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The Crushing Impact Of Not Provided

seo keywords google not provided analysis

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#1 earlpearl

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:23 PM

Back in late October 2011 when Google first started blocking organic keyword data for people who were signed into their google emails while searching, Matt Cutts said something to the effect that this total of blocked keyword data wouldn't exceed 10% (or something to that effect).

 

Google's so called reasoning to block keyword data was to protect the "privacy of users".   Meanwhile complete keyword data was provided to users of adwords.

 

Today of course as everyone has realized that 10% threshold has been passed long ago.  In fact I see posts today announcing the "not provided" percentage has passed 50% for many websites.

 

I took a look at one of our small smb sites that focuses on local search.  What is our experience?

 

During November and December 2011 Not Provided represented about 15% of organic traffic.

During 2012 we ranged from a low of 20.5% in January to a high of 32% Not provided in one late month.

 

This year Not Provided has been respectively starting with January:

 

37%

42%

42%

48%

39%

47%

48% 

and this month running at 58% with this last week running at 73%

 

Of course this huge bump coincides with Google's hyper efforts to get people signed into google + every which way.

 

Organic keyword data is being lost.

 

Back in the early part of this CENTURY in the early 2000's when I first became acquainted with the power of the web...I was completely ignorant about all these things.   

We only knew we had put up a couple of business websites starting in the late 1990's and by the early 2000's we started noticing how people were finding our businesses on the web, using built in contact forms to get a hold of us instead of callling us....and this entire web thing looked increasingly more powerful and important.

 

I became the in house expert on this phenomena.  I recall the three earliest extraordinary learning points.  

 

A)  Google was becoming the dominant search engine

B)  From business journals I learned that google's algo's for high ranking depended on links

C)  There was keyword data available that told you what phrases people used who clicked on your site.

 

That last piece of information was both stunning and illuminating.   We had run some local businesses by this time for close to 20 years.  They depended on various forms of advertising including print, local radio or tv, the yellow pages and various and sundry other local media opportunities.  

 

The fascinating information was that keyword data, of a sort that had never been available before now gave you insights into what worked for your business.

 

It was widely spread among the professional advertising world and to all the major advertisers.   Keyword data was an extraordinary insight that had never been available before in any method.

 

As long time users of the Yellow Pages, an advertising venue that, in our cases, was accompanied by high conversion rates, this information was likened to a  gift from the heavens.   We had unusual types of businesses that didn't fall into existing narrow Yellow Page categories.  We were forced to spend on a large multiple of categories covering many YP books covering a large regional territory.  

 

It was expensive.    But it worked.   For those consumers that took the time to search and look for you in the YP's....they already had a stronger predisposition to purchase than finding us in other media sources.

 

From our perspective Search Engines were the great big Yellow Pages.    People used search to uncover items or services or information in which they were interested and/or were interested in purchasing.

 

In our particular cases keyword data cleared up all the mystery connected to our usage of keywords.  Certain phrases and categories worked for our odd-ball businesses and other phrases didn't.     So we hugely valued this keyword data.  It was available via the web, there were services that provided this information, albeit most of them at the time cost something.

 

The information was incredibly valuable to us and the cost for the businesses(es) was minimal compared to the value.   Ultimately google purchased a keyword data provider and converted it to free usage as Google Analytics.    In doing this they also severely damaged and hampered the pay for keyword data providers.   They also made the weak keyword data tools provided to hosts irrelevant and weak.  Google Analytics's data was rich compared to that of all the other free data providers.

 

Effectively Google killed the keyword data business.

 

Down the line Google decided to kill free keyword data for websites.   They started in late 2011 and in so doing promised this change wouldn't effect but 10% of traffic.  In that way they probably muted opposition to their changes at that time.

 

Now keyword data is hidden at some level near the 50% range.    This effects every website.  It effects the individual webmasters and it affects every single element of the economy let alone every non economic entity in the world.  It simply effects much and most of what drives economies and much of life around the globe.

 

And google holds the lions share of all that data while everyone else and every other entity has been deprived of that information that was available when the web first developed and continued to be available up till late October 2011.

 

It frankly irks the hell out of me.   I simply see it as the unbridled power of a monopoly and the dangers and problems associated with any kind of monopoly environment.

 

I could go on ranting...but I'll stop here.

 

What do you think???

 

 

 



#2 bobbb

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:59 PM

I think someday that [keyword data] will be a product you will be able to $ub$cribe to. Maybe it's because I still have not been able to assimilate all that data in Analytics but I see not provided there too



#3 tam

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:15 PM

When you were paying a fortune for advertising in Yellow Pages, did they provide you data on which category or regional book the person calling you came from so that you could hone your advertising strategy? Now you have a free 'yellow pages' and you get data on the source of 50% of your queries. I think google has spoilt people :) We're so used to all this awesome free advertising and data we forget that google is a business not a public service and could take away its offerings tomorrow if it wanted.



#4 iamlost

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:38 PM

I think it was a crass but expectable behaviour given not just Google's historic behaviour patterns but that of most/all for profit sites offering free just about anything.

