Google has announced on the 18th October that in order to protect personalised search results of users signed into Google.com decided to encrypt any visitors’ related data with SSL protocol stripping any useful data including keywords which has driven them to a website.
That means that any searches can only be seen by Google and the web browser itself but any third party including any tracking solution you may know can’t intercept the search and know what’s being searched on.
The change to SSL is in place now and will be fully released to everyone over the coming weeks.
What is means to SEOs?
The change to SSL search means that any visitors’ data coming sites people visit after clicking on results at Google will no longer receive “referrer” data that reveals what those people searched for, except in the case of paid ads (interesting, isn’t it?).
Google ensures that we’ll still be able to measure SEO traffic and to see conversion rates, segmentations and that a token has been created to help better identify the signed in users coming via organic search visits, which states “(not provided)” within organic search traffic keyword reporting.
From my point of view it’s very clear that we won’t be able to access a portion of intelligence data at the keywords level impacting our ability to better understand SEO non brand traffic and conversion patterns.
Beware as there is also another challenge in sight – mobile users. If you use android phone and want to browse “market” or use any Google owned app you’ll be required to sign in via your Google account. Mobile users tend to forget about being logged in so imagine what sort of impact on mobile data it may have?
We’ve already seen large tracking solution providers, including Omniture, issuing communication to its client base on the predicted impact of recent Google changes.
Google software engineer Matt Cutts states that even at full roll-out, this would still be in the only a single-digit percentages of all searcher’s data on Google.com will be affected.
Well, we will see…..says SEO Google Expert