Posted by Aaron WheelerOn Tuesday, Google announced that signed-in users will, by default, be routed to the SSL version of Google (https://www.google.com). Before Tuesday, most users used non-SSL Google for their searches. Now, according to Google, "…a web site accessed through organic search results on http://www.google.com (non-SSL) can see both that the user came from google.com and their search query… However, for organic search results on SSL search, a web site will only know that the user came from google.com." The effects were obvious immediately. Here’s a screenshot of our GA account showing the quantity of "(not provided)" keywords going up from Sunday to today: Clearly, the inbound marketing community isn’t thrilled. Take Ian Lurie of Portent, for example: he declared war with Google outright. Having a bunch of "(not provided)" referral keywords in Google Analytics is definitely not pretty. Fortunately, as Avinash Kaushik explains in this Google+ post, there’s something you can do to at least gauge the effects on your analytics, and as Rand will explain, the effects aren’t as devastating for most users as they could be. Yet. In this emergency Whiteboard Friday, Rand will go over the changes Google has made, why it happened (and why it really might have happened), and what you can do to stay calm and fight back. Let us know how this change has affected your sites in the comments below! Video Transcription Howdy SEOmoz fans. Welcome to a special emergency edition of Whiteboard Day Agnostic We’ll Interrupt Any Day to Do This. Unfortunately, Google has made a big change to the way that they are serving keyword referral data from their search results, and this is going to have an unfortunate impact on all of us who do white hat SEO, who do web analytics, and who try to learn from this practice. I want to try in this Whiteboard video to explain why this has happened, what Google is doing, why they claim they’re doing it, and then also explore some of the reasons that they might actually be doing it, and try to provide some actual information about what folks in the web analytics and SEO spheres can do since this data may become less available. So let’s start by explaining what happens when you do a Google search today. For example, I have done a Google search here for "learn SEO." I click the Search button and some results pop up, and here’s this nice learn SEO, SEOmoz, www.seomoz.org, learn SEO, and then there’s an ad over here, "Learn SEO from PayMeBucks.com." Click on my ad. Dude, I need your visits bad. That probably would not get approved by the AdWords people, but you can get the idea. Now previously, if I were to click this result or this result, the web analytics tool, whatever it is – your Webtrends, your Omniture, your Google Analytics – at the other end would get some
Google Hides Search Referral Data with New SSL Implementation – Emergency Whiteboard Friday
October 21, 2011 by 1 Comment
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