Webmasters and SEOs may have noticed a drastic uptick in "not provided" keyword results from Google. This has been a result of Google making all searches secure on September 23rd. However, there's no reason to despair over this loss of data just yet.
Bing and Other Search Engines Still Provide Data
Other search engines still allow webmasters to see the keyword data, it will still show up in your analytics. While Google might be the largest source of search engine referrals it's not necessarily the only one.
Social Media Still Refers Traffic
Many blogs & bloggers get their biggest sources of traffic from social media sites like Pinterest. Search engine traffic does have it's place, but in the age of social media it's not the only source of traffic to consider.
It's All About Semantic Search
Semantic search is here! Google's Hummingbird update completely changed how the search engine interprets requests. Instead of picking out keywords, hummingbird looks at the meaning of the search phrase or sentence meaning as a whole. This means people are no longer searching with keywords anyway, but in a more natural way.
Google Web Master Tools & Ad Words Still Give Keyword Access
If you must have your keywords, there are still ways to get at them. Those who pay for Google Ad Words services, or use Web Master Tools still have access to them. You can access your keywords via Web Master Tools by going to Search Traffic > Search Queries. Just make sure to download the Web Master Tools keyword data every month or two. Google only keeps it for 90 days! If you don't use it, you lose it!
On Site Searches Give Data Too!
Analyze the data gathered from on site searches. It may not tell you how visitors found your site, but it will tell you what they are looking for once they get there.
Landing Pages Count
Use your analytics to filter the "not provided" searches. Look at where visitors are landing. Popular pages will give a rough idea of what visitors are looking for when they got to your site.
Good Content is Good Content
Good content will still drawn in visitors. In taking away the ability to monitor keywords so closely Google has taken away the temptation to engage in keyword stuffing behaviors. Now there's no excuse not to deliver great content. The ability to see what content is popular and draws the most traffic is still here, and that's the most important thing.
"not provided" search results from Google are here to stay. However, that doesn't mean that there's no way to find out what brings visitors to a site! Have you had a substantial increase in "not provided" searches? Tell us about it in the comments!