While not as convenient or generally as dense a data dump there is still information available despite the objectionable 'not provided' search string. One method is articulated in two useful articles that utilise the popular analytics program that shall not be named...
* Smarter Data Analysis of Google's https (not provided) by Avinash Kaushik, Occam's Razor, 21 November 2011.
* How to steal some 'not provided' data back by Dan Barker, Econsultancy Blog, 23 November 2011.

#5 EGOL

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:15 PM

I look at it like this...

 

1) I have studied this data for years and now that it might disappear I will have a huge advantage over the people who didn't pay attention and all of the noobs starting websites or walking into SEO positions.  heh

 

2) Hiding this information is not in Google's best interest because when people are able to understand the long tail they are more likely to write substantive content.

 

3) You can always go to Adwords and get the data if you are willing to put in a little work and spend a little dough on PPC

 

4) The really important query data is what is being typed into the search box on your own site and that is something that you have the ability to capture.

 

So, I am just watching people complain about this and amused that Google is being greedy with educational data.  Not going to change anything that I do or any decisions that I make.   



#6 bobbb

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:32 PM

Dan Barker, Econsultancy Blog, 23 November 2011. Had a look at this. Not sure, but what he seems to accomplish, you can now get with vanilla GA.

 

Out of curiosity, and to go with my previous comment about a paid subscription, would people buy this data?  ...and how much?


Edited by bobbb, 29 August 2013 - 08:35 PM.


#7 clandestino

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:27 PM

Out of curiosity, and to go with my previous comment about a paid subscription, would people buy this data?  ...and how much?

 

I think g##### would need to produce better quality data if they expect to sell it to people.  The users will demand it.



#8 earlpearl

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 10:44 AM

Some additional commentary.

 

August's Not provided are a function of Apple cutting back on the blocking of all data from IOS6(s).   Apple stopped blocking that and calling it direct.   but big deal.  stinkinGoogle immediately started putting the Not Provided Tag on it.

 

Frankly the overall not provided/no data info has been higher than provided ever since apple was blocking data and calling it direct...ranging back to sept. '12.

 

@TAM:  

 

We had smb's that did not fit easily into categories provided by the print yellow pages.  So we had to go with multiple categories (more $$).  And of course we did not know what phrases people looked us up in YP's.   On top of that we had competing YP print editions.  The competing YP's had different categories.  We didn't know which YP book was used nor which phrase.

 

That is what is what was terrific in our eye's but far far larger...in the eyes of the marketing world.   Keyword data was an enormous gift for one and all.  It was a huge insight.  It was available TO EVERYONE.    (caveat   not always great keyword data and also data that had to be paid for in various cases)

 

But it was available.

 

@IamLost whether through articles like those or one of my few brainstorms I have been segmenting Not Provided data by landing pages.  

 

It is somewhat helpful in the manner described in the article above.   OTOH:   One smb has a powerful #1 on the most voluminous keyword in the region.   That visibility has been strong for a long time.  Because of regional personalization it varies these days.   Its connected to a "regional business" drawing customers from the main city and suburbs around that city.

 

Regional personalization has meant that in certain towns near competitors we don't always show as #1.  We could show as 2, 3 or lower.    But the net actual keyword data I'm seeing these days, independent of spreading Not Provided data across certain keywords...is that we see 20% of the organic traffic for that keyword that we saw before all these blocks.   Very frustrating.   Google has the info but we don't.

 

@EGOL:   I realized the same thing.  I have data on existing sites that newby's don't.  But if I put up new sites I have NADA, NILL, NOTHING, CR@P.   Google has all the data.

 

@Bobb:   I personally doubt Google will sell it or provide it unless forced to do so.  Knowledge is power and that power translates to $$$$$ for them.   They'll make the money in other ways without having to share the data unless forced to do so, IMHO.

 

My frustration with the actions of a monopoly stem from observing google in the local arena for years.  Much of that stemmed from being an active if erratic actor in the Google Places Forums for Years.

 

I can't describe the horrendous frustration of smb's for years with google's independent black hole controlling the status of info provided for smb's through a cranky faulty ineffective Local index.  One guy threatened to shoot people  (google people) years ago.  The frustration levels were extraordinary.

 

Nobody forced Google to step to the plate and fix things.  The only things that ever got Google to respond were widespread media reports or utterly embarrassing episodes of horrendous data.

 

For instance, just one little example highlighted by our old friend Bill at this article about Gun Shops in Miami highlighting the Girl Scouts  Its from August 2007.   That one got changed and corrected pretty quickly.  Somewhat embarrassing to have Google send potential gun buyers to the girl scouts (or boy scouts) headquarters....wouldn't you say????

 

Most didn't get corrected for a long long time.   Nobody put pressure on Google.  Google didn't care about the impact of bad data, bad directions, misinformation, sending people to the wrong places, screwing the visibility or lifeblood of smb's.   

 

A lot of power was put in the hands of a monopoly source of information and they did not act responsibly or quickly in the vast majority of cases.   

