Monthly Archives: November 2012

National and Local News Coverage of the Optify Study on Google ‘Not Provided’

The Optify Study on Google ‘Not Provided’ generated a lot of interest across the US – even in local news markets.  I am really excited to see the pick up on this.  Google is leveraging it’s position in the search market to drive down SEO generally and drive Paid Search up.  I get it – more money – but it’s creating a huge void in an important marketing industry. 

Yes, I would say this was a reasonably hot issue!

Google ‘Not Provided’ Study: Thanks for the discussions!

My sincere thanks to all who covered our study on the Google ‘Not Provided’ Keyword issue.  I enjoyed speaking to everyone and look forward to working together again in the future.  Great stories!

Google: ‘Not Provided’ Keyword 40% Of Referring Traffic, Marketers May Rejigger Metrics MediaPost | Laurie Sullivan | 11-13-12

The term “not provided” found in marketing analysis reports now accounts for nearly 40% of referring traffic data from organic search, up 171% since Google introduced the policy one year ago, according to a study released Tuesday. Some believe it will spur the use of ad retargeting and social media. Some 64% of companies analyzed in the study see between 30% and 50% of their traffic from Google as “(not provided),” and 81% see more than 30%, according to Optify’s report, Google (Not Provided) On the Rise.

Study: 39% of Google Search Referrers Now “Not Provided”
Search Engine Land | Barry Schwartz | 11-13-12

It is just over a year since Google began encrypting search by default for signed-in users. A new study finds that as a result, 39% search-related traffic from Google to web sites now has search terms withheld. Optify conducted a study over eleven months with 424 web sites, involving 17,143,603 visits and 7,241,093 referring keywords, to see how serious the “not provided” issue is. “Not Provided” is what Google Analytics shows in cases where Google no longer reports a search term due to encryption (other analytics programs may use other phrases).

Say Goodbye to Your Keyword Data
eMediaVitals | Rob O’Regan | 11-13-12

Google’s controversial encrypted-search feature has had a chilling effect on B2B publishers’ ability to track organic search referral terms, according to new research from Optify. Encrypted search queries, which are enabled when a user signs into a Google account, now account for almost 40% of referring traffic data to B2B sites from organic search, according to the Optify study, which examined 424 B2B websites. “This is a big deal,” said Doug Wheeler, CMO of Optify. “Eventually you’re not going to be able to measure SEO performance by keyword or understand the impact of organic search on your website traffic, engagement or conversions.”

Not Provided: Investigating the Impact of Google’s SSL Enhancement
CMSWire | Marisa Peacock | 11-13-12

Quick! Open up Google Analytics, go to Traffic Sources. Click on Search and then select Organic from the drop down menu. Chances are the first item in a long list of keywords will be “not provided.” But what exactly does that mean? Recently we spoke with Doug Wheeler, Optify’s chief marketing officer for an eye-opening account of the impact that Google’s “not provided” keywords have had on referring traffic. Last October, Google announced that it would begin encrypting search queries for users who were logged in to their Google accounts. This meant that visits from organic searches no longer included information about each individual query, but instead showed “not provided” as the referring keyword.

Study: What Google’s ‘Not Provided’ Means for Brands
BizReport | Kristina Knight | 11-13-12

Just over a year ago Google changed how it identified and reported search traffic to begin using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to better identify traffic to websites. This enhancement was supposed to protect consumer identities. This, of course, has made it more difficult for some brands to create personalized web experiences because instead of finding what drew a shopper to a site, the search terms returned read “not provided.”

Measure SEO Results beyond Keyword Success as Over 30 Percent of Queries are ‘Not Provided’
Brafton | Staff | 11-13-12

For content marketers invested in creating the best SEO strategies, Google’s encryption service may be frustrating. About a year ago, Brafton reported that Google had announced enhancements in security for users, limiting its list of provided queries visitors used to land on a site. This results in masked keywords, preventing website and analytics managers from measuring organic search-to-site activity. Optify recently released a report detailing how Google’s encryption service has affected SEO for B2B marketers, resulting in some disparaging results.

Optify Study: Google’s “Not Provided” Rises to Almost 40% of Organic Traffic for B2B Sites
Marketing Vox | Staff | 11-13-12

Optify has announced the findings of its study analyzing a privacy setting introduced by Google last year that now lists referring keywords from organic search as “not provided.” As BizReports described, Google changed how it identified and reported search traffic to begin using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to better identify traffic to websites; this, ostensibly, to protect consumer identities. But it’s playing hell with personalization and targeting. The study reveals that since the inception of the privacy setting twelve months ago, the “not provided” rate (the percent of blocked referrer data from Organic search) has increased by 171% to account for almost 40% of referring keywords to B2B sites.

