day Gold subscription trial.

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