It’s official! Google moved entirely to https as in any query made on the search engine will result in a secure search.
2 years ago Google made secure searches available to the search engines users who were logged into their Google accounts. It first started with U.S users, encompassing the globe a few months later.
In the past few weeks Google’s been working under the table to provide secure searches to everyone, logged in or not into their account, regardless of the browser they are using. And they’re done. Now even a http://www.google.com will force you to their secured https connection.
Wait?! Isn’t secure search a good thing?
Google did state that this move is to bring extra protection to its users. It didn’t state against whom it was bringing all this protection? The Prism program is against advertisers that are not affiliated with Google through their Ad program?
Before tackling the deeper consequences of Google implementing secure search let’s first get our head around what it actually means in regards to SEO.
Say you have a website about squirrel furs. One of your main keyword for that website is fur. Whenever someone searches for anything fur related, depending how optimized your website is and the exact query searched, google will return a search result page with your website ranked somewhere amongst other fur related websites. Whenever someone lands on your page your analytics will pick up the keyword it used to get there. Keeping track of those keywords, ranking them and analyzing them is one of the many jobs required to optimize your website so that Google picks it up better.
Wake up with new leads from the content you publish.
Now, with the transition to secure search your analytics won’t pick up the keyword that got you your organic visitor. Instead you’ll get a “not provided” thus not being able to track the most relevant terms used.
According to NotProvidedCount the amount of “not provided” keywords has gone up 30% in the past month. The site I linked is only keeping track of 60 websites so the overall impact is most likely of a lesser magnitude.
Is this the end of the internet as we know it?
Some people sure are reacting that way. But no, no it’s not. Here’s 3 reasons why:
1. The keywords are still there. Just because traditional analytics can’t pick them up it doesn’t mean they aren’t being picked up.
2. The effects of this shift will not be felt in the immediate future. The indexing process hasn’t changed. Just the way we analyze some of those factors.
3. The scene is ever changing. Technology is a field that has always grew exponentially. Going against the flow has never yielded results. SEO has changed over the years. Quite alot if i might add. And it has changed because it needed to keep up with the times. This is just the next step in that evolution.
Why the sudden change?
It isn’t sudden. It is a goal Google has raced towards since it first introduced SSL encryption in 2011 to it’s registered users in U.S. Many people have seen this coming and have adjusted accordingly.
What comes as a kick below the waist is the interesting fact that Google AdWords is not affected by any of the changes.Nor are the advertisers outsourcing to Google. Which begs the question: Has this change been made having the security of user searches in mind or to boost the sales of the company?
Let’s not forget that before anything else Google is a business. And as a business it has to be proactive towards it’s own goals first.
Let’s also not forget that Google’s been having a symbiotic relationship with copywriters, content creators, publishers, advertisers and pretty much anyone that has chosen to market their content on its search engine. This power-play from Google’s part has stirred quite a few of people up.
It seems in the past quarter Google has been hopping from one PR nightmare to another and if there’s one thing they dislike it’s being put in a negative light.
Put your pitchforks away
There’s no reason for blood to be spilled. In a few weeks the dust will settle and everything will be clear regarding the direction all this is heading towards.
SEO dies at least once a month with all the Google implementations and algorithm reviews and still here we are.
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