Overcoming Google and Firefox Challenges to Search Engine Marketing Firms

Staff Writer: Jessica Ross

Date: 7.12.2012


Google honestly isn’t concerned with whether a business can improve their visibility in search results or not.  The search engine marketing firms now have a new problem with their organic search reports.  A lot of search results are going “not provided” now.


This affects all analytics programs, not just Google’s.  Why is this happening?  It’s because Google is using a secure searching platform.  Which means Google is blocking search queries from being shown.


All keywords aren’t being blocked, but the list grows every week.  Firefox has also followed suit and implemented a similar system as well.  With everyone following suit, it’s not far off to assume that Google’s Chrome will eventually do the same.

This means that website owners and SEO consultants can’t rely on the analytic programs like before.  The reports are going to get more and more “censored,” as it were, as time goes by.  More sites will be seeing “not provided” numbers in the 75% range or higher.  There isn’t anything that can be done to prevent this.

Does this make search engine optimization cost a moot point? No. SEO consultants still have tricks up their sleeves to figure out which keywords are being used to locate your site.


Quite a number can be determined by common sense and looking at the examples Google gives you.  They can also find the NP keywords by checking out the search query reports provided by Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).


The good news is that while there are hundreds or thousands of different keyword phrases, they all have a core base.  Pages that receive lots of traffic from organic searches don’t have to worry about the exact numbers.  If you want to see your core keywords, you can look in your GWT or Google Analytics.


For sites that are just starting out or smaller sites, things aren’t looking too bright.  You might be able recover the not provided words, but the samplings might be too small to be of any help to create long-tail keywords.

The only things you can do is check your Google Webmaster Tools account more often and use your Google paid search keyword data to help make up the loss of those not provided keywords.  Check to see which of your site’s webpages are getting pulled up on search engines the most and use that to figure out which keywords are being used.

Since it is obvious that not provided keywords will increase in number, maybe website owners should look in terms of overall traffic flow to the URLs, instead of which keywords were used.  If you are getting high traffic flow, then clearly the keywords you have connected to your site are working to your advantage.


You can check to see which pages are getting viewed by the NP keywords by using the Google Organic advanced segment.  Checking this will show you that your website’s usually highly trafficked pages are still getting traffic and keep tabs on any new content.  While this new implement of Google’s is annoying, it can be worked around.

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