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    How to get search phrase that led to my site being listed in Google search results?


    Hi all, I'm new here.

    My question here is very specific. I know about Google Trends and Keyword Optimisation. That isn't what I'm asking about.

    Here's the problem I'm struggling with:

    Let's imagine I'm selling bagels in New York.

    1) I do my research on Google Trends and find the keywords that I want to work with.
    2) My site traffic starts going up (great!)
    3) I want to find the specific phrases that people are searching for, which lead to my site being listed in search results. (e.g. someone searches for "Bagels in New York", and up pops my site, number 123 in the results.

    I am a PHP programmer.

    In light of point 3, I notice that the Google URL which returns the search results contains an argument called "oq" which contains the search phrase. "So", I think, "I'll just get that string from the HTTP_REFERER element of $_SERVER". But ... no dice. The browser (Chrome, in this case) strips the argument list from the URL and simply lists the referer as "http://www.google.com". This behaviour seems to be repeated in Opera and IE too.

    So, how can I see the true refering page for each landing on my site?

    And why would Google deliberately strip the search phrase (it seems to me that's a veritable goldmine of information) out of the referer string?

    Or am I missing something completely obvious because I'm a total SEO newbie? (Which I am, BTW!)
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    why would Google deliberately strip the search phrase
    Because they want you to use their PPC...follow the money
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    Google used to provide search query data, but not anymore. There's no way you'll get the exact data, don't even bother, but there are tricks out there to at least approach it.
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    AWSTATS still gives a few each month, add them to the tracking list and in time you will be tracking dozens of them.

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