Google is at it again: They’ve ignited an SSL Search controversy in the Internet marketing community. Many Web publisher and professionals in search engine optimization (SEO) are incensed. The issue is that Google’s now restricting the quality of Web traffic data they’ve always made freely available to bloggers, SEOs and Web publishers.
Said another way, If you’re a Web publisher who likes knowing all of the SEO keywords and organic search terms people Googled to find your site, it’s now going to cost you.
As of a few weeks ago, Google AdWords advertisers are now the only people to whom they’ll give a complete search terms results picture.
However, Google’s doing this for a righteous cause, for everyone’s Internet security. At least, that’s what they’re telling the angry Internet marketing mob.
Everything “Google” Is Ghosted
Causing the crowd’s consternation is Google’s decision to roll out SSL Search encryption on its search engine. The company says it’s adding SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption to provide search-users more privacy. SSL encryption makes it difficult for third-parties to view or intercept your data (e.g., your college or workplace, Internet café Wi-Fi hackers).
How it works. . . If you’re logged into a Google account (e.g., Gmail, Blogger or Google Plus) and decide to search on Google (http://google.com), you’ll be redirected to https://www.google.com. That “s” at the end of “http” is what it’s all about. Among other things, the “s” indicates that almost no one can learn the search term you typed. Except Google, and anyone buying ads from Google.
This new layer of security is good for consumers, but not so much for the Web publishers whose site you click to. Many site owners rely on Google Analytics reports to know the SEO keywords and search terms you used to find them. But now, the report redacts every SEO search term that people used while logged into a Google account.
One SSL Search Query Google Returns No Good Answers For…
If Google were truly concerned about users’ privacy, why give anyone this data? Read between the SSL Search lines, and one could conclude that Google has simply devised a way to sell our privacy.
Of course, Google is in business to make money. And perhaps site owners have enjoyed a free data ride for too long. Still, this isn’t winning Google any friends among bloggers and Web publishers. This is yet another ping in Google’s public relations armor, eroding more trust.
The takeaway? Keeping all of your search eggs in Google’s basket is high-risk. It’s time for Web publishers to cultivate more traffic from social media, other search engines, and every other method.