Google Blocking Referral Info?

Have been following this article Google to Begin Encrypting Searches and Outbound Links and am confused. Like that is anything new? lol

Thing is, from what it says, it is for those who log in using an SSL set up, which supposedly is less than 10% of users.

Basically it seems to say that programs like even Google Analytics will not be showing keywords that got a person to one’s site, nor will other analtyical programs, so making it hard to optimize one’s site.

Anyone heard more on this, or have an opinion?

This was supposedly rolled out October 18th. So did our lives just get a lot harder, or is this just another, eh, who cares?

Re: Google Blocking Referral Info?

I did a post on this on GWW last week, google is moving to ssl by default for all searches for anyone logged into google while searching (which means anyone with a gmail or analytics or anything G account who don’t specifically logout when done…which means prolly most surfers)

Its gonna make a huge impact on how useful stats are, as stats programs won’t be able to see keywords in the referring (encrypted) URL. The only solution is to use G’s webmaster tools.

I am still not sure if this will mean analytics will not display keywords anymore either, or if they are making an exception for their own stats system??? Anyone know that answer???

Re: Google Blocking Referral Info?

No, you won’t be able to see the keywords in your Analytics account either. It makes life a lot harder indeed.

They will only display the keywords from people who came to your site via Adwords (paid advertisement), but not for organic google traffic.

Addition: Google said that less than 10% of organic search traffic is done while logged in.

Re: Google Blocking Referral Info?

I don’t see any drop in my keyword searches but I wonder how this would affect affiliate tracking scripts.

Re: Google Blocking Referral Info?

Search your keywords list for (not provided) - it’s on the 15th spot in my stats.

I don’t think this has any effect on affiliate tracking scripts, but I am not sure…

Re: Google Blocking Referral Info?

Dennis, thanks for checking. I actually get different results from different browsers and different computers. The only difference is, I’m seeing more and more garbage from search results this time.

I still get the usual number of organic searches according to analytics so I’m not sure what’s showing on other people’s computers when they type keywords I bid for. I think these recent change looks weird though…

Re: Google Blocking Referral Info? has an emergency whiteboard video on this subject. Google reckons its for privacy, but thats pure BS. I believe its to stop those sites that reverse engineer keyword referrals. And these sites are numerous indeed. Its a great way of stopping those sites, but the downside is that we don’t get to see keywords that brought users to our sites. I also believe that Google will later make all searches through SSL. Forcing WMs to use their stats system (I’ll be the last person to do that). It will also knock out stats competitors such as getclicky which provide far better information than Google. MS used to buy up competitor companies and put them on the backburner. Googles approach is far more eloquent.

Re: Google Blocking Referral Info?

Fortunately for me it’s not affecting much of anything. Only about 3/4 of one percent of my traffic from Google comes through as “(not provided)”. That’s true even when I look at just new visits. 99.25% comes through completely normally - with meaningful keywords.

I’d guess porn will be the least affected industry since people tend to not want their porn habits tracked. Probably the most affected industry will be SEO since SEOs are always logged into Google.

Re: Google Blocking Referral Info?

This is a pretty big deal.

Here is one of the major changes this past 12-24 months that I have noticed: The “Internet” for years was a place with no borders - you could be on a site or looking at something based anywhere in the world - you could be reading the news from your local newspaper, the New York Times or UK newspaper sites. This is all changing as search engines strive to present “localized, custom” results.

And they are increasingly ordering this information based on you, your ZIP code, your friends, your visited websites, etc.

I don’t know if this is good or bad, nor do I pretend to know if this kind of neighborhood presentation meets people’s needs in a superior way. However, I do think a driving force in all this is that all of these “Local” results have convinced local companies which otherwise never spent advertising money on Google AdWords or other marketing services to start, and the results have been extremely lucrative.

I would take Google at their word that they are taking these steps because the data they send “is becoming increasingly custom and private” to each user. As they go farther and father down this road, I think it presents opportunities for new search engines to offer new ways of searching the web.