How to Provide for Your Clients in the Age of (not provided)

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SEO professionals everywhere are finding it increasingly difficult to track and utilize effective keywords, because Google keeps hiding these all-important keywords from us. The aggravating effects caused by (not provided) keywords are that SEO specialists are unable to know what keywords are bringing traffic to their clients’ websites, and so we can’t target customers using those keywords in the future.

Currently, the (not provided) count is at 81%. That’s a significant increase from the 74% of (not provided) keywords found only one month ago. Many SEO professionals believe that all keywords will be 100% (not provided) very soon, and this expectation is leading to many questions with much needed answers. After all, keywords have played such  a major role in SEO for such a long time, that many SEOs fear this change could signal the beginning of the end for SEO. However, this simply isn’t true.

You can still provide great SEO for your clients, even if all of your keywords are (not provided).  Here are a few ways you can make this happen:

Instead of Keyword Analytics, Look at Page Analytics

Even though you might not be able to see the keywords bringing people to your webpages, you will still be able to view the sources that are referring traffic to each page on your site. Therefore, you can analyze the referrals driving traffic to a particular page. If you see that Page A is getting most of its traffic from Google, you can focus your efforts on making that page as user-friendly as possible.  Because Google loves websites that focus on high quality user experiences, this will be a good strategy for keeping a consistent flow of traffic coming to your website.

Create Great Content

It’s really that simple. SEO specialists have been aware of Google’s increasing love of high-quality content for a while now; the (not provided) epidemic is just a final phase in the process. By devaluing keywords and increasing the value of content quality, Google is implementing a merit-based system, in which the websites that have put the most time and thought into their pages will get the most clicks. For Google users, this is great news. For SEO companies, this means more employee hours dedicated to copywriting and editing.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Devoting more energy to long-tail keywords in your web copy is a good strategy because Google is now smart enough to contextualize the keywords in search queries. Without having concrete ideas about what short-tail keywords you’re ranking for, and knowing that Google will now contextualize your short-tails anyway, doesn’t it make more sense to go the long-tail route? By simply including relevant, long-tail keywords in your web copy, you’ll stand a good chance of bringing quality visitors to your clients’ websites.


As time goes on, we know that resourceful and creative SEOs like yourself will adapt to the drastically changing landscape of Google. While these are just a few ideas for coping with the (not provided) era, SEO will continue to evolve and grow, just like Google’s algorithm. While many people have speculated that (not provided) is going to be the end of SEO, we beg to differ. It’s simply signaling a new phase in SEO maturity.

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