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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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Are "Not Provided" Keywords a Representative Sample of All Keywords to a Site?

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# 1
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I have a question regarding "not provided" keywords in my account. As everyone knows, a majority of organic search traffic shows up as "not provided" in GA. But I'm wondering if I exclude the not provided keywords in reporting, and then calculate traffic on certain keyword phrases, will that sample data be representative of the entire population? 

 

For example, let's say I run a website for pet products, and I want to see how much traffic I get from the keyword "dog collars". If I calculate the total sessions from phrases containing "dog collar" and divide it by the total number of session where search phrases are provided, do you think the proportion I'd come up with is statistically representative of all of my traffic? If I excluded "not provided", and found that 36% of those remaining sessions with keyword data contained "dog collars", is it safe to say with some confidence that approximately 36% of all my search traffic comes from searches for "dog collars"?

 

Any thoughts?

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Re: Are "Not Provided" Keywords a Representative Sample of All Keywords to a Site?

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# 2
Rising Star
Statistically speaking I would say yes, just as many "dog collar" keywords would be set to "not provided" as any other keyword. I always filter out "not set" "not provided" or anything along those lines as they dont offer any value at least to me. My percentages may rise or drop a percentage but not enough for me to lose any sleep over.