 

A really terrible circumstance.   You only experienced it if you had an smb and/or spent a lot of time in the google places forums wherein people were crying and screaming for help.

 

(btw:  google tanked all the threads and data in the google places forums.  You can't find it now.  (Mike Blumenthal did save a lot of it though I don't know how accessable it is).

 

I have a terrible reaction to a monopoly.   It just frustrates the living bejeebers out of me.

 

(rant over for the time being)  ;)



#9 bobbb

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 12:15 PM

Frankly the overall not provided/no data info has been higher than provided ever since apple was blocking data and calling it direct...ranging back to sept. '12.

OK so Apple stopped giving data but G must still know what search request was made - so the keywords - and what site was clicked. They can tell you all that in WMT. It just needs to be co-related to GA.

 

Agreed:  "Knowledge is power and that power translates to $$$$$ for them"



#10 tam

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 12:19 PM

I was looking at a search traffic drop from Nov '12 a couple of days ago and it did coincide with an increase in direct traffic and mostly effected mobile users/IOS - so it's not just google withholding.



#11 EGOL

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 12:19 PM

I have data on existing sites that newby's don't.

 

Yes, and you also have knowledge and experience that newby's and ignorant webmasters do not. 

 

IMO, "not provided" is giving you a huge advantage over most other people.

 

That's how I see it.  Even on topics that I have not done KW research on before.  I have a sense of the type of volume that they might carry.  So, while I miss the entertainment value of snooping the KW data, I know that most competitors are flying blind and even when that data was available they might not have been flying blind - they were flying ignorant.


Edited by EGOL, 30 August 2013 - 12:21 PM.


#12 clandestino

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 01:04 PM

Yes, and you also have knowledge and experience that newby's and ignorant webmasters do not. 

 

IMO, "not provided" is giving you a huge advantage over most other people.

 

But how long does that advantage last?  As search mix and searching patterns change, the old data won't be useful anymore.

 

Having said that, I think you're right and I'll take any advantage I can get over competitors.

 

I'll also agressively pursue any channel the competition will.  Actually, I'm forced to or their market domination will result in customer service and perks that I can't provide.  It's critical to keep the playing field at least level, really I want to be consistently taking market share from the competition or it may be time to -- 1) innovate 2) move on to another business.


Edited by chuckfinley, 30 August 2013 - 01:04 PM.


#13 earlpearl

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 10:59 AM

EGOL:   My deep down problem is that google is a monopoly on search.  I tend to believe statistics from marketshare over that other market data that is too broadly used and cited.  70%+ global desktop share and over 85% global mobile share.   They control the data and we don't.

 

I like data.  I looked at one major keyword for one major local smb over 3 augusts.   We run 24/7 adwords on it.  Our adwords position has been #1 for the 3 time periods.  We run a territory that is very broad.   It expands beyond our normal territory but we run it big to "annoy" a  competitor with whom we overlap.  We do enjoy it when we get customers in their territory.   That also means that as the adwords territory expands outward we get fewer clicks (organically or via adwords)

 

Surprisingly impressions for Aug, '11, '12, and '13 were remarkably similar.  A 2% difference between high and low numbers.  

 

We have been primarily in a #1 organic/maps position over the 3 years.  But that varies:  competition and ever changing ways google presents "local phrases" via its maps presentation.   That has changed a lot over this time period and in multiple ways.   Google continuously changes the geographic scope of a maps presentaiton.  It changes factors that effect whether a onemap or a PAC show, or if the PAC is limited to just a city or a city and suburbs.   

 

Google has also changed impacts on what is important in the local personalization of results.   On a simple basis geographical proximity could be more or less important at various times.    Many other changes have occurred.

 

Mostly we have retained a high visibility.  Its not always as strong geographically as it was.

 

3 years ago we had a total traffic for the keyword that was above 1/3 of all impressions in the area.   Definitely higher percentage for the logical region not including the extended areas connected to the vast ppc campaign.   In 2012 if I spread NOT PROVIDED over the remainder of the keywords it was probably very close to  the 2011 total give or take a little.  btw:  organic/maps clicks were about twice ppc clicks.

 

This year ppc clicks were way down.  Almost 1/2 of the total for the other years.  Organic/maps clicks came in at about 1/5 of 2011, about 1/4 of reported totals for 2012.   

 

I have less current knowledge.   Google knows this stuff intimately. I can only guess.  The current info  I have suggests ppc is about as valuable as organic/maps.   I know different from past experiences.  Especially when you are showing at #1 or even #2 for organic results.

 

(meanwhile on a current basis I have to reevaluate the message on our ppc campaign for that phrase.  One of the competitors has a very strong message.  Its probably picking up visits and we are losing them.

 

So, EGOL,  per your comments I do have deep knowledge that is better than most.  Its because I've been doing this stuff before NOT PROVIDED arose.  

 

Yet I still hate it.   I hate that one business (google) has all the knowledge and everyone else has been sacrificed by its efforts.   That is the impact of a monopoly.

