Google Search Console query reports now removes “anonymous query” data for privacy reasons

August 26, 2018

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Google has quietly posted that they are now removing query data from the Google Search Console reports that they identify as “anonymous queries.” Google said “an anonymous query is a query submitted only a few users.” Google added that they “omit these queries from results to protect user privacy.”

Google said the amount of queries removed depend on the site, Google said “some sites will have very few unique queries; other sites will have a large proportion of anonymous queries.”

Google wrote on the page:

Chart totals no longer include anonymous* (rare) queries when you apply a query filter. Previously, the chart totals included all anonymous queries when a “Queries not containing:” filter was applied. Because of this, you might see a drop in clicks and impressions when adding a filter that excludes specific queries. We believe that omitting anonymous queries from all query-filtered results is more consistent.

Back in 2011 Google removed query data from their reports when they began moving Google search results to HTTPS. When Google made this move, it was about protecting user’s privacy to disallow people from sniffing Google’s searches. But Google told webmasters that they will be able to get all this data securely in Google Search Console. Now, with this change, Google is now also removing some query data from Google Search Console as well.


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