Posted on
September 27th, 2013

(Not provided) on organic keyword searches increase

Google has recently confirmed that it has started encrypting searches for users who are not signed in, along with those that are. This change could mean that in the future, all keyword data will be (not provided).

Search encryption means that when a user types in keywords to find a website, the keywords are not picked up and passed to the site’s Analytics results, instead, a result of (not provided) would be seen.

Google first announced in October 2011 that it was to begin search encryption but initially it only affected users who were signed in to their Google account. This quickly extended to searches through the Firefox and Chrome browser bars.

A Google spokesperson said “We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We are now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in.”

The reason for this change is not clear. There are those that think Google is trying to channel more business through Adwords – which has not been affected by the encryption changes – and those who maintain that Google is simply trying to protect users from NSA data collection.

Google said “the motivation here is not to drive the ads side – it’s for our search users”.

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