Google encrypted search going global

Earlier this week Google announced that encrypted search is being rolled out internationally over the cause of the next few weeks.

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In October 2011, Google caused mass uproar by unleashing an astonishing example of double standards; it started encrypting searches via an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)which as a result made certain keyword data unavailable in web analytics packages, including Google Analytics.

When encrypted data arrived Google claimed that it would only affect “single-digit percentages” of search data. However, there are numerous reports that suggest otherwise, with some site owners seeing up to 33% of their keyword data listed as “(not provided)”.


According to Google the update was rolled out to help improve the ‘user experience’. While this may be true to an extent, the more cynical among us would suspect that it’s actually part of a bigger plan to get us all to buy more ads.

At the time of launch this update only affected logged in users on with no evident suggestion of a global rollout in the near future.

However Google announced earlier this week that encrypted search is being rolled out internationally over the cause of the next few weeks.

This presents further problems for site owners who rely on valuable keyword data. Not only is keyword data important to show how users entered their site, it also helps them make informed decisions about optimising landing pages and improving user experience.

4 thoughts on “Google encrypted search going global

  1. Interestingly, I noticed yesterday that once I go to the Google search engine, it continues to give me a secure (https) URL even if I sign out of my Google account (presumably because of browser caching?), which makes the number of “not provided” searches potentially even higher.

  2. Classic Google. Everyone is working out that most of Google search that is driving conversion is actually brand term searches and Google is nothing more than a quick shortcut for people to get to sites they already know. about 80% of Google traffic should really be seen as direct. How do they try and hide this fact from everyone and in fact Google is actually a much smaller entity in the bigger scheme of things, by deleting the evidence. if they roll this out Google delete probably 30-40% of all search terms and then no one will be any the wiser and will be able to empty billions of dollars from companies who blindly buy advertising. Its probably the biggest racket on the planet.

  3. I wish people would write more about this as you have done. This is something that is very important

  4. This is a huge concern for me as about 50% of my search traffic is coming in as encrypted! I have NO idea what SEO is working! This IS a big deal.

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