Keyword Not Provided Designation Continues

A recently released report from SEO platform BrightEdge confirmed what many SEOs already knew - that they don't know much of anything at all about the keywords users enter into Google. It's becoming quite the nuisance for Internet professionals and it seems as though the issue will only continue.

The BrightEdge Secure search Analysis from August 2013 shows that the percentage of secure searches has risen seven consecutive quarters, with the adoption rate reaching 49 percent as of Q2 2013 (see chart below).

There are a number of reasons why secure search is now the norm (new privacy conscious Web browsers for one), but it is impacting almost every industry equally. According to BrightEdge, which analyzed over 8,400 brands for the report, 56 percent of traffic to computer, electronics, software and technology sites are coming from Google secure search, representing the highest reach for secure searches. But that industry isn't the only one struggling with the keyword not provided issue - it's impacting everyone - from retail and travel to business services and media/entertainment.

Most search marketers are now well aware that they have lost keyword-level tracking and that it's a big problem, but few likely want to realize that there is little they can do. Without the ability to attribute performance to specific keywords, businesses just can't correlate what they are investing their resources in to any particular rise in search rankings.