Google’s SSL encryption of search data has now moved onto UK and other international sites, meaning valuable referral data will now be unavailable to website owners. 

Dan Barker spotted this today, and has already seen a big rise in the amount of (not provided) search data on a clients’ site. 

As a site which attracts US and UK traffic, we’ve seen this affect US visits, with up to 33% of referral data encrypted on certain posts. 

I’ve been seeing how this has impacted our UK traffic… 

Dan has provided data from a clients’ site showing the immediate impact of this Google change on UK traffic. 

As you can see, the amount of (not provided) data has rocketed. Dan is seeing up to five times the amount of encrypted data on the same day last week on some sites. 

Here’s the stats for Econsultancy from today. The blue line shows today, the orange line last Tuesday. Between 10 and 11am today, we had 186 visits encrypted compared with 72 for the same period last week. The data was gathered around 3pm. 

Keyword data allows websites to see how users are entering the site, and enables them to optimise landing pages, content and more to improve conversions, as well as enhancing the user experience. 

It seems that, with encrypted search now reaching the UK, this task has been made more difficult. 

See Dan Barker’s Google Analytics hack for a way to ‘steal’ some of this data back from Google. Also, are you seeing this pattern on your own or clients’ websites? Please let us know below…