Monday, September 16, 2013

Why You May See An Increase In Undefined Keywords In Google Analytics

If you have been a long while customer of analytics software like Clicky, Google Analytics, or perhaps Piwik you probably observed a rise in undefined keywords. For anyone who is a new comer to the statistics world, maybe you think the programs do not appropriately track keywords.

I had just finished a crucial remodel of a web site. All of a sudden, I began seeing keyword not defined in my Piwik reports. At the time I was not using Google analytics, however I decided I would set it up assuming that my redesign shattered my software program. Once I got Google Analytics establish I saw a whole lot of my visitors originated from "not provided" keyword phrases. Thus the great news was that I had not destroyed my website. But why couldn't I see those keywords and phrases?

Not long ago, Google executed a brand new measure of security for search results. This Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) of protection keeps the user's search info confidential. This can be great to shield your private information. Not so ideal for the webmasters on the other end receiving undefined keywords.

SSL queries are automatically activated whenever users are logged into their Google accounts (that includes being logged into Google mail.) Secure queries are turned on by default on quite a few Internet browsers, which include Safari on iPhone. I just checked from my Chrome browser along with Safari on OS X, while not logged onto Google and searches were protected by default. Clearly, this is creating an increasing number of searches to appear as undefined keyword issues.

I go to the Visitors in Real Time view on Piwik and view my user's entry pages. Although it still uses the undefined keyword, I can see what page visitors entered from. If the keyword they used ranks well on Google it also gives you it's rank number. While this is not the perfect solution, you can at least get an idea of what people might have searched for to land on certain pages of your website.