Xcite Digital are now seeing one of the biggest changes in Google Analytics and Search Engine Optimisation.  Google have set industry tongues wagging by switching over to the encrypted searches using HTTPS. Fundamentally this means that keyword data will no longer be passed on to the site owners.

The encrypted version of Google Search means that it eradicates the ability to track users by the keywords entered in searches.  This will have a direct impact on the web analytics software that is used as it is now unable to segment users.

Although encrypted search engines are not new to the industry, they were first introduced in 2010, Google originally placed the encrypted search on a separate URL.  In 2011 we saw them initially diverting all of the US users, who were not signed in to their accounts, through to the encrypted version.  Thus became the birth of the “(Not Provided)” row in keywords data.

A spokesman for Google had estimated that at the point of roll out the number of “(not Provided)” visits would be down to the single digit percentage, however last month BrightEdge released the results of a survey, showing that this figure was over 50% in some industries, a somewhat rather large difference!

One thing’s for certain, this day has not been welcomed by many web design or SEO professionals and the industry is going to have to adapt fast if they want to stay ahead of the game.