Keyword (not provided)

12 Nov

Google’s SSL search began October 18th and you may have noticed an interesting keyword in your Google Analytics reports recently, (not provided). Google has decided to encrypt search results for users that are logged into their Google accounts. Here is their reasoning in their own words…

http://bit.ly/qYZqXe  As it states in the blog you can search using Google’s encrypted site even if you do not have a google account.

What does this mean?

This new encryption seems to be important for the safety of users in a public wifi hotspot setting. Webmasters, however, that use Google analytics will see and aggregate of things that you have searched for in a list called (not provided). Google claims the change only affects 1% of search results found in Google Analytics. Recently, I worked on a project where the (not provided) aggregate list accounted for 2% of the keyword search results. This leads me to belive this may get bigger then we think, and may cause problems for those looking at Google analytics for traffic statistics.

Paid search results, however, are not affected by the encryption. Therefore, if you click on a paid link (those listed at the top of the google search) then that information will still be able to be viewed by a webmaster if they have access.

If you have experience with this new encrypted search I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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