Optify Study: Google’s (not provided) Rises To Almost 40% Of Organic Traffic For B2B Sites
Study Reveals that Google’s “Not Provided” Keywords have increased by 171 Percent Over Last 12 Months
SEATTLE — November 13, 2012 — Optify, the leading innovator in digital marketing software, today announced the findings of its study, analyzing a privacy setting introduced by Google last year, which now lists referring keywords from organic search as “not provided.”
Optify’s data suggests that this privacy setting is primarily affecting SEO professionals and point solutions in the short term, but will impact all marketers and businesses in the long term. Does this mean Google is closer than ever to charging for its “free” data?
The study shows that since the inception of this privacy setting twelve months ago, the “not provided” rate (the percent of blocked referrer data from Organic search) has increased by 171 percent to account for almost 40 percent of referring keywords to B2B sites. The trend of “not provided” is continuously increasing, and may continue to do so until the majority of organic referring data completely disappears. Marketers will still be able to measure their overall SEO performance and report on ROI, since the visit source will still be Organic Search, but will not be able to analyze what keywords contributed to that performance or report ROI on any specific SEO initiative. Since search data helps companies learn more about their targeted audience, including their preferences and behavioral history, this presents a major challenge for B2B marketers.
A summary of the key findings include:
- Google “not provided” now accounts for almost 40 percent of referring traffic data from organic search, an increase of 171 percent since originally introduced a year ago. Tweet this!
- 64 percent of companies analyzed in the study see 30 to 50 percent of their traffic from Google as “not provided”. Tweet This!
- 81 percent of the companies analyzed in the study see over 30 percent of their traffic from Google as “not provided”. Tweet This!
- Recognized referring keywords from organic search declined by 49 percent. Tweet This!
Optify’s study analyzed a sample set of 424 B2B websites between November 1, 2011 to October 1, 2012 to determine the percentage of visits from organic search that showed as “not provided.” A total of 17,143,603 visits to those sites from organic search, equating to an average of 1,428,634 visits per month, and a total of 7,241,093 referring keywords were tracked. The parameters of this study included only US based .com sites with 100 to 100,000 monthly visits.
“Referrer data from organic search is quickly disappearing, and we believe that soon the majority of referring keywords will be listed as “not provided,” said Rob Eleveld, CEO of Optify. “This is yet another example of how the SEO practice is at the mercy of search engines, and we believe it’s time for B2B marketers to focus on the data they have for creating a personalized experience for their visitors and leads. If you are a digital marketing agency providing only SEO services, it’s time to start diversifying.”
Optify’s study shares tips about how to handle the lack of referring data and includes best practices such as creating informative, interesting, and relevant content, and amplifying the messages through social networks.
You download a free copy of the full report from the form below.