Secure search and SEO

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“If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.Lord Kelvin

It has become increasingly harder to measure traffic to your site due to increases in secure search. In February of 2011 Firefox pushed for secure search to be the default in their browser and with the help of Google, this has now become a reality.

According to a blog post by Google, it is to address the privacy concerns by users:

“As search becomes an increasingly customized experience, we recognize the growing importance of protecting the personalized search results we deliver. As a result, we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users. Over the next few weeks, many of you will find yourselves redirected to (note the extra “s”) when you’re signed in to your Google Account. This change encrypts your search queries and Google’s results page. This is especially important when you’re using an unsecured Internet connection, such as a WiFi hotspot in an Internet cafe.”

It is currently speculated that 26% of keyword data will be lost to webmasters, which makes the ability to plan site content a little more challenging.

What does this mean for our clients? The immediate impact showed up in our analytics reports a few months ago. You would have noticed that in the keyword area of our reports, the phrase ”not provided” has started showing up. The way around this is to utilize both Google Analytics as well as Google Webmaster Tools to do reporting.

The secure search idea is just getting started. As more browsers and engines jump on the SLL bandwagon, the current source for SEO data may become more depleted. Luckily it changes as the industry changes and will adapt to work around issues to access data so sites can be optimized for maximum search visibility.

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