 

BTW:   Google keeps expanding its ppc presence in endless ways, big and small.  It provides knowledge to webmasters, web operators and every business alive that PPC is proportionately more valuable than high organic rankings based on how it operates.

 

On a different note take a look at an interesting ppc/ top of the page results.

 

Search for pizza in the US and set your location for a reasonable sized city.   First the carousel shows on the top.  It has up to 20 local pics or maps for pizza places.   If you click on one it redirects you to a name branded search for the pizza place.   If one clicks on that link the keyword data will suggest you clicked on the name of the business...not pizza.    Google is further befuddling keyword data.

 

The interesting thing about a search for pizza is that the top 3 or 4 ads are all connected to national pizza chains in the US:  dominoes, pizza hut, papa johns, etc.

 

If you search for pizza/my city you'll see different adwords results.   Google has sliced and diced adwords campaigns to where they can create national campaigns or other breakdowns.    More opportunities for adwords.

 

Now search for pizza in that location while signed into gmail and then not signed into gmail.  I used Richmond VA.  Not the biggest city in the world but one with plenty of pizza places.   

 

In this search below; above the fold the carousel and ppc ads are all I see.  No organic links.  In some cases when you search whether signed in or not you will see more or less ads.   Depending on whether signed in or not....has an impact on the volume of ads you see above the fold.

 

In any case if you are part of the pizza economy, Google has completely distorted web data.  Its a $40 billion industry in the US per this report .   If I were part of that industry I'd have my lobbyists scream bloody murder.



#14 EGOL

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 02:52 PM

About "pizza"....   Have you watched...  


The Future of User Behavior, a Moz.com Whiteboard Friday presentation by Will Critchlow

 

http://moz.com/blog/...iteboard-friday

 

==================

 

One of his points is that keyword data is being blurred other factors such as geographic location, browser, device type, previous search history, personal relationships, past browsing history and much more.

 

Another point that he makes is that the longtail might be shortening with more queries going straight to head terms where google uses data beyond the query to figure out what you really want.

 

In a couple years, Google will have a camera on your monitor and when you show up in front of your computer or cell phone google will say...  "It's early morning, Earl is in his work clothes, he wants the NYTimes.



#15 earlpearl

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:44 PM

About "pizza"....   Have you watched...  

The Future of User Behavior, a Moz.com Whiteboard Friday presentation by Will Critchlow
 
http://moz.com/blog/...iteboard-friday
 
==================
 
One of his points is that keyword data is being blurred other factors such as geographic location, browser, device type, previous search history, personal relationships, past browsing history and much more.
 
Another point that he makes is that the longtail might be shortening with more queries going straight to head terms where google uses data beyond the query to figure out what you really want.
 
In a couple years, Google will have a camera on your monitor and when you show up in front of your computer or cell phone google will say...  "It's early morning, Earl is in his work clothes, he wants the NYTimes.


I'll have to read that moz piece. But EGOl they won't want my pic. I'll be wearing a beanie w/propellers, a big jock strap, fairy slippers, a tutu, and some goth stuff to make look tuff!!!

I spent too many years in the google places forum where google completely ignored smbs for years while delivering screwed up results. They didn't care. I had smbs on both sides of the equation. They don't care. I got them to address a way to spam maps ONLY by threatening to spread it or go public with it. They don't like being embarrassed.

The pizza thing is the drop in the bucket to the entire restaurant and hotel industries nearing ONE TRILLION in US revenues. Google is impacting the entire economy and taking its piece of everything withou any controls.

#16 EGOL

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:50 PM

I'll be wearing a beanie w/propellers, a big jock strap, fairy slippers, a tutu, and some goth stuff to make look tuff!!!

 

Heaven help us  :o



#17 clandestino

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 07:08 PM

3 years ago we had a total traffic for the keyword that was above 1/3 of all impressions in the area.   Definitely higher percentage for the logical region not including the extended areas connected to the vast ppc campaign.   In 2012 if I spread NOT PROVIDED over the remainder of the keywords it was probably very close to  the 2011 total give or take a little.  btw:  organic/maps clicks were about twice ppc clicks.
 
This year ppc clicks were way down.  Almost 1/2 of the total for the other years.  Organic/maps clicks came in at about 1/5 of 2011, about 1/4 of reported totals for 2012.

I don't think this about g#####'s intent to sell the data for profit.

Based on your data, it's about preventing you from knowing how poorly PPC performs in relation to organic and that PPC's effectiveness is declining. As the number of businesses grow, clicks will decrease and cost per click will increase. g##### doesn't want you to be able to figure out that it's a really bad deal as compared to Organic.

And, to make matters worse, there's going to be a tsunami of small businesses entering the market. (This assumes someone can figure out how to end the near depression the economy is in now.) Think about all those senior managers in their 50's that were displaced by the financial crisis. They're never going to get employed in the Fortune 500 ranks again. Guess what they'll do? That's right -- off to the internet they go and they have enough assets to finance it too.

The point is that as the competition grows -- clicks decrease and cost per click increases.

Maybe that's what this is about.

Think so?

Edited by chuckfinley, 01 September 2013 - 08:01 PM.


