Google to Encrypt Searches & Clicks

As a follower of the chatter from Twitter and Search Blog, something bad just happened….and people are annoyed….or furious to put it mildly. What happened is that Google Analytics has told the world that in order to ‘secure private searcher information,’ if you are logged in to any part of Google places – like Android, Gmail, YouTube, Google Apps, Blogger, or +1, the referring query from Google will be hidden from the website you land on.

So if you have a website which for example sells ping pong balls, and as part of your internet  marketing strategy and using Google Analytics you can see that that a lot of people are finding your site through searches for ‘pink ping pong balls,’ and then feature pink ping pong balls on your site. In theory it generates a better user experience and probably helps you sell more ping pong balls. You will no longer get that information if the searcher is logged in to Google.  You still get information if the searcher came from Google AdWords.

I’m not a tech geek, but as far as I recall we never could determine the searchers identity from the old way…and if the real concern is absolute security, then why pass along the query info for the paid ad searcher? Why is someone who clicks on an ad less entitled to privacy than someone who clicks on an organic link? It doesn’t make sense to me.  If you still want lots of searcher data, one approach is to just pay for the ads on Google.

Google says that it will only impact a minority of searchers, but I’m not sure how true that is…aren’t most of us logged into some part of the Google universe a lot of the time? In any event the SEO guys are really annoyed and calling names and questioning the underlying intent of this change and wondering if Google still adheres to their “Don’t be evil” motto.

This change will certainly impact those Local Search companies who analyze the data on a daily basis to determine how best to optimize our listings.  Our engineers are already working to come up with a solution and eLocal Listing has 5 years of great data that we have captured to ensure that our customers receive top ranking.  And while once again Google has turned the SEO world on its ear.

Read the original Google Post.

Tim Judd is the CEO of eLocal Listing, the nation’s leading provider of content driven local search leads.

We would love your feed back on what this change means to your company or your thoughts on this change?





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