Keyword Not Provided – What Is the esrc=s String in Google Analytics?

Unfortunately, Google made  changes in November 2011 that hide keyword data from visitors who were logged in at the time, citing privacy issues.

So, when a visitor to your website has found your site via a search on Google BUT were looged into their Google account at the time, then they will now show up in your Analytics data as “Not Provided”.

Visitors using their google accounts from Google search always show as (Not Provided).  There is nothing you can do about this – and no other analytics software is any better, as the data is simply not available. I also use a free service from Hitslink from many moons ago, and the problem exists there also.

It seems a very strange move as the information could never identify a specific visitor anyway.

So why are Google doing this? Am I being cynical if I pont out:

  1. Google still gets ALL the data
  2. We website owners are now being kept in the dark

A more in-depth study of this can be found here Keyword Not provided


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Ian Smith
Dr Ian Smith

32 years of marketing experience to help small businesses understand the world of website marketing.