“Not Provided” Organic Search Results on the Rise for B2B Sites
Komarketing Associates | Staff | 11-14-12

Since the inception of Google’s defaulted SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) search for signed-in users, organic search terms returning “not provided” keyword results have risen to 39 percent; this change represents a 171 percent growth since last year. Data is according to the latest study released by Optify, which analyzed organic traffic to 424 B2B sites.

Marketers Struggle with the Growth of Google’s “Not Provided” Keywords
Econtent | Staff | 11-16-12

If it’s not your job to pour over your site’s Google Analytics results you may not have noticed that the search giant announced, just over a year ago, that it would make SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) search the default for signed-in users – and you definitely wouldn’t have realized the effect this has on your company’s SEO efforts. Optify recently took a look at what this change has meant for marketers and put its findings into a study dubbed “Google Not Provided On the Rise: The Impact of Google’s SSL Enhancement on SEO Data.”

Apple – Android War: Another step toward peace?

Great news! I’m just catching up but it looks like Apple and HTC have decided to stop fighting. The two companies, according to Reuters, announced “a global patent settlement and 10-year license agreement that includes current and future patents held by the companies.” 
Check out these posts:

10 Steps for a Successful Social Outreach Program

Social outreach is the process of finding and connecting with influencers in a specific content category. There are people who know a whole lot about something that have built up a following of other people who want to learn and engage with them. Our very own Scott Fasser shares ten steps to putting together an effective social outreach program. 

Please check this out!

Skyfall Soars on the Story – Sinks on the Gadgets

I went to see Skyfall this weekend with my wife and daughter.  Apologies for the bad pun, but it was a great “Bonding experience” :)  (I just couldn’t wait to type that…). Usually, we have a hard time agreeing on a movie.  Not this time. We stood in a very long (and cold) line outside to get in to see this latest edition of the Bond series and it was worth every cold shiver. 

Great action for me, kept my 14 year old daughter entertained with a real story, and my wife wasn’t sleeping through it 5 minutes after they turned off the lights. Note, that’s saying something because this is a L-O-N-G Bond movie. I am not sure if it’s the longest, but at 143 minutes I’ll bet it’s in the top 2 or 3. 

I am not to going to spoil it for you, just want to throw in my $.02. Make no mistake, this is one of the great James Bond 007 story lines. There were actual ACTING performances going on in this film.  Not all the campy/funny stuff was gone, but it was still a big step up from previous Bond romps. 

Another great improvement, the story and James Bond were more of a ‘license to kill’ than a ‘license to shill’. Finally, the product placements were at least reeled in a bit so we didn’t end up with a crazy bunch of product advertisements just cluttering up the movie.  I know this is a strange comment from the marketing guy, but really, it got distracting in the past.

I have only one complaint. I am, after all, a gadget guy. In fact, they put a whole scene in the movie just to reiterate there weren’t going to be gadgets. When meeting the new ‘Q’ James gets his new gun and a tracking device/radio.  Bond ‘not exactly Christmas – is it’ .. Q ‘yeah, we really don’t do the exploding pen thing anymore’… sigh…

I strongly recommend the new Bond flick – it was fun. There are some interesting twists and new faces that will make the next Bond films as entertaining as ever. Happy 50th birthday to the Bond series! Well done James.

Google ‘not provided’ Now 40% or More of B2B Organic Search Traffic

Yes, I am biased about the value of Optify and the idea that the marketing athlete in today’s B2B companies and digital marketing agencies need way better tools. However, in this instance, we are trying to just raise the flag on an issue.  We’re talking big..really big. If you are an SEO specialist, you’re already aware that your SEO data is going away…quickly. However, if you are not a specialist you might not have seen this trend.

Today, we announced the findings of a study analyzing a privacy setting introduced by Google last year, which now lists referring keywords from organic search as “not provided.” Our data suggests that this privacy setting is primarily affecting SEO professionals and point solutions in the short term, but will impact all marketers and businesses in the long term.

I also had the opportunity to brief several publications about this issue and I hope to see them “print” the story over the next hours/days.

