Our approach to solving the not-provided: 4 years and counting

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Google has been encrypting organic searches since 2013. This means that, in Analytics, most of the organic traffic is labeled as not-provided. Marketers are therefore unable to know how many visits and conversions each keyword generates. More importantly, this lack of data at a keyword level makes segmenting the non-branded traffic from the branded one difficult and inaccurate. Without being able to measure the non-brand organic traffic, we can’t understand the results of our SEO efforts.

No wonder there have been many attempts to find a workaround to this difficult problem. Some solutions boast about using machine learning or clickstream data. However fancy that might sound, it is hard to believe in such solutions, since they’re not using hard data, but only estimations and extrapolations that are not necessarily sustained in reality.

Since 2013, we’ve been implementing and perfecting a much more transparent solution, which is based on Google data only, and which in most cases manages to unlock more than 80% of the not-provided.

The principle of this algorithm is matching the data in Analytics with that from the Google Search Console, and the key is represented by landing pages, which are the common element between the two.

SEOmonitor will automatically pull the traffic data from Analytics via API, and then match it with the keyword data from Google Search Console.

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The keywords from Search Console are then mapped on the landing pages from Analytics, proportional to the clicks they generate. This allows for a redistribution of the organic traffic from Analytics back into the keywords that generated it.

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Since the process is repeated daily, the traffic information in the platform is always up to date.

Besides the valuable insights at a keyword level, this method also enables the segmentation of organic traffic between brand and non-brand. For SEO purposes, this segmentation is crucial, because it allows the isolation of non-brand organic traffic, the only type of traffic that can be influenced by SEO.

For a brief overview of our entire methodology on measuring SEO, you can watch this short video guide.

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We believe that SEO should be as measurable and predictable as any other digital marketing channel.

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