Having privacy is important to many internet users. Google has recognized this and to improve their search engine they have implemented encrypted search for signed in users. Google announced on their blog:
“As search becomes an increasingly customized experience, we recognize the growing importance of protecting the personalized search results we deliver. As a result, we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users. Over the next few weeks, many of you will find yourselves redirected to https://www.google.com (note the extra “s”) when you’re signed in to your Google Account.”
So What Does This Mean?
This change encrypts the search queries and the Google results pages only if you are signed in. This can be really important if you’re connected to the internet in a WiFi Hotspot like a coffee shop, bookstore, or any other location with an unsecured connection. This move makes it harder for someone to find out exactly what you’re searching for on Google. This can be good, and this can be bad. Keeping search safe is really important and I applaud Google on their enhancements. But it does present a few issues with Google Analytics and tracking statistics for a website.
For SEO companies like IQnection, our data in Google Analytics will continue to show searches made by signed in Google users, but to find the exact keyword that they came in on becomes more difficult. These signed in users will show up on keyword reports as “not provided”. Google Webmaster Tools will continue to provide information on the top 1,000 searched keywords aggregated over the last 30 days. This will allow IQnection to continue to have accurate data on our client’s websites to provide the best marketing campaigns possible.
Google has stated that this move will likely have a small impact on less than 10% of searches. But this could be a preview for them to roll the update out on all Google searches in the future.