What SEO professionally were apprehensive about all these years has finally happened. Google has abandoned keyword data in favor of secure search. This move comes after nearly two years after Google made some of the biggest changes to secure search. From now on HTTPS will be used and searches encrypted. This essentially means keyword data will no longer be available to website owners.
Website owners will no longer be able to track their users based on keyword searches as encryption prevents passing of keyword data. this will inevitably lead to owners not being able to segment their users by keywords using their web analytics programs.
When contacted by reputed SEO sites Google indicated that SSL encryption was initially added for signed-in search users way back in 2011. In an effort to offer increased protection to US based users Google had started redirecting all signed-in users to https://google.com, the encrypted version. This was the reason why you got the infamous “not provided” row in Google Analytics. When pressed further, Google representatives had earlier said that even at full roll-out “not provided” visits would still be in single digit percentages on Google.com. over a period of time encrypted search was implemented globally for all signed-in users as well as to default searches in Firefox.
According to a study published last month the percentage of “not provided” data had steadily risen to 50 percent for some sectors. Although there are ways to determine “not provided” data in the Webmaster Tools, the process isn’t foolproof.
Presently even if you type http://google.com you are redirected to the secure https://google.com thus encrypting your search and removing keyword data. However, the good thing is that other search engines like Bing continue to send keyword data.
In case you are a SEO practitioner send us your comments on how you propose to deal with the new developments.