Google announced today “that part of our commitment to provide a more secure online experience” and to “increase the privacy and security of your web searches” “SSL Search on https://www.google.com will become the default experience for signed in users on Google.com.”
What does this mean:
- People logged into a Google Account will be directed to the secure version of Google search instead of the traditional non-secure search
- Referral data for these same people will not include keywords that the person used to find the website in search results
So, beginning soon, your natural search data within your analytics tool of choice will not include the keywords that delivered a visitor to your website.
Why so serious?
Data is why we have come so far in the new digital age in such a short period of time and is one of the most valuable assets we have as website owners and marketers.
In the commencement address to University of Pennsylvania graduates in 2009, then Google CEO, Eric Schmidt delivered “The Courage to be Unreasonable.” Excerpts:
Information is very, very important. And, in fact, the way you should invade these oppressive regimes is through information. Then the citizens will take that information and turn their societies into better societies. This is going to continue and to continue and to continue.
But amidst all of this, some truths emerge. Leadership and personality matter a lot. Intelligence, education, and analytical reasoning matter. Trust matters. In the network world, trust is the most important currency.
One of the most powerful tools available to us is being shuttered in the name of privacy and security at the cost of a better network of information. Information is very valuable and Google and others appear to want to ensure their market security.
This reminds me of the net neutrality debate back in 2008 where Eric Schmidt also said:
In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.
This does appear to be an instance that they are trying to do something extremely similar in the name of security and privacy…
Over my short life we have demanded more transparency from our governments and officials, should we expect less from our search engine?