Google SSL is a game changer for online marketers
Google’s new secure search Google SSL is heralded as a benefit for Google searchers in terms of privacy and security but it’s likely to have a significant impact on how online marketers adapt to changes within the market place.
What is Google SSL?
The SSL part stands for Secure Socket Layer and its basically an encrypted version of online communications for Google users for everything from internet banking and shopping transactions to basic e-mail and instant messaging. Google SSL is heralded as a more secure and private search experience for Google users.
Google SSL works for all logged in users and has already been in place within Gmail for close to two years. The secure version of Google (https://google.com) will be the default version for anyone signed into a Google account while internet searchers not logged in will have to input the https version into the address bar to search on the secure version.
The secure version of Google search works by encrypting both your search query and the relevant results page to prevent third parties from intercepting your data (Internet Service Providers and unsecured Wi-fi zones etc).
What does Google SSL mean for Australian businesses?
At present Google SSL is not available on Google Australia, but as with everything trialed in beta and approved on Google.com, it’s likely to be available on google.com.au in the near future.
This will affect Google Analytics data as you will no longer see exact phrase data for searches made on secure search – instead you will have to rely on data presented in your Google Webmaster Tools account, which will basically summarise your best performing keywords.
So marketers will not be able to see the exact query you typed in – unless you clicked on an advertisement. Google says this is so that the advertiser can improve the relevancy of the advertisement but can the same not be said of organic content? Is that data not valuable to marketers using organic Google search as a platform for delivering relevance?
Is this an attempt to get more organic Google marketers to spend on AdWords to get access to this data – skeptics would suggest so. Google might suggest that it’s a way of impeding attempts to ‘game’ search results.
Whatever theories exist on why – this is likely to restrict marketers insights into buyer behaviour and emerging market place trends to some degree.
There is also a concern that Google SSL will affect latency (speed) of the user search experience – which there is an onus on SEOs to improve, so there seems to be a conflict there between what Google expects of others and what they do themselves. Users also exit secure mode if the destination URL is not on https:// – which demonstrates that the secure solution from Google is not entirely secure.
For Google Analytics users, expect to see less keyword data for non-paid search results. It’s likely to be more time consuming trying to marry Analytics and Webmaster Tools data accurately or investment in other analytical tools.
We expect that as a result of this change, SEO experience and proven results-oriented expertise will become more valuable for businesses looking to make a favourable return on their online investment. If you fall into that bracket – call us today on 1300 650 274 and let us put your business first with expert SEO services and comprehensive Google Analytics knowledge!