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November 2, 2011

Google to Implement SSL Encryption to Searches

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If a user is signed in into his or her Google account, their searches will now become encrypted by default through a secure connection.Google states this change will only occur when searching on Google.com and being signed in.

Why the Need for SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Encryption?

Google has mentioned that search has become personal and customised, further evolving into a more exclusive experience, the need to protect personalised search results has become further apparent.

By the time you are reading this, the Google.com search engine would have already changed to SSL and be fully released to anyone searching using Google.com and logged into their Google accounts. You will know if your search is encrypted when you see the same little lock symbol on the bottom of your web browser you see when you’re shopping online.

What Do SSL Encrypted Search Results Really Mean?

No one except Google and the web browser can see what searches are currently being conducted. Referral data is now out of bounds to anyone, including third-party tracking software and Google Analytics!

Webmasters will begin to lose valuable data they have become dependant on – understanding which keywords their visitors have found their websites with. However, referral search engine data will still be available to third-party tracking software and Google Analytics.

What is the Percentage of Users Logged into Google and Searching?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, the new Google SSL search will only be implemented on Google.com and only for those who are signed into their Google accounts. Head of Google’s web spam team, Matt Cutts suggests the impact can be measured as a single digit percentage of all Google searchers on Google.com

How Will AdSense and other Ad Networks Display the Correct Ads?

SSL will not interfere with referrer blocking when it comes to ads. Google will continue to allow this as Google feels there is a need to provide this data to advertisers so they can continue to monitor, examine and tweak their advertising campaigns to deliver what is best and most appropriate to users.

It would be silly if AdWords or AdSense ads were displaying irrelevant or off-topic ads and not basing them on the keywords a user is searching Google for.

However, the Future is not so Bleak

Google Webmaster Tools reports the top 1000 search terms people are using to reach websites over a 30 day period. Thankfully, Google has stated this will remain, and I’m sure many webmasters are rejoicing. Unfortunately, conversion tracking is out the door, only the search queries used to find your site using Google will be available.

Referrer data is gradually leaving the search engines, but according to Google, the lack of referrer data being passed onto web analytical software is only going to impact a very small number of Google.com searches. Anyone not signed into their Google account will still pass along their referrer data (including search terms) to all forms of web analytics programs out there. This will still leave plenty of data out there for SEOs and CROs to play with and obtain the best possible optimisation results.

If a user is signed in into his or her Google account, their searches will now become encrypted by default through a secure connection. Google states  this change will only occur when searching on Google.com and being signed in.

Why the Need for SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Encryption?

Google has mentioned  that search has become personal and customised, further evolving into a more exclusive experience, the need to protect personalised search results has become further apparent.

By the time you are reading this, the Google.com search engine would have already changed to SSL and be fully released to anyone searching using Google.com and logged into their Google accounts. You will know if your search is encrypted when you see the same little lock symbol on the bottom of your web browser you see when you’re shopping online.

What Do SSL Encrypted Search Results Really Mean?

No one except Google and the web browser can see what searches are currently being conducted. Referral data is now out of bounds to anyone, including third-party tracking software and Google Analytics!

Webmasters will begin to lose valuable data they have become dependant on – understanding which keywords their visitors have found their websites with. However, referral search engine data will still be available to third-party tracking software and Google Analytics.

What is the Percentage of Users Logged into Google and Searching?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, the new Google SSL search will only be implemented on Google.com and only for those who are signed into their Google accounts. Head of Google’s web spam team, Matt Cutts suggests the impact can be measured as a single digit percentage of all Google searchers on Google.com

How Will AdSense and other Ad Networks Display the Correct Ads?

SSL will not interfere with referrer blocking when it comes to ads. Google will continue to allow this as Google feels there is a need to provide this data to advertisers so they can continue to monitor, examine and tweak their advertising campaigns to deliver what is best and most appropriate to users.

It would be silly if AdWords or AdSense ads were displaying irrelevant or off-topic ads and not basing them on the keywords a user is searching Google for.

However, the Future is not so Bleak

Google Webmaster Tools reports the top 1000 search terms people are using to reach websites over a 30 day period. Thankfully, Google has stated this will remain, and I’m sure many webmasters are rejoicing. Unfortunately, conversion tracking is out the door, only the search queries used to find your site using Google will be available.

Referrer data is gradually leaving the search engines, but according to Google, the lack of referrer data being passed onto web analytical software is only going to impact a very small number of Google.com searches. Anyone not signed into their Google account will still pass along their referrer data (including search terms) to all forms of web analytics programs out there. This will still leave plenty of data out there for SEOs and CROs to play with and obtain the best possible optimisation results.





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