Over the last few years, search engines have systematically reduced referral data available to analytics engines. In the past, each search keyword that sent traffic to your website would be passed in the referrer to your web page, and you analytics system could count each one.

Those days are gone.

There are basically two ways to substitute for this missing data:

  • Webmaster Tools. Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools both provide the data for the most popular keywords that send traffic to your site. Neither is a complete substitute for all of the referral data that you once received, but it is better than nothing.
  • Search Tools. Some search optimization tools, such as Conductor, and Searchmetrics, provide dashboards with some referral data by compiling data downloaded from webmaster tools. BrightEdge, seoClarity, and some other vendors simulate referral data based on the text on the landing page.

Regardless of how it’s done, there are ways to fill the referral data hole if you need to.