Apple’s iOS 6 update means 86% of Google referral traffic is encrypted

When Apple first launched IOS 6 all the talk was about the usability problems with the news maps.

However the new mobile operating system brought with it a bigger issue for website owners, as publishers no longer receive Google referral data from IOS 6 users.

As pointed out by Search Engine Land, the problem is caused by Apple’s decision to route Google searches made through the Safari search box to an encrypted version of Google search.

It means a big proportion of Safari organic search traffic is now being misread as being ‘direct’ traffic, so publishers don’t know how IOS 6 users found their websites through organic Google search.

Five things every online retailer can learn from Tesco’s website security fail

UK retailer Tesco came under fire earlier this week for website security practices that may be leaving customer data vulnerable to hackers.

The incident started when software architect Troy Hunt noticed a tweet indicating that Tesco must be storing customer passwords in a manner that doesn’t adhere to best practices because the retail giant emails customers their passwords in plain text.

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.

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…