Back in September 2012, Safari shifted to Google Secure Search in iOS 6. However as a result of this change web users reaching websites using Google in Safari were actually attributed as “Direct” traffic rather than “Search” traffic.
As of 30th July 2013 it appears that Safari 6.0 has amended the secure search model and traffic from Google in Safari is no longer seen as “Direct” but now as “not provided” search traffic, as expected.
The graph below shows the increase in secure search traffic from Apple iPhones, a major source of Safari traffic, as of 30th July.
If we then look at “Direct” traffic for the same period we can see a correlation with a drop in traffic.
Although this keyword data is “not provided” at least it now gives a true representation of your organic search efforts.
When reporting comparing any organic traffic inclusive of this period please keep this change in mind. Reprise Australia recommends making all your clients aware of this as in the instance above our client saw a 66% increase (week on week) in “not provided” traffic which resulted in a 45% increase in organic traffic (week on week).
With iOS 7 currently in beta it is expected that Safari will revert from the “not provided” model to once again passing full referral data although this may change as iOS 7 is released in full.