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…