What’s Really Behind Google’s Secure Search Move?

Google have announced that Google account holders that are signed into their accounts will be directed to a secure version of their search service. In such a mode the recipient of search traffic will not be able to establish the keyword search term used to find their website. Google claims that this move is to protect the privacy of searchers as the search results they are shown are personalised.

At the simplest level this move means many of us in the digital marketing, search engine optimisation and web analytics communities will be flying blind when it comes to analysing this traffic. Google says it is making the move in order to protect the privacy of the searcher. Many in the SEO industry suspect its about Google making more money. The reason is that in the absence of incomplete information about organic traffic digital marketers will give priority to Google’s Google Adwords pay per click service. This priority means a shift of effort and marketing budgets. When it comes to paid search, Google owns over 90% of the UK market.

In recent years a whole new science within web analytics has grown up. Its called attribution. Attribution refers to the way digital marketers apportion, or attribute, the contribution value of each component of the marketing mix towards a sale or conversion. Terms such as “first click” and “last click” attribution indicate whether the behaviour of the buyer or enquirer has relied upon the first or last click when making their conversion decision. Indeed Google UK has only recently commissioned a research report on the subject via E-Consultancy. The secure search move means more grey areas in attribution analysis whenever a website visitor has utilised organic search.

Its another nail in the coffin for Google’s “don’t be evil” mantra.

Comments are closed.