#18 clandestino

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 07:37 PM

One of his points is that keyword data is being blurred other factors such as geographic location, browser, device type, previous search history, personal relationships, past browsing history and much more.
 
Another point that he makes is that the longtail might be shortening with more queries going straight to head terms where google uses data beyond the query to figure out what you really want.

I don't think that he's saying that the long-tail is shortening, just that long-tail terms will get competition from head terms because, from implicit information that g##### is able to accumulate, they may determine that a head term is really long-tail. The long tail part of the query is in the implicit data. Actually, if anything, it's broadening the long-tail.

Bill Slawski has written a lot about this. Here's a good article --> http://www.seobythes...-local-queries/

Where this really has an impact is if I'm selling products nationally but only have one office. My competitor's regional offices will pull geo-targeted search results for my highly competitive head term I used to rank # 1 for and I get squeezed out of the search results. After this change, the only place I rank #1 is in Des Moines, Iowa where my office is and people in Iowa don't buy surf boards. Translated -- I'm screwed. Revenue drops by 50% overnight.

It get's harder and harder for the little guy to compete. If I can't have offices in all of the major metros, I'm going to get hurt.

This is serious, lots of people are going to be forced out of business over it and its already happening.

earlpearl: It looks to me as though the 8/20 Penguin update had a big impact on Local and it wasn't good. How did it treat you?

We need solutions to all of this. Strategies that make g##### work for us instead of us working for g#####.

I'm digging. If I find anything you'll be the first to know.

Edited by chuckfinley, 01 September 2013 - 08:04 PM.


#19 TheAlex

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 10:22 AM

I get organic inbound keywords showing on my Tynt report that don't show on Google Analytics.



#20 earlpearl

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 12:09 PM

@theAlex   That is interesting.  I'll have to look at tynt.   Could it be that it is showing bots?

 

I looked more closely at my ppc data for the 3 years.   The keyword is part of a campaign w/ all exact phrase phrases.   Of interest Google is showing "close variations" on exact phrase.   Total impressions shows a pretty high number of "close variations".   

 

Ha...google is spreading those keyword phrases into various search terms bidding up the prices.   and of interest we had ZERO clicks on the close variations.   IMHO "close my backside".   Google is throwing those keywords into other search terms to help bid up prices.    

 

Of course they do that w/ our key keywords.  Per google there are 15 bidders this year for that campaign and 14 in 2012.  They didn't give us data before that on the number of bidders.

 

There is no doubt google is effectively selling ppc as a mechanism, and in the course of doing so increasing bids.       Between 2011 and 2012 price per click on this phrase was about the same.   This August it was almost 40% higher than in the previous two years. I suspect it is a result of direct competitors bidding more aggressively in this case rather than the spread of additional advertisers (who are semi direct competitors)

 

I found we had a large drop in ppc clicks for that keyword.  My suspicion is that one or more of the competitors who are bidding high are wording the ads more effectively.  I'll probably change the lead phrase on our ads.

 

But the big issue is that I have no feel for organic traffic.   Really none compared to previous years.   The data has been corrupted by two elements:   Google's extensive application of NOT PROVIDED and the growing usage of DIRECT traffic by a variety of sources.

 

This August more than 50% of organic traffic was reported as NOT PROVIDED.  On top of that overall DIRECT traffic was up by 50% from the previous two years.   Last year Analytics told us that 85% of tablet traffic was google.   This year its severely less.  41% DIRECT.  36% google.   HUGE CHANGE in detail.

 

 

The corruption of information stems from a monopoly provider of SEARCH.  I believe the MarketShare data referenced above.   Search share is what is critical to websites.  Search is like the UBER HUGE YELLOW PAGES.  it is the closest usage of the internet to "intent".  I'm not the only believer.  All advertisers focus on that.  Its why Google's share of PPC is absurdly high relative to that of Bing and Yahoo combined.

 

As a monopoly Google retains all the information.  Website operators have their data blocked.

 

Go back to the elements of the economy that had their LOCAL PAC results changed into a Carousel view.   Restaurants and hotels.

 

Per closer look, and using stats from several hotel sources and the National Restaurant Association they comprise about $800 billion in revenues and 5% of the US economy in total.   Per stats from the National Restaurant Industry and the largest Hotel industry trade group together they employ about 15 million people in the US or about 10% of the labor force.

 

By use of the carousel Google has essentially changed how this industry is getting data.   Click on a picture in the carousel and your search is redirected to a search phrase for that business.   If one clicks on the link to that site, if you do get keyword data it won't be from the original search.

 

Google has that original data.  A 5% component of the US economy and a 10% employer of the US economy does not have that data.   A monopoly in search has changed the knowledge equation for a very significant element of the economy.

 

So far nobody is raising a stink.

 

Frankly I hope large powerful economic forces band together to oppose what google is doing.   I have no belief that smallish webmasters will have the capability of changing the landscape.   I never saw it occur inside the Google Places Forums where there were complaints that had to come from thousands or tens of thousands of smbs.    Google simply ignored the complaints and no outside force compelled them to change.   Major media was invited inside the Places Forum.  They didn't bite.  Every so often politicians were made aware of these issues.  Nothing came of it.

