Like many online marketers, I have had more than a few attempts at starting (and sticking at) affiliate websites in the past - having finally managed to create a legitimate, timely, and above all commission-earning affiliate website, I thought I'd share the steps I took along with some actionable tips based on my own learnings.
Some 87 percent of Google's organic traffic going to the Web's largest news sites is encrypted and showing up in reports as (not provided), according to data from Parse.ly. It's a stunning shutdown of keyword data via Google Analytics. Essentially, Google is no longer allowing webmasters to see what organic keyword searches are bringing users to their sites.
To dedicated SEO strategists, this has not been a surprise hack. In fact, Google started encrypting keyword data back in Oct. 2011, according to eConsultancy. In the image below, you can see that the top referring link at that time coming back to the firm was a (not provided).
Put another way, when users perform searches while logged into a Google service, Google blocks all data from the incoming organic keyword referrer. Various analytic tools showed that Google was blocking about half of this data throughout 2012 and into 2013, simply reporting it as (not provided). Search marketers were stymied with this change. Google claimed it was to protect user privacy, but others opined that it had more to do with elevating revenues for Google AdWords. After all, AdWords users still saw the keyword referrals, putting Google's motives under suspicion.
But now, Google has encrypted... Read more
Google recently switched to secure search for all users. This means the search terms (keywords) people searched for will be blocked from web analytics software, including the most popular - Google Analytics. Many people are alarmed at this, concerned it will render keyword-level analysis of website activity impossible.
It's not that bad.
Keyword analysis of website traffic is essential for many reasons. It's the only way you can know what people were looking for when they came to your site. This is essential in order to understand sales performance, marketing performance, what people want from your site, how to improve your site, and almost every other legitimate purpose you can think of. Secondly, there's no harm in it. The data is not personally identifiable, except by Google, and going secure doesn't protect people from Google.
DEALING WITH IT
Google introduced secure search for users who were signed into a Google service some time ago. In the sites I analyze, that took out about 25% of the data. That didn't bother me because there was enough left over to provide reliable data regarding user intent. Not much has changed. Google aren't the only search... Read more
"Various sites are reporting that the [NOT PROVIDED] percentage of organic keyword referrals has jumped from over 50%-60% to 95%, 99% and even 100% in some cases."