Recently Google announced they’re would be making Search more secure. Secure in lament sense means rather than searching google’s engine from http://www.google.com, you may be searching Google via https://www.google.com (note the ‘s’ in http).
What does this mean and how does it impact businesses and their Search strategies, especially SEO. Google will begin redirecting users who are signed into their Google account (GooglePlus, Gmail, Calendar, Android, etc.) to their secure website vs. its open public website when a potential customer or users performs a search
Google has become more and more customized and personalized in their search results, thus now attempting to better protect its users (google account holders). This at first seems good, but for marketers, especially SEO experts and search engine marketers, its the start of a few problems. The first that we’ve come across is now that users who search under the secured google domain (as they’re signed into their google account), the analytics (ex. Google Analytics) will not show you the search terms and keywords that were used by the users / customers who arrived at your online business via the secured google search.
This creates a few problems for marketers and agencies such as broken transparency of the impact of their search engine optimization strategies, and the performance of the optimization. In other words, if an SEO expert optimizes an online business on specific action-oriented ‘buy’ keywords, and attains a stronger SERP (search engine result) position as a result, does the keyword a) draw the traffic to the site, and b) did it convert the visitor to a lead or customer. Under the new encrypted (secure) Google URL, the web analyst and conversion optimizer won’t have the full view on this any more.
According to Google:
When you search from https://www.google.com, websites you visit from our organic search listings will still know that you came from Google, but won’t receive information about each individual query.
Instead of seeing a full list of keywords, you will now see a number of them listed under “(not provided)”. Google describes this will impact a small percentage of searches, but let’s consider how many people are now on Gmail, or Youtube, or participated in the explosive growth of GooglePlus social network, or Google+ a site. You get the picture.
Adding to this, even the growth of the Android in the mobile space will impact this as customers who use a Droid phone are first required to sign up with a gmail account to use it.
As a result, while Google’s new privacy ‘concerns’ seem valid to better protect its users and public, then why is this keyword data still being provided to Google advertisers, even if someone that clicks on their ad is logged in to their account.
So how concerned is Google then about privacy, or will we soon see you’ll need to pay for privacy or pay for features of Google Analytics. As more of Google Analytics has become a necessity in evaluating and optimizing ROI through Search, perhaps Google’s big picture is now that they got us hooked for free like junkies, they’ll now make us pay for our fix. After all, the data from Google Analytics is a corner stone of of marketing investment and business decisions for online businesses.