Google Starts Encrypting Organic Keyword Searches for All Web Analytics Tools

Google just announced today that “they care so much about privacy” that they are going to start encrypting searches for logged-in users and will no longer pass the actual keyword searched to the website itself to track in Google Analytics or any other web analytics tool. This is a huge step backwards for several reasons:

1. All or None – If Google was truly concerned about users’ privacy, they would encrypt ALL queries from ALL users regardless of whether they are logged in or click a Google AdWords PPC ad. That’s right, Google is only going to encrypt organic queries for logged in users. If a user clicks on a Google AdWords ad, then that search query will still be able to be tracked in Google Analytics or any other web analytics tool. This is utter hypocrisy.

2. No Reason – Google Analytics already does not allow websites to tie individual queries to individual searches. In fact, Google Analytics does not allow you to view a user’s IP address, something of which most other web analytics tools have been doing for years. Just because a user is logged into a Google account, there has never been a way to somehow get their personal data via Google Analytics. There is no difference in the kinds of queries that would be considered personal information between logged in users and non logged in users.  So this step of encrypting organic queries on the basis of privacy is straight up bunk.

3. Google Still Sees Keyword Data – Again, Google is claiming this entire move is to benefit consumers’ privacy. However, if that’s all they really cared about, they would encrypt the keyword queries that users are searching for as well. But nope, Google still will be able to track and store all search queries done on its sites to “constantly improve the user experience”. They just don’t want to give that invaluable data to webmasters or third party web analytics firms to better their own users’ experiences. Unless, of course, it’s from Google AdWords!

4. Anti-Trust? – Google has every right to reveal or hide any kind of their own data as they please, even if third party web analytics firms are going to be adversely affected. But it starts getting into anti-competitive territory if eventually, one day down the line, Google Analytics Premium offers the only way to track its organic queries at the hefty price tag of $150,000 a year.

This just sucks!



One Response to “Google Starts Encrypting Organic Keyword Searches for All Web Analytics Tools”

  1. Not Provided Google Analytics Keyword Report - Website Optimization | d0x on October 20th, 2011 3:46 pm

    […] I posted on Tuesday, Google decided to stop providing organic keyword data for webmasters to track in Google Analytics o… for that matter only to replace the keyword phrases with “(not provided)”, which of […]

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