Over the last few months, Google has been shimmy-shammying around with how they refer traffic from organic search results to indexed pages (original announcement and March update). I’ve compiled a quick n dirty explanation of these changes posted here.
You may have noticed “Keyword Unavailable” or “(not provided)” showing up in your search keyword reports. Matt Cutts of Google estimated the impact at “single digits”. However, Adobe noted an initial impact of 14-20% on organic search referrals for most clients.
Adobe has responded to the latest update by changing the way it counts referrals from Google:
- Secure searches are now reported as referrals from https://www.google.com
- All referrals from https://www.google.com are now included in Search Engine reports
- Adobe expects this change will not significantly negatively impact referrals from Other Web Sites reported in Referrer Type reports (which is where https://www.google.com was traditionally counted)
Why This Is Important
Adobe clients using Marketing Channel reports may need to update processing rules to account for this change. All clients, regardless of what analytics tool you use, should be aware of what “Keyword Unavailable” or “(not provided)” means and, depending on your setup, how that may cause a discrepancy between Keyword and Organic Search reports.