 

Last January when Google changed how images/pictures are viewed it screwed thousands of websites dependent on image search.   Again Google was able to do so without any serious drawbacks.

 

It completely irks me.



#21 TheAlex

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

@theAlex   That is interesting.  I'll have to look at tynt.   Could it be that it is showing bots?

 

I don't think so. I haven't done the exact maths but the data seems to match up with the 'not provided' numbers, and they are human-looking searches e.g.:

copsa mica national geographic
llyn glangors
national geographic magazine 1991
llanrwst square
national geopgraphic romania 1980s
 

It's a new site with a small amount of traffic so this is the first time I've actually compared Tynt keywords to those in Google Analytics.



#22 iamlost

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 02:59 PM

Tynt is a blessing or a scourge depending on who you talk with :) and it can be easily blocked by those who prefer their potentially copyright infringing behaviour be unnoticed. For the 'hate it' side Tynt, the Copy/Paste Jerks by John Gruber, Daring Fireball, 28-May-2010.

The main potential problem of using Tynt or similar is that it auto-adds several blank lines before the title, URL, or both, which narrow choice is set by the originator and not the user. This annoys many legitimate quoting republishers.

I do like the idea though and have used a less obtrusive variation for years. Mine does two things:
1. It logs the time, IP, browserprint, and the copied chunk(s).
Note: it is also associated with scraper defence and kicks out and blocks excessive behaviour.
2. It adds a hidden identification tag.
Most copy and paste is human. I don't want to discourage real visitors including their legitimate sharing of my works; I do, however, want to discourage wholesale copying and republishing whether properly attributed or not. That there is a valuable data mining component is icing on the cake.

#23 clandestino

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 09:39 PM

Ha...google is spreading those keyword phrases into various search terms bidding up the prices.   and of interest we had ZERO clicks on the close variations.   IMHO "close my backside".   Google is throwing those keywords into other search terms to help bid up prices.

 

That's an interesting and plausible thought.  If only there was a way to catch them doing it.

 

All the various services produce so many variations that I've come to the conclusion that they, g##### included, don't have the bandwidth to get it right.  There was a couple of IR research scientists that tore into Aaron Wall, Rand Fishkin, et. al., over them claiming that g##### was capable of Latent Symantic Indexing with a separate database for what they were calling the the g##### Co-Occurence Matrix.  The IR Scientists flamed them and made it clear that it wasn't even possible based on available technology at the time.

 

Of course, as you suggest, g##### may not want to get it right.  What's that saying -- "Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely."  I think you may be onto something there.  This does seem to be about clouding the issue and that makes you wonder what they're hiding.

 

You're right, webmasters alone can't force anything.  It wil take some power and a lot of it.  But, webmasters could make a difference if someone with power started to gain traction.

 

Also, remember, complaining to g##### is never going to do any good.  If a Political Action Committe raised significant funds -- money talks!  At least when it comes to our politicians.  Pretty sure it goes the same up that way too.

 

I bet you could get $25 to $100 from 50% of the websites in both the US and Canada every year to finance a PAC.  That would give you a pile of chips to play poker with.  I'm tempted to do it.  Take $250k for myself and spend the year flying to D.C. and shmoozing politicians.  Might need to take 'em on some Carrribean trips too.

 

My wife might not let me, though. ;)

 

But, I'm with you, I hope someone with some clout takes care of it.


Edited by chuckfinley, 02 September 2013 - 09:40 PM.


#24 earlpearl

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:13 PM

@EGOL  btw:  I read the Moz piece on pizza.

 

I think he is being nice.   If you don't want to look at the dark side of things that is one way to describe the phenomena.

 

Frankly I think it is one more element in google's push for more adwords income from more industries....and further efforts to obfuscate keyword data.



#25 test-ok

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 02:01 AM

Frankly I think it is one more element in google's push for more adwords income from more industries....and further efforts to obfuscate keyword data.

That's all google is interested in, get it while they can, because Bing might just come up and kick their a$$



#26 bobbb

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:32 AM

That's all google is interested in, get it while they can, because Bing might just come up and kick their a$$

Maybe. But Bing will have to get better and quickly. It will be hard to displace G. Not like displacing AltaVista of the past.

BTW I do get more traffic from Bing/Yahoo than I use to.



#27 earlpearl

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:16 PM

I think it was a crass but expectable behaviour given not just Google's historic behaviour patterns but that of most/all for profit sites offering free just about anything.

While not as convenient or generally as dense a data dump there is still information available despite the objectionable 'not provided' search string. One method is articulated in two useful articles that utilise the popular analytics program that shall not be named...
* Smarter Data Analysis of Google's https (not provided) by Avinash Kaushik, Occam's Razor, 21 November 2011.
* How to steal some 'not provided' data back by Dan Barker, Econsultancy Blog, 23 November 2011.

