encrypted search

Assessing the impact of Google Secure Search (SSL)

When Google revealed last October it would be making Secure Search the default for logged-in users, online marketers were rightly concerned but perhaps not quite concerned enough.

Our figures show that SSL accounts for much more than the 10% of search traffic Google initially estimated.

The horror: Google now encrypts up to 33% of search referral data

A few weeks ago Google started to encrypt search data for logged in users. This essentially means that website owners will see no keyword data for visitors referred from Google.

We didn’t think too much of it at the time, given that just 0.68% of our visits were affected in the period immediately after this initiative came into play.

However, it seems that things have significantly worsened in November, at least for Econsultancy. 

Google SSL encryption for search queries: the experts’ view

As announced yesterday, Google will begin to encrypt searches made by logged in users, which also means that sites will no longer receive referral data from these searchers. 

This referral data, which reveals the organics search terms which led visitors to a particular webpage, is vital in assessing the performance of keywords, optimising landing pages and more. 

The decision to remove this source of data has been justified by Google on privacy grounds, citing the example of people using wi-fi in public places. Referral data from paid search ads will still be available, whether the user is logged in or not. 

There is plenty of anger at this move by Google, perhaps best summed up by the headline of Ian Lurie’s post: ‘Dear Google: This is War.”

I’ve been asking some of our guest bloggers and search and e-commerce experts what they think of this move… 

Will encrypted search dent analytics?

Imagine not being able to track traffic that was referred to your website. Think the day will never come? Think again.

Last week, Google unveiled a beta of a new SSL-encrypted version of its search engine called Google with SSL. The pitch to consumers: “a more secure and private search experience.