UPDATE 25 September 2013: Since this post was published, it can be confirmed that this rollout has happened in Australia.
It hasn’t made the front page news, but it’s certainly front page material for us. Today, Google begins its rollout of encrypted secure search for all users.
Let’s backtrack. Previously, Google gave people the option to have their search data encrypted if they were logged into their Google accounts, or if they searched for anything via the Chrome omnibox. These keywords came up on Analytics as (not provided), meaning they were pretty much inaccessible – except through Webmaster Tools or Adwords.
Almost two years later, Google has chosen to make all searches encrypted in the United States, which means that keyword data (and life) as we know it no longer exists…
But why would Google do such a thing? The reasoning behind encrypted secure search
Unfortunately, none of us possess Matt Cutts’ brain so we can’t tell you with 100% certainty what the reason is for this rollout. However, there are a number of factors that come into play – it could be any or all of these three:
What does Google secure search mean for businesses?
In short, there will be a shift in the way keyword data is gathered and analysed, and also around what businesses prioritise in their digital strategy.
“With the demise of keyword data, we anticipate a growing importance of landing page quality versus conversion statistics as opposed to entrance keywords driving conversions,” says John den Haan, our Head of SEO.
“What this means for businesses is that they will need to focus more on individual user satisfaction: providing quality content to capture and convert a broad customer base at the landing page level.”
Essentially, it goes back to what Google has been stressing all along: quality, quality, and more quality.
It’s not a done deal yet…
Through all of this, it’s important to remember that this rollout has only officially happened in the United States and information is scarce on whether this will be a global action. For the moment, it’s just important to keep your ears open and eyes peeled for any information that comes out in the coming weeks.
However, this reminds us all that in the world of SEO and Google, it’s important to be on top of the game, otherwise you’ll get left behind.
It’s survival of the fittest at its finest.
How do you think Google secure search will affect businesses?