'Not Provided' To Expand As Bing