How to Get Access to the Organic Keywords That Google Is Hiding

How to Get Access to the Organic Keywords That Google Is Hiding

  • Google has been hiding all organic query referrals in Analytics since September 2013.
  • Now, Google is allowing website admins to access this data via its Webmaster Tools Search Console.
  • The new ‘Search Analytics’ report allows you to find out which key phrases could earn you more traffic if you manage to improve your SERP position for them.

In a move that many Internet marketing Singapore experts decried at the time (and have been lamenting since), Google started hiding all its organic search query referrer data in late September 2013. They had been concealing more and more of it beginning with October 2011.

The 100% ban on organic referral queries irked many, who took it as just another episode in the search engine’s giant odyssey of eschewing transparency. Webmasters the world over were angered at the fact that Google receives free business data from companies, but refuses to hand over a great data source of their own.

On the other hand, at the time Google cited user privacy considerations for hiding the sensitive data, all of which has been encrypted since their 2013 announcement. Supporters of Google’s decision argued that the company was not providing 70% of search query data anyway—so an additional 30% wouldn’t actually make that much of a difference.

Not provided organic keywords in Google Analytics

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Why Google Analytics ‘Not Provided’ Keywords Matter for Internet marketing Singapore purposes

Anyone who likes to call themselves an Internet marketing Singapore expert has definitely already been introduced to Google Analytics. If you’re among the ranks of digital marketers, then you know there’s a [not provided] tag underneath the Organic Search tab in Acquisition > Overview. Most of the time, that’s where the bulk of your keywords should be.

The current situation makes SEO a far more complicated effort because optimization thus becomes heavily reliant on guesswork. Since this all started, nearly 4 years ago, many so-called ‘SEO gurus’ rushed to create and publish How-to guides on retrieving this organic data. However, most of those guides weren’t exactly useful, as none of them provided a method to get to the actual keywords.

Finally, all that has changed, as Google is now providing access to this data themselves, via their Webmaster Tools platform.

How to retrieve the ‘Not Provided’ organic keywords from Google Webmaster Tools

Yet again, if you’ve been an active Internet marketing Singapore professional for a while now, you’re definitely familiar with Google’s Webmaster Tools. If not, to put it simply, this is where you can find an overview of your website’s health, a score card of its attributes, according to Google’s criteria.

Of course, Yahoo, Bing, and all the other major search engines all run their distinct Webmaster or Web Admin Tools platforms. Their point is to facilitate communication between site administrators and search engine crawler bots, so as to make sure each site is efficiently indexed.

Using Google's Search Console is crucial for web masters

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Adding sites to Google Webmaster Tools to get ‘Not Provided’ data in 5 easy steps

The process described below starts from the assumption that you haven’t added your site to Webmaster Tools before. If you have, please skip directly to step #4.

  1. Log into Google Analytics with the Gmail account you use for this purpose.
  2. Go to Google Webmaster Tools (by searching for it, or by navigating directly to Sign up or sign in, go to the Search Console, and add the site you want to retrieve organic keywords for. To add the site, simply type your desired URL into the bar you see on-screen and click ‘Add Property’.

Use Search Console to find out organic keywords and create a Google-friendly site


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  1. Next, you’re going to have to verify that the site actually is your property. Google provides several options for doing this. The easiest ones are by using “Meta Tag”, or by Google Analytics verification. We recommend the latter if you’re signed into Analytics anyway. After you’ve verified the site, you’re going to get access to the Search Console dashboard.

Use Google Webmasters Tools to find out more organic keywords

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  1. Your dashboard is going to look like the one in the image above and it will be populated with your traffic data. Go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics, in the navigation bar on the left-hand side of the screen.
  2. Check out your organic keywords, impressions, and organic traffic CTR, as well as your SERP for each organic query.

Use Google Webmasters Tools to check on your top queries for organic keywords

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The report you get will look much like the one above. It’s an updated version of Google’s previous Webmaster Tools report for organic data, ‘Search Query’. Now, you have access to the exact number of impressions each keyword generates in Google.

Look for key phrases with few clicks, but a lot of impressions, and work toward improving your Search Engine Result Page standings for those, because you’ll be upping your click-through rate and a number of organic visits in the process, too!