Secure Search – The Bane of SEO
Posted on August 17, 2013
So, you’ve finally taken the leap and have got your site or blog up and running. You’ve bolted on Google Analytics or Clicky (which I recommend) and you’re all set to see the web traffic roll in. You’ve optimised all of your pages and posts and are keen to see which keywords are sending web traffic your way. You excitedly open up your analytics only to see Secure Search as the main keyword that is sending traffic to your site. Ah yes, secure search – the bane of SEO. Wouldn’t you love to know what people searched for?
For the last few years Google have been introducing secure search in an effort, they say, to enhance privacy when users are searching for something. The result of this for online marketers and businesses, who relied on knowing which keywords were sending organic web traffic to their sites, is that they are now somewhat in the dark.
Before it was possible to easily determine which keywords were sending traffic your way so that you could iterate and improve but not anymore. Now you’ve to fumble in the dark and try extrapolate which keywords may have been used based on landing page and what keywords that page has been optimised for.
Secure Search – The Bane of SEO
Whilst Google say that it is for enhanced privacy others contend that it is a ploy to corral more marketers into using Google AdWords as one can see the full data set when paying for Google ads. Also, if you try to do an “unsecure” Google search whilst logged in, you can’t, or at least I couldn’t.
Enter Google.com into your URL bar and it’ll redirect to the https. Then, strip away the ‘s” to try get to the “unsecure” search and you’ll see that Google redirects you back to https, just to keep you secure of course. Google now have search under lock and key.
The best advice I can give to try deduce some useful info from traffic that arrives at your site via a secure search is to pay close attention to what page the visitors land and their movements after that. If your pages are are optimised for specific keywords (and they should be!) you might be able to glean some info about the search term used.
Currently my site gets a frustrating 77.96%of traffic from secure search but as Google holds all the cards that’s just the way it is. What percentage of your organic traffic is from secure search? Have any tips for a workaround? Comment below with your thoughts and sharing is tax free today!
Note: Cover Image By AlejandroLinaresGarcia and used under Creative Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
Ashley Faulkes @madlemmings
August 19, 2013 (1:30 pm)
Hey Rob, loving the site. Interesting post too. Did not know that Google was doing this. Is it because I am always in Google Analytics that I don’t have this block in place? I have not added outside analytics like Clicky (although I hear it is great). That certainly is a pain for non-google analytics people then because a lot of traffic comes from Google and not knowing how/why is a major disadvantage for sure!! cheers, ashley
August 20, 2013 (11:52 am)
Hi Ashley, cheers for the comment and feedback on the site, great to hear you’re liking it.. Um, no, you should still notice “Secure Search” impacting your Google Analytics stats but if not, be thankful hehe.. All (or most) traffic stats are still available via WebMasterTools however all that data is aggregated as opposed to being possible to view for individual queries. I’ll add GA to my site and see if there is a difference between Clicky/GA stats. Rob
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