Google Changes to Search Customisation
It has been noted for a little while that search is becoming more and more customised to the user, particularly if signed in – it is a continued effort to make search more secure. The use of their encryption protocol known as SSL was developed to protect personalised search results, and has encouraged people within the industry to adopt similar security methods. All of which ties in with Google placing high priority and security on the customised experience.
Google are rolling out changes for the http://www.google.com/ as follows. The changes to their default search experience for signed in users will, over the next few weeks, result in being redirected to https://www.google.com/ (please note the extra S). This will then somehow encrypt our search queries and the results page.
What this will mean is… searching from http(s), will show visits in the analytics came from an organic search, but it will not provide each individual query. This will mean keyword information in traffic sources will not show a true picture of the phrases people have used to get to the website. It will still be possible to see an aggregated list of the top 100 search queries through webmaster tools. However, ‘signed in’ organic traffic will appear as ‘not provided’. Referring sites and CPC will remain unaffected.
As stated, this has not rolled out elsewhere but Google do suggest that they will be adding more support for SSL across many more of their products and services in due course. I would be interested to know how the future changes are going to affect the metrics and statistics we SEO’s rely on to measure the performance and effectiveness of our internet marketing.