Where did all of my traffic go?
Back in October 2011, SEO-ers began noticing a unique keyword called “not provided” and within a year this became the most tracked keyword. Google began concealing user information that changed keywords into “not provided” information. And during the past year more and more updates were made to make it harder to track keywords and user behavior.
September 2012, Apple released iOS 6 – their new mobile operating system. Unbeknownst to Google, Apple changed Safari’s search queries through Google SSL Search, which also began hiding user information. However, not only did Google Analytics stop showing keywords made through an Apple mobile device with iOS 6, but it also scrubbed the user and as a search impression at all and defaulted these users to direct traffic.
As you can see iOS organic traffic has decreased ever since the launch of 6 in September. Accounts anywhere between 9-16% have lost search traffic because it is now being sourced as direct traffic. Google has yet to find a solution to this issue (Blind Five Year Old offers a solution on how to reclaim your lost search engine traffic), so until then you will continue to lose search traffic.
Happy new year.