16 January 2012

Living with loss can be tough. After Google sufficiently handcuffed the Internet marketing universe by selecting to default to SSL search for signed-in users, it abolished the ability to track referring keywords... and a piece of my heart. There is no doubt demonstrating the worth of SEO efforts just got more difficult.

To assist everyone deal with the grief, here are 5 steps to recovery, followed by a conclusion of actionable work-around and some opinions.


The initial human reaction to an event this intense is incredulity. Still in the heat-of-the- instant, emotion takes over and we revert to child-like behavior. Not unlike my condition after a vacation party, time is the only remedy as this stems from the crude fight-or-flight response. Usually the denial stage is short and after almost three months (Google declared on 10/18/2011), this stage should be a thing of the past.


On the path to recovery everybody will or has already felt choler. Embrace this choler. Avert from colleagues and use it to fuel motivation and inspiration to find ways to regain search query information.


There is aught that could have precluded this from occurring. We all must come to terms and understand that Google gave us admittance to the top 1,000 keyword search queries in Google Webmaster Tools as a half-served, deficient replace for things to come.


The depression stage symbolizes the vast space of emptiness and impuissance felt. This is where the strength of your person wants to show itself. Surround yourself with uplifting people who are positive. Living beyond your means by purchasing something entirely unneeded like an iPad, also seems to help.


Praise if you have made it to this step and best luck forward if you haven't. Even after finishing each of these phases, there will always be a void where finish organic search keyword information once stood.

Moving Forward

Unluckily, there isn't a silver bullet that will compensate for losing a growing percentage of keyword information in analytics. There are various things to look at nevertheless, to assist increase insight and work around this obstacle. Experimentation is necessity.

The best thoughts are constructed off and mixed with those of various others. When something big occurs, the SEO (Internet marketing) group leans on each other to find actionable solutions.

Coping With Loss

Avinash Kaushik does some very genius information analysis by first quantifying "not provided" information, then section and trying to understand user behavior to increase insight. Using landing page keyword referral analysis, he was capable to take a before/after screenshot at the URL level to ascertain what keywords are sending an abnormally small amount of traffic. I can see this being particularly utile when seeming at year-over-year comparisons.

Having a huge historical information set of traffic could truly pay off here. Beginning with this foundation, these notable items could be extra comparison points.

  • Search inquiry information for the top 1,000 keywords can be found in Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Google provides admittance to referring keywords for paid campaigns.
  • Bing referring keyword information is not impacted.
  • In Google Analytics tracing helped conversions utilizing multi-channel funnels might assist account for a percentage of "not provided".

As a finishing point, every domain will be affected differently by SSL search, because there is no way to tell what keywords protected searchers are using to get to a website, it's significant to first quantify the impact "not provided" is having, then segment information in an attempt to search insight.

Looking at things at a gritty level is significant now more than ever. I extremely recommend the free Excel plug-in awesome Analytics to assist pull various dimensions and metrics from Google Analytics at once.

As we start increasing more insight by experimentation, we'll be certainly to render updates and fresh findings.