Ever since Google began encrypting searches for signed-in users two years ago, publishers have wondered if when we’d get to a “100% Not Provided” world, where all search terms are withheld by Google. It looks like that day may soon arrive, thanks to a new change at Google.
Google has confirmed that it has begun work to encrypted all searches, even for those who aren’t logged into Google. Our story on our sister-site Search Engine Land has more about this:
The change makes it very likely that in the near future, publishers will receive no search term data sent to them directly through the decades-old and industry-standard “referrer” system. The withholding of this data means terms flagged as “Not Provided” within Google Analytics already should have spiked for many sites and has nothing preventing it from reaching 100%.
Terms can still be viewed within Google Webmaster Center, but only the top 2,000 terms per day and only going back for 90 days.
As before, clicks on advertising links remain unsecure and open to potential eavesdropping, and advertisers continue to receive the terms directly through the referral system.
To understand more about this, again, see our Search Engine Land article below, plus a closely-related one from earlier this month:
- Google’s Plan To Withhold Search Data & Create New Advertisers
- Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks