A sizable percentage of inbound search terms are hidden from publishers now that Google encrypts searches by default when users are logged in to Google.com and Firefox and Chrome use encrypted search in their toolbars.
When Google announced the change in October, the company predicted that the change would affect less than 10 percent of searchers. Adtrak writes that the figure is much higher:
Figures reiterated quite often on blogs, forums and in tweets suggest that some 20% of their keyword traffic is hidden behind secure search (when a person is signed into their Google account and searching the web).I checked Poynter.org's analytics: Keywords were hidden in 29 percent of searches in April. That's up from 22.5 percent in November, shortly after the change was made. Now "(not provided)" makes up the largest category of search terms, dwarfing the second place term: Poynter. Overall, 6 percent of inbound traffic now comes from a black box.
Besides Google, Firefox and Chrome now default to secure search in their toolbars. When you combine Google's share of the search market with Firefox and Chrome's share of the browser market, about 26 percent of searches will be encrypted, not including those logged in to Google, according to Practical eCommerce.
Adtrak's take: (more...)