Is there any way at all to get Google keywords entered? For example, if I forced Google to index my site with only HTTPS, would I then get the keywords entered by the visitor when they arrive at my site?


Google Webmasters gives you this information. It helps to understand your search traffic and learn how users are finding your site.



After Google Secure Search, referral data has beome more opaque. You cannot get keywords as before, but you can get the following information which might be relevant to you

The 'ved' parameter in the Google referral string held some magic in determining the vertical that result appeared in. Simply, the Google referral string is the “href” value assigned to each URL in a set of search results.

The ‘cd’ parameter tells us the position of the search result in the set.

The ‘ved’ parameter is divided into three parts and tells us which Universal vertical the result is part of, the position within that vertical (relative position), and the position within the search result (absolute position). I will focus on just the Universal aspect for this post and will follow up with relative vs. absolute position in a follow-up.

Example: ved = OCDIQFjAA

OCDI = ?
QFj = Search Vertical
AA = Absolute and relative position

Other search vertical values:
QFj -> Organic Search
QqQIw -> News OneBox (link)
QpwI -> News OneBox (image)
Q9QEw -> Image Oneßox
Qtwlw -> Video OneBox (link)
QuAIw -> Video OneBox (image)
QjB -> Organic Search - Sitelink
BEPwd -> Knowledge Graph image (leading)
BEP4d -> Knowledge Graph image (non-leading)

  • I want to believe that, but I have had a hard time correlating the data in Google Webmasters with the pages people land on and the search rankings of the referrals.
    – Paul
    Jun 18 '13 at 6:22
  • I guess it's because Google Webmasters gives you the data for people landing on your website using Google but not via other sources like blogs etc. Since your question was specific to Google Keywords, I recommended using Webmasters
    – Rishi Dua
    Jun 18 '13 at 6:33
  • I can see when someone lands on my page from Google or a different source. I can also see what the ranking is when the ranking is sufficiently high (seems to be top 20 or so), but I cannot see the search term unless the user used Google in an unencrypted session.
    – Paul
    Jun 18 '13 at 6:44
  • I got your point. Sorry you can't get the keywords as far as I know. You can get other info which I have posted now by editing my answer. Hope that helps
    – Rishi Dua
    Jun 18 '13 at 7:07

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