Thursday, October 20th, 2011...4:21 am

Google’s Move to Hide Search Queries and SEO Feedback

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Google has announced its switch to SSL by default for search for logged in users and it immediately became a big topic of discussion and even outrage for the SEO community. Here’s a detailed explanation of what this move means by Danny Sullivan. Here are some SEO reactions across the web to these news. Main outrage is caused by the fact that Adwords advertisers will still have access to the referring queries data for their paid campaigns, which is seen as obviously a double standards implementation by Google and an attempt to switch focus from SEO to PPC.

What surprises me most in this whole discussions, however, is that people somehow fail to see the other side of this whole issue. I was looking if anyone would mention this but nobody did so far – don’t you think what Google is doing is actually an attempt to push more users into (1) creating Google accounts and (2) using Google’s services via those accounts? In other words, encouraging users to stay logged in (of course as a result Google gets to collect more and deeper data, regardless of SSL). Here’s something they say in their official announcement that can act as proof of the above intention (bolded by me):

we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users

In other words, you want security and privacy – you can have it, you just have to log in. Seems like it’s their marketing move to improve the sign in rate which seems to be not so high, to quote Barry Schwartz:

Google says this will likely only impact less than 10% of the searchers. So in a sense, Google is saying that less than 10% of their users are signed in when performing Google searches?

In any case, I wonder if this feature will be as half assed in its implementation as the new Google Analytics and Google Docs interfaces (will post about it separately).

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