It has finally happened. I was reviewing traffic for a website today and noticed that the top referring keyword from Organic Search is “not provided”.
Google has been obscuring organic referral data for several weeks now. And, contrary to the initial assessment of having an impact on a “very low percentage” of users, it looks to be a quite sizable chunk of data that has evaporated into the depths of the interwebs.
Google says that they are hiding this data for privacy reasons. Right, I get it. Removing referral data for 8-15% of Google queries keeps some potentially vulnerable keywords safe from the targeting and exposure practices of marketing teams. Privacy is privacy.
Since the advancement of this keyword safety drive, I have looked for other ways to uncover the not-provided referral data. I would still like to understand the behavior of site visitors, regardless of their logged-in status. But how?
Tea leaves, of course.
Personally, I prefer the Special Gunpowder brand of tea. I discovered this tea while spending time in West Africa and it holds a dear place in my heart.
The Special Gunpowder tea leaves are delicately rolled up into little balls. When hot water is added, the leaves unravel to deliver an intense flavor and, if you’re lucky, the secret to your organic keyword referral data.
In the Senegalese tradition, I love 3 good rounds of carefully prepared tea. Even more, I love myself some safe Internet!