It was reported this last Sunday that Google seemed to remove some query data from the query filtered search analytics or performance report within Google Search Console. On August 29, a clarification was issued by Google that explains it never showed these queries in Search Console but previously included the hidden queries in the overall sums in the charts. These anonymous queries are also being excluded from the sum.
Google wrote on Twitter:
We recently (Aug 19) made some changes in the way Search Analytics / Search Performance calculates total numbers for its graph, when looking at queries that do not match a piece of text. We noticed some confusion, and wanted to clarify the change.
Previously, we included the sum of queries that weren’t tracked in Search Console in the totals for “query not containing”. Eg, we might not track some queries that are made a very small number of times or those that contain personal or sensitive info. (“anonymous queries”).
Going forward, we’re only including the sum of those that we track and can match in Search Console. This change doesn’t affect the queries shown in Search Console, nor how we treat these untracked queries.
It also doesn’t change views of this report that do not use the “query not containing” filter. We’ve added an annotation in Search Analytics to notify users of this change. There’s a bit more at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6211453#search_analytics.
Going forward, Google Analytics will no longer show a placeholder with “other” for these filtered queries. It also won’t be possible to add this to the API. We made this change to account for more queries and to support exciting Search Analytics features down the road.
It can look pretty bad if you see huge drops in the sum of your query data when the query filter is added. Of course, this isn’t an indication that you’re site is performing badly in Google. Rather, Google has simply changed how these reports calculate.