"Keyword not defined"


Personally, I think that coming up with a solution to the problem of “keyword not defined” entries from Google is the biggest challenge for Piwik.

The information is available, because it is displayed on a public website that can be cross-referenced. It is simply that the header information is no longer being sent computer to dcomputer for tracking purposes.

What innovative ways are there to combat this and get keyword information?

After all, there are clues available. We know:

1/ The page being accessed - This dramatically cuts down on the potential searches producing the referral.
2/ Referer information from other websites - This again produces a list of potential searches it might be. Information from Bing and Yahoo should narrow the field (while they still send it)
3/ The position of the query on the Google search results page - So, even if we don’t know the phrase, we know the position on the page, as well as the geographical position of the person who made the search, so you can further narrow down the possibilities. if a person from that IP in Alabama did that search, then we know we are looking for the third result on page one etc.

Might it not be possible to have an auto-query function if a “keyword not defined” entry is returned to make use of the above pieces of data to go back and query google and come up with a “best guess” as to the phrase being used?

That might not be perfect, but it would certainly be far more useful then 90% of all the queries having “keyword not defined” next to them, which is a total waste of time.

It would also dramatically set Piwik apart from Google Analytics, and in turn, have the effect of putting pressure on Google to start providing the information again.

Google is behaving in a monopolistic way because there are no alternatives and they are strong-arming webmasters towards paid advertising (who DO get access to this data - so much for “privacy concerns”!)

So, in my book,coming up with alternatives to “keyword not defined” is absolutely the most pressing problem that Piwik needs to fix.


i pretty much lost hope about this “keyword not defined”… what i find out to be ridiculous is that google now charges you via adwords and NOT telling you anymore what keyword has been used for the search… they claim that you can eventually get the data in google analytics reports, but then again, even if you do youm there is no live data anymore, so you have no ideea what keywords converted best… so you sell “green cars” and you pay clicks for “green cars that run by water instead of gasoline”… stupidity level over 10000… industry must stop relying much on serp advertising… maybe in a couple of months they decided to strip even more info from you, the paying adwords customer, due to “conserving privacy”…while they, google, collect everything!

as for guessing for the keyword you propose, dont see how would help, but maybe its just me


I agree, it is very frustrating.

It is particularly irritating because they are saying one thing, “do no evil”, and yet are doing exactly that! It actually serves neither the customer or the websites to withhold keyword data. The website gets better information about which keywords are converting and which pages are performing best, which in turn means they spend more time improving those pages that the customer actually sees, which in turn produces better web pages, which is in the consumers interest.

Google is the only beneficiary, because they are able to maintain a monopoly over search advertising and force websites to pay for their traffic.

I do think there are ways around it though, if clever programmers made a concerted effort to get around it.

The fact is that the data will always be available, because Google is a public website. If you were able to cross-reference searches with IP addresses, position on the search page, data from other referring websites and user patterns once they arrive on the website, then a keyword “guess” could be very accurate, and far more useful then simply having “keyword not defined” in the same spot.

There is also the possibility for more creative solutions. For example, if the referrer was Google and a “keyword not defined” search was going to be displayed then a popup could be shown to the user with the best guess, with a message along the lines of “We want to tailor your result to give you the best information possible. Did you just search for “keyword” or “keyword” on Google?”

I do think its clearly a challenge to get a workable solution. But I do think there is a lot of scope for dedicated Piwik Plugins that could unravel the unnecessary mess that the Google monopoly is causing.


I have found guides like this How to Unlock Your 'Not Provided' Keywords in Google Analytics that seem to allow some improvment. I am very new as an anlytics user, let alone piwik, but perhaps we could work on adapting some of this for piwik? I am happy to help with documenting if anyone wants to work with me on the technical side of things.


PS: I totally aggree that this should be a priotity for piwik in terms of competetive edge.

“The increase of (not provided) creates an economy where the best services and technologies will only increase in demand.” - http://www.rimmkaufman.com/blog/google-secure-search-one-year-later/18102012/

(barton hammonds) #6

fully agreed… this should be there…


Looks like Moz have done basically what you said

“The Estimated Traffic Share metric is our best guess at the percentage of visits each keyword contributes. The value is based on a combination of landing page traffic, keyword ranking position, estimated search volume, and SERP click-through-rates.”

(Matthieu Aubry) #8

Hi guys,

Thanks for the suggestion, I think it makes a lot of sense. Maybe you would like to create a ticket in our issue tracker, to keep track of this very interesting idea? http://dev.piwik.org/


I am not an expert in this topic, but there are people who can superpass the security of Microsoft and Apple too. I mean this should be easier for “Keyword not defined”

I been doing what many people say. just track one keyword by page, and later seat to watch my landing pages. is not the perfect solution but at the moment is the best I can get.

An advice for genius on the internet: the person to do this can generate a good business. He or they will put a smile on lot of marketing agencies I am sure many people will be happy to have the info back in our hand,

(Matthieu Aubry) #10

Good news: you can now use our new Search Engine Keywords Performance plugin which lets you import your Google, Bing and Yahoo keywords into your Piwik. Learn more about the reports provided and how to import keywords on the plugin page and in the Search Keywords Monitor User Guide.

(mia elizabeth) #11

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