What is (not provided) in Google Analytics?


Maybe you’ve heard of a little website called www.notprovidedcount.com and as a webmaster or an internet business owner that has the slightest curiosity to find out where their traffic comes from you’ve seen in your Google Analytics account, under the keyword data filtering, the words (not provided).

not provided in GA

As you will find out from this website Google started to show (not provided) 592 days ago and based on the current rate of growth from 60 websites they monitor it will reach 100% in 28th February 2016. Mind you these numbers are constantly updated and if you check them out when you read this you might get different results for the 100% target date.

What got my attention was a huge drop on 1st of june in most of the monitored websites for the (not provided) count. This might just be a glitch but I haven’t yet found anything on this subject.

Why is this data shown as (not provided)?

Let’s say you log in to your Google account via Gmail, Google chrome or another Google product. This enables a secure connection or SSL over the browser and the refferral data pointing to your search is therefore hidden. This data includes useful information like the keywords used to perform that search. Google can still see this information, but website owners – and Analytics account holders – can’t access it. Why is this data usefull for a website owner? If your business relies heavily on internet users you most definetley want to estimate the traffic and sales each keyword is providing you.

How to extract keywords

The good news is there are several ways to work around this like linking your Adwords and Webmaster tools accounts to Google Analytics. A good way to start is kissmetrics’ blog where you will find Google’s take on this subject as well as tips from Dan Baker’s e-consultancy blog and a technique from Avinash Kaushik.

Getting nostalgic about Internet Explorer 6 times?

Ioan Szabo

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3 thoughts on “What is (not provided) in Google Analytics?

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