Why is Google Analytics showing my search keywords as (not provided)?
12th September 2014
SEO & Marketing

Why is Google Analytics showing my search keywords as (not provided)?

Google Analytics is an awesome tool to track your website traffic and also give you plenty of data on how your customers are finding your website and what they are doing when they visit it.

To help tweak your website and determine the success of certain keywords, Google Analytics provides a list of keywords that users have typed into Google to find and visit your website.

Recently, you may have noticed that when looking at your Google Analytics for your website, that at the top of the list in your organic search traffic keywords is a row marked as (not provided).

What does (not provided) mean?

For privacy reasons, Google announced that any searches made through a secure connection to their website will no longer be passed to your website for tracking. Any time a user makes a search through Google with this secure connection and clicks on your website, they will classed as keywords (not provided).

What is a secure connection?

A secure connection means that the data transferred between your computer and the Google website is encrypted. You can usually determine whether you are connected to a website securely by looking at the URL in the address bar.

A normal connection will start with http:// while a secure connection will start with https://


Depending on your web browser you may also notice a little green lock icon next to the web address. You can actually click on this to get a lot of technical information about the connection.

When is the secure connection used?

A secure connection is not always necessary, these are only used when private data may be transferred across a connection. Google (or any website for that matter) will determine whether this is required.

Generally, Google may create a secure connection when users are making searches for the following reasons:

  • The user is currently signed into their Google account. This could be through any of their services, including but limited to, Gmail, YouTube or Google Plus.
  • The user has manually navigated to a secure sections of the Google website.
  • The user just recently signed out of their Google account and stayed on secure pages.

What about paid Google ads (Adwords)?

Fortunately, if you have paid for Google ads through Google Adwords, the clicks you receive through these will still pass through the keyword data. The statistics and information for paid keywords is separated within the Google Analytics interface allowing you to track your campaign directly.

Is there any way to get back this data?

While you can’t access the keyword data directly, there are a few different workarounds to let you understand your missing statistics. I will write further articles on digging through your analytics and keyword data.