For certain smb's I have alliances with various operators in various cities.   I had traded different marketing info with this guy the other day.   he gave me some tips and I gave him some tips.

 

He had asked about blog pieces for that industry.   In that regard we have generally used blog articles to add keyword and location depth for the smb.   

 

We had a contact via form that landed on one of our blog pieces today.   Per GA the source was "Direct".   The lead came in via an IPOD using IOS6 from a certain location.  Experience tells me the searcher probably used google and probably used one of a couple of keyword phrases which could have referenced that location..or alternatively searched for the service and used a very generic term for the business service...but had the location reference for that IPOD connected to that town.   The really critical data to try and uncover probable keyword data came from the landing page.

 

Great example of using landing pages as a way to "steal back" some lost keyword data.   In that case the data was blocked via Apple rather than google..but in any case as referenced by IamLost above with regard to the 2nd article it gives me what I need to know...or something close to it.

 

But...geez...I had to work hard just to find data that used to be tremendously easy to access.   And frankly without a lot of experience and prior research It would be hard to narrow down the probable keyword(s) without a lot of prior data.



#28 clandestino

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:00 AM

None of it's good.



#29 iamlost

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:22 PM

In this artificial 'not provided' reality Google Analytics javascript mediocrity is the last program anyone should be using if one is serious about analytics.

I often read that Google 'gives back' much of that redacted query information via Webmaster Tools. That amalgamated limited bucket sort data drivel withholds the most critical data: which visitor(s) used which query. Disconnecting the query from the visitor is the greatest disservice that Google has done to the providers of their organic search results. And in some ways to their search service users.

#30 earlpearl

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:11 PM

In this artificial 'not provided' reality Google Analytics javascript mediocrity is the last program anyone should be using if one is serious about analytics.

I often read that Google 'gives back' much of that redacted query information via Webmaster Tools. That amalgamated limited bucket sort data drivel withholds the most critical data: which visitor(s) used which query. Disconnecting the query from the visitor is the greatest disservice that Google has done to the providers of their organic search results. And in some ways to their search service users.

Just speaking from the "local" perspective.   How cr@ppy is WMT for local???   Completely USELESS.  If you happen to be an criminal attorney in ANY CITY in the US you could bid quite high for keywords and the organic competition on a local basis could be pretty intense.   

 

How granular/detailed is WMT if you want to know about keywords in Dallas, or Tulsa or Philadelphia or any city???   It gives you data on the US.  

 

It does add data on keywords for your city...but there is a heap load of traffic on search phrases without a city name....for lots of topics...and WMT is worthless on a local basis on that data.

 

WMT offers nothing in that regard.

 

Oh...and here is something on a different level I just quickly checked in light of the new "carousel" now seen on desktops and most tablets.

 

I used adwords keyword planner two ways to search on some phrases related to pizza.   In one case I inputted exact keyword phrases. Call that example A.  That is one way to test it.  The other way to test is to set your topic and a website and search for keywords in a more general sense.  That is more like the traditional way of using the google keyword tool.  Call that example B.

 

Example A is interesting.   When I first tried it using the new keyword planner I found that when comparing it to some campaigns I run for some of our local smb's the data was PRECISE for telling you what was occurring with keywords for the last 30 days.  PRECISE.

 

Example B pulls estimates and/or averages for the last year.  It can be off by a lot.

 

So I tried example A for a search for Pizza in the DC region.   I inputted a good variety of phrases.  I used exact match and broad match.

 

Very surprising following the now over one month period during which the Carousel was out.   

 

There was virtually no traffic for phrases such as [pizza DC] [dc pizza] [washington dc pizza] etc.   very little broad phrase traffic for those phrases.   Meanwhile if you use those phrases to search for pizza in your city....and click on a picture in the carousel  google redirects you to a search phrase that includes the name of the restaurant and then Washington, DC.   I tried searches on the first two places in the carousel with the exact phrase for the redirect and didn't get any traffic in the last 2 months.   Strange.

 

I have this feeling that adwords keyword tools for this restaurant traffic is ignoring the originating search phrase that often pulls up a carousel.    Restaurants in the US per the National Restaurant Association accounted for something like $ 600 billion in sales or higher.  

 

I frankly have never seen much google advertising via restaurant searches.   I have to think they are going after that money....and the carousel is part of it as are the redirects via the carousel.   I'm waiting with bated breath to see how that one evolves.

 

I know the searches for restaurant/city  or city/restaurant are pretty voluminous.   It looks to me like the precise keyword tool aspect of the keyword planner isn't showing that data.   

 

Smells bad in my book.



#31 clandestino

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 10:36 PM

Disconnecting the query from the visitor is the greatest disservice that Google has done to the providers of their organic search results.

 

But g##### is so good at it, providing disservice that is.  I was always told you should stick with what you're good at.



#32 clandestino

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 10:49 PM

Very surprising following the now over one month period during which the Carousel was out.   

