This would changed the way we measure organic search moving forward:
What does this mean for sites that receive clicks from Google search results? When you search from https://www.google.com, websites you visit from our organic search listings will still know that you came from Google, but won’t receive information about each individual query.
- Official Google Blog
So, Google determined that if you have the keyword referral data for visitors to your site, then others could encroach on your privacy and security. Even though I disagree with this assertion based on this principle and I still believe that Google is using this as leverage against the broader Internet community.
Now, I am not of the mindset that limited data is ever a good thing, but in this circumstance I think it is ideal.
Why Google Secure Search is Good for SEO
It is really difficult to work with partial data because you have to make assumptions (not ideal) to accommodate for the unknown information. Because you only have part of the picture, you might be missing something that is really important.
I know this much more that most as 57% of my traffic comes from natural search of which, some 92% of it is from Google. In the full year following this change, 32% of the traffic from Google ended up as “not provided” making up 18% of the total traffic here. Working with a number of clients, I have yet to see an impact this great, but it has climbed since inception.
So, if I am working on making a decision about my strategy, I am missing almost one third of the picture. However, I still think that this is a positive thing for me and for everyone that is affected by the change.
If a person is logged into a Google account, your search results are being modified by your search history, behavior and even your social network. Now, the search results are also modified based on your location, but this happens if you are logged in or not.
Because search results are being modified, the keyword referral data is tainted, meaning, if you make decisions on your SEO program based on this modified data, you might be making the wrong changes. For once, I think limited access to data is better for your SEO Program.
I would love to hear about your view on the past year of Google SSL Search, feel free to leave comments below!