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Alert – Google Encrypted Search Goes Global – Implications

Author's avatar By Chris Soames 08 Mar, 2012
Essential Essential topic

Not Provided search queries will affect how your report on your search engine marketing

Source : Google Inside Search Blog

Importance : [rating=4]

Our Commentary


A recent announcment on the Google Inside Search blog post confirmed Google's plans to roll out encrypted search across local Google services (.co.uk, .fr, .de etc).

You may recall this change was rolled out across Google.com in October last year and you will have undoutedly seen the impact in your own analytics as the amount of keyword data set to "Not Provided" has grown.

Consultant and Smart Insights commentator Dan Barker has catalogued the impact of the recent change in the UK and we have seen this also in our analytics. Here he shows the recent change. 

Dan refers to this as Google "hiding search data" and that's how we see it - it's making life more difficult for search marketers and arguably encouraging more use of its Google Adwords service rather than SEO...

Marketing Implications

Essentiall you will soon start to loose a lot of your keyword referral data that you can see in your analytics system regardless of what you're using from Google Analytics to Coremetrics to Adobe to Webtrends. Although this change only effects data from people that are logged into Google and using secure https: when they perform their search which is estimated to be between 7 & 20% . With the growth of Google services like Gmail and Google+ this is only likely to only grow.

Obviously the loss of such data is not ideal and yet there is little we can about it other than work with what we have left. First it is good to quantify how much of your current search data is going to be affacted by the updates. If you are running WordPress as a CMS you may want to utilise this plugin, it will alllow you to report on which social networks your users are signed into when they arrive at your website. The two articles below also offer some great insights / tips into how best to get good insights without this data:


Author's avatar

By Chris Soames

Chris Soames is a Smart Insights blogger and consultant, he has worked in digital marketing for over 6 years with the last few years managing international web strategies for a leading travel brand. Now the Commercial Director at First 10, an Integrated marketing agency, he helps clients get clarity on their marketing strategy and create campaigns engineered to engage with their consumers to help drive sell-through. Most of all, Chris enjoys working with talented people who want to create great (& commercial) things not just tick boxes.

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