 

There was virtually no traffic for phrases such as [pizza DC] [dc pizza] [washington dc pizza] etc.   very little broad phrase traffic for those phrases.   Meanwhile if you use those phrases to search for pizza in your city....and click on a picture in the carousel  google redirects you to a search phrase that includes the name of the restaurant and then Washington, DC.   I tried searches on the first two places in the carousel with the exact phrase for the redirect and didn't get any traffic in the last 2 months.   Strange.

 

I have this feeling that adwords keyword tools for this restaurant traffic is ignoring the originating search phrase that often pulls up a carousel.    Restaurants in the US per the National Restaurant Association accounted for something like $ 600 billion in sales or higher.  

 

I frankly have never seen much google advertising via restaurant searches.   I have to think they are going after that money....and the carousel is part of it as are the redirects via the carousel.

 

People have been talking for quite awhile how g##### is going after the high profit verticals.  This is one and it's certain they're hiding something from us to try to guarantee their success.

 

Question for you?  There is never any AdWords advertising on those Carousel pages.  Who's paying g##### for that?


Smells bad in my book.

 

There's something afoot here, my friend.

 

Or maybe what you're smelling is something on your shoe.  Could it be goo doo?



#33 earlpearl

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:31 PM

Glanced at the specifics of two smb's today re their google traffic.   Slow day of traffic.  60% of organic traffic was not provided.   There was a relatively high percentage of direct traffic.  I assume 80% of that was google search.  That of course is all blocked.

 

Of the data that showed re: keywords it had virtual no value with roughly long tail phrases showing at the highest volume of a particular keyword.   I know that is useless.

 

Google has crushed organic keyword analysis going forward.   I frankly think they are pushing other envelopes in that direction.

 

All I can suggest is go go go EEC.  Take a very firm hand and basically anything google suggests as placating your efforts turn down and come up with something far more severe to take a hard shot at this monopolistic control of information.



#34 EGOL

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:37 PM

Earl... you are a smart guy who has studied this data for years.  You can use your knowledge to crush your opponents.  

 

You have such an advantage over the noobs.  And I bet the old farts in your industry have not been watching this data like you have been.

 

Google is doing you a favor. 

 

This might end your KW watchin' hobby, but really...  You should be prasin' God & Google. 

 

 

 

I'll admit that I am a little p***ed when I see all of the missing data... but they I say...  heh heh heh  :)


Edited by EGOL, 19 September 2013 - 08:40 PM.


#35 clandestino

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:48 PM

Earl... you are a smart guy who has studied this data for years.  You can use your knowledge to crush your opponents.  

 

You have such an advantage over the noobs.  And I bet the old farts in your industry have not been watching this data like you have been.

 

Google is doing you a favor. 

 

This might end your KW watchin' hobby, but really...  You should be prasin' God & Google. 

 

 

 

I'll admit that I am a little p***ed when I see all of the missing data... but they I say...  heh heh heh  :)

 

It's hard to run a business flying blind even if the competion is too.  The end result may be that you all fail.  If you don't know where you are going or where you are now, it's hard to get there.

 

It's conceivable that you'll get the best of the noobs but -->

 

  1. the newbs don't pull that much business,
  2. I suspect that in @earlpearl's space, there are some serious competitiors and no will get ahead,
  3. what's worse is --  who comes out on top will be a roll of the dice (just like putting your life savings down on red on the roulette wheel in Vegas), and
  4. any benefit over the noobs will disappear after about 6 months when your old data doesn't match the marketplace anymore.

What @earlpearl says is true -- this is very, very dangerous.



Or maybe we should just trust g#####.  They'll take care of us if we just dance to their tune.

 

Right?

 

Oh, the IRS is sending out business counselors to help you.  They'll go over all your tax records with you and give you helpful tax advice....... ;)



#36 earlpearl

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:10 AM

oh great.  google is blocking EVERYTHING NOW.  the rubber hits the road.  

 

@EGOL.  I got this stinkin feeling.   all that experience and knowledge only goes so far.

 

Google has just punched webmasters in the gut with a Mike Tyson haymaker.  UGH



#37 EGOL

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:21 AM

It's hard to run a business flying blind even if the competion is too.  The end result may be that you all fail.

 

 

OK.... I might be starting to see a new point in this discussion.

 

 

By hiding all of this information, Google is damaging business opportunity in general.

 

So, why are they hiding it?     Don't they want to be as helpful as possible to everyone?

 

 

What reason can they give for withholding this information?     And is that reason important enough to damage businesses in general?

 

I don't think that they are being weasels for the sport of it. 



#38 bobbb

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:38 PM

They may want to sell it to you. Would you pay for it? and how much?



#39 EGOL

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:45 PM

WordTracker wants $69/month and I am not willing to pay that.   And, if google stops passing referral data, I wonder where WordTracker is going to get their data.  Can they pay ISPs to sniff and tell for data that they filter on the way to google?



#40 bobbb

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:21 PM

   Can they pay ISPs to sniff and tell for data that they filter on the way to google?

If they go all https it will be hard.

 

Maybe they will target WordTracker and want less for now. Surely you would pay $5/month and to G that translates to many many many $.


Edited by bobbb, 23 September 2013 - 02:43 PM.




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