Google SSL search could hurt SEO tracking!

I was reading a post on GoogleSystem after reading a related post on Matt Cutts’ blog regarding Google’s new SSL search.

I get the idea.  You are out in the open and don’t want anyone and everyone knowing what you are Google are talking about.  A bit like you and your doctor/priest/accountant etc etc. I like this.

Google Secure Search

Google Secure Search

When viewing the images on the Googlesystem post with the data omitted when encrypted, so I opened up Fiddler and started playing with https://www.google.com and how they would arrive on my employers site.

The two scenarios are:

  • If you are in regular Google. You get the referrer information and the query string passed through
  • If you are in Secure Google, well you get NO referrer and NO query string.

This made me think and consult the highest ranking stato I could find.  And I hated the confirmation I received.

As most web analytics use referrer information and look for the &q= in the URL, secure Google would not show up at all.  In fact the first entry is your own site.

The implication could be that all natural search traffic from secure Google would look like direct type in/bookmarked or another fringe case when there is no referrer.

This is currently limited to Google.com and to only those who know about it.  But, it will be spreading shortly I am sure.  And they are talking on how to change this as the default search widget in Chrome.

This also doesn’t work inside Google Analytics.  So, hopefully the GA team will shouting at their colleagues very quickly!

SEO tracking might be dead soon? Ideas – please help!!!

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