The study shows that since the inception of this privacy setting twelve months ago, the “not provided” rate (the percent of blocked referrer data from Organic search) has increased by 171 percent to account for almost 40 percent of referring keywords to B2B sites. The trend of “not provided” is continuously increasing, and may continue to do so until the majority of organic referring data completely disappears. Marketers will still be able to measure their overall SEO performance and report on ROI, since the visit source will still be Organic Search, but will not be able to analyze what keywords contributed to that performance or report ROI on any specific SEO initiative. Since search data helps companies learn more about their targeted audience, including their preferences and behavioral history, this presents a major challenge for B2B marketers.

A summary of our key findings include:

Google “not provided” now accounts for almost 40 percent of referring traffic data from organic search, an increase of 171 percent since originally introduced a year ago
64 percent of companies analyzed in the study see 30 to 50 percent of their traffic from Google as “not provided”
81 percent of the companies analyzed in the study see over 30 percent of their traffic from Google as “not provided”
Recognized referring keywords from organic search declined by 49 percent

Optify’s study analyzed a sample set of 424 B2B websites between November 1, 2011 to October 1, 2012 to determine the percentage of visits from organic search that showed as “not provided.” A total of 17,143,603 visits to those sites from organic search, equating to an average of 1,428,634 visits per month, and a total of 7,241,093 referring keywords were tracked. The parameters of this study included only US based .com sites with 100 to 100,000 monthly visits.

From my perspective, referrer data from organic search is quickly disappearing, and I believe that soon the majority of referring keywords will be listed as “not provided”.  Fair warning, if you are a digital marketing agency providing only SEO services, it’s time to start diversifying.

Our study doesn’t leave you hanging!  We share tips about how to handle the lack of referring data and includes best practices such as creating informative, interesting, and relevant content, and amplifying the messages through social networks. To download a free copy of the report, please visit: Optify Study

Stealth Creative Drives Client Success with Optify


Today is customer success day!
SEATTLE—November 6, 2012 — Optify, the leading innovator in digital marketing software for professional B2B marketers, today announced that Stealth Creative has adopted Optify’s Digital Marketing Suite as a core technology for their agency. Stealth Creative, based in St. Louis, Missouri uses Optify to develop, execute and report on digital marketing initiatives for their clients and generate business for the firm. Optify’s digital marketing solution has helped expand the services they can offer clients and dramatically reduced reporting time to increase business efficiency.
Our goal is to provide simple, insightful and actionable tools and data for agencies just
“Their logic is simple. Stealth Creative wants the market to see their work, but think of their client. We want agencies to use our solution, but deliver superior service and reporting to their clients without Optify taking center stage in the relationship,” said Doug Wheeler, Chief Marketing Officer, Optify.

Optify Named Top 10 Most Useful Cloud App for SMB

Looking through my Google Alerts this morning and saw this article from one of our customers. Hey, we’re international :) ..Canadians love us too!

Seriously, we are flattered to be named one of the Top 10 Most Useful Cloud Apps for SMB.  Nice!


If you are a Marketing Athlete and are looking for a way to increase leads, enable more sales and deliver outstanding tracking and reporting try Optify.  Check us out at

Digital Marketing Agencies: Growing Your Business

As a sole proprietor digital marketing agency or small business service provider, the temptation to provide free services or people time is hard to resist.  It’s always easier to charge for a deliverable. However, make sure you are getting the right value for using those all important marketing athletes on your team.

Shanelle is one of our Agency Channel Managers and is also the owner of an online business (check it out at  Shanelle talks to 20 Agency partners a least. She has some great advice for those digital marketing agencies looking to grow their business in 2013.

Going to be a great week!

Cold Calling Sucks. This Will Help

Ok, it’s November 1st.  We are heading into the last 2 months of the 4th Quarter in 2012.  As all you Marketing Athletes out there know, you have until Thanksgiving this month to generate leads and opportunities before the whole world starts thinking about the holiday party, bringing in cookies for the staff and generally fading away into the end of the year. 

Using your inbound marketing software – like Optify – (shameless plug here) the clock is ticking on the leads you are generating in 2012. 

If you have an inside sales or tele-qualifying team, you might have to do some cold calling to supplement your efforts – yeah we all know that it sucks!

However, just getting the conversation started is half the battle.  I ran across this article and wanted to share it with you.

We are all in the home stretch for 2012!  Finish out the year strong and start finishing your planning for 2013.

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