For over a year now, Google has stealthily increased its “not provided” keyword reporting in analytics. They have announced that they will be rolling out a 100% non-reporting of all Google organic keywords over the next few months (no matter what analytics package you use, you will be effected), which makes it almost impossible to report the split of brand vs non-brand traffic. We could still get some of this information from other search engines, but as you know, Google is still very much the king of search and for most of our clients, responsible for 80-90% of all organic visits. To report the brand vs non-brand split on only 10% of organic visits would lead to a very skewed understanding of how that split is performing.
In most cases, when we are reporting brand vs non-brand split with a year on year comparison, we are seeing a drop in brand traffic. As we report “not provided” keywords as part of the non-brand data, we believe this data is skewed.
We have also changed our SEO packages to a content marketing focus, with much less emphasis on linking building for specific keywords. This is to reflect how Google now ranks sites, with fresh content, social links and generic links from authority websites being far more important than traditional link building. These all increase overall authority of your website, improving overall rankings and most importantly traffic to your site. Going forward, we will be reporting on all organic traffic, without a brand vs non-brand split.
It is still key that pages are optimised for important keywords, and we will still report on keyword rankings as these are a different set of tools that are not reliant on Google providing keyword data. As Google’s Matt Cutts says "Succeeding in SEO will be the same as it's always been if you're doing it right – give the users a great experience
Paid (Google adwords, Bing) Search marketing is not affected by “not provided”.
For further reading see:
Search Engineland: How to move forward from Keyword Not Provided
Avanish Kaushik's Blog