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Google's SSL encryption of search data has now moved onto UK and other international sites, meaning valuable referral data will now be unavailable to website owners. 

Dan Barker spotted this today, and has already seen a big rise in the amount of (not provided) search data on a clients' site. 

As a site which attracts US and UK traffic, we've seen this affect US visits, with up to 33% of referral data encrypted on certain posts. 

I've been seeing how this has impacted our UK traffic... 

Dan has provided data from a clients' site showing the immediate impact of this Google change on UK traffic. 

As you can see, the amount of (not provided) data has rocketed. Dan is seeing up to five times the amount of encrypted data on the same day last week on some sites. 

Here's the stats for Econsultancy from today. The blue line shows today, the orange line last Tuesday. Between 10 and 11am today, we had 186 visits encrypted compared with 72 for the same period last week. The data was gathered around 3pm. 

Keyword data allows websites to see how users are entering the site, and enables them to optimise landing pages, content and more to improve conversions, as well as enhancing the user experience. 

It seems that, with encrypted search now reaching the UK, this task has been made more difficult. 

See Dan Barker's Google Analytics hack for a way to 'steal' some of this data back from Google. Also, are you seeing this pattern on your own or clients' websites? Please let us know below... 

Graham Charlton

Published 6 March, 2012 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (10)

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Rob McCreedie

Rob McCreedie, Assistant Marketing Manager at Nu-Heat

I've noticed our [not provided] data creeping up slightly in recent weeks.

Call me cynical but I wouldn't be surprised if Google don't release a paid for analytics tool in the coming months that opens up all of this protected information!!

almost 5 years ago

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Gavin Duff

You can count Google.ie in on that as well - I saw this spike in Ireland too, beginning yesterday morning.

This is not a step in right direction in any way.

Gavin

over 4 years ago

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Stuart Kerr, Technical Director at Liberty Games

I've seen my not provided double yesterday - so much for "don't be evil" more like "don't be evil if it's adwords"

over 4 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@Stuart Having checked this morning, that's what's happened to us. Not provided has gone from 5% of traffic to 9% yesterday.

over 4 years ago

Rob McCreedie

Rob McCreedie, Assistant Marketing Manager at Nu-Heat

Same here, very small figures but:

9 hits = 1.21% on Monday
33 hits = 4.85% on Tuesday

over 4 years ago

Andy Kinsey

Andy Kinsey, Web Designer, Graphic Designer & SEO at Andy Kinsey Designs

one of the clients i work with i looked at a few moments ago and saw its gone from 3% to 15% between saturday and yesterday ... can this data be clawed back some how?

over 4 years ago

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Hansy

Google's SSL encryption of search data has now moved onto UK and other international sites, meaning valuable referral data will now be unavailable.

over 4 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@Andy - no way to get it back in same form, but Dan Barker has some useful tips here: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/8342-how-to-steal-some-not-provided-data-back-from-google

over 4 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at Econsultancy, Centaur MarketingStaff

It will be interesting to see the trends here as they are a useful proxy for understanding how successful Google is at keeping users logged in to Google. The higher the % stayed logged in the higher % of referred search data will 'go missing'.

Keeping users logged in must be a key strategic goal for Google (to get more data and understanding of its users at an individual level to personalise/target etc.) and its new privacy policy and Google+ etc. all point to a single 'Google World' a la Facebook.

over 4 years ago

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David Rankin

as of now all of my traffic from Google UK is encrypted. Google is basically sticking two fingers up to anyone trying to track their traffic.How long before they introduce a "premium" version of Analytics ?

over 4 years ago

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