To help protecting the personalized search results, Google today announced enhancements to the their default search experience for signed-in users.
In a October 18 blog post Evelyn Kao, Product Manager announced that "Over the next few weeks, many of you will find yourselves redirected to encrypted search service https://www.google.com when you're signed in to your Google Account."
Adding, he said "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."
Of course, you can also navigate to https://www.google.com directly if you're signed out or if you don't have a Google Account.
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," said Kao.
Adding, "They can also receive an aggregated list of the top 1,000 search queries that drove traffic to their site for each of the past 30 days through Google Webmaster Tools. This information helps webmasters keep more accurate statistics about their user traffic."
"If you choose to click on an ad appearing on our search results page, your browser will continue to send the relevant query over the network to enable advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and to improve the ads and offers they present to you," he explains.
Webmasters can still access following search query data for their sites via Webmaster Tools:
- "View the top 1000 daily search queries and top 1000 daily landing pages for the past 30 days.
- View the impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate (CTR), and average position in search results for each query, and compare this to the previous 30 day period.
- Download this data in CSV format," said Google.
How will this impact Google Analytics users?
"When a signed in user visits your site from an organic Google search, all web analytics services, including GA, will continue to recognize the visit as Google "organic" search, but will no longer report the query terms that the user searched on to reach your site," said Amy Chang, Google Analytics team. Adding, "You'll continue to see aggregate query data with no change, including visits from users who aren't signed in and visits from Google "cpc"."
Chang said "We're still measuring all SEO traffic. You'll still be able to see your conversion rates, segmentations, and more. To help you better identify the signed in user organic search visits, we created the token "(not provided)" within Organic Search Traffic Keyword reporting. You'll continue to see referrals without any change; only the queries for signed in user visits will be affected. Note that "cpc" paid search data is not affected."