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Google is being naughty


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With Google Analytics embedded in my site, I see a lot of "Search Engine Traffic" listed as (not provided). Google's justification for this is that users are logged into their Google accounts and have chosen that their browsing habits be kept private. Their original prediction for how much information within the Google visitor subset would be lost this way, was no more than 10%. Now with 15% of my Search Engine (forget Google alone) visitors listed as (not provided), I am wondering where this extra 5-10% is coming from. Today, I kind of found out, by visiting my website through a popular Topsite List which uses a dereferrer (it appears, masking the source of an IPA to it's destination and revealing the destination to its source). When I visited via the website, Analytics logged my IP as a Search Engine visitor under (not provided).

Given that practically 100% of search engine traffic comes from Google, and Google itself has parroted (not provided) search engine traffic as being in effect traffic from Google, it looks like they are trying to inflate public perception of their already impressive ability to control and redistribute traffic. And of course, Analytics does not let you see what page they landed on or anything, lest you create a special page for an individual incoming link! It was only the Real Time feature within Analytics, and my own clicking the link whilst I had Analytics open that betrayed the true source of this "search engine traffic".

These sources really should be logged under direct, instead of Organic Search Engine.

Any Escorts who are subscribing to Top Sites and failing to see the Top Site's reported incoming traffic in Analytics may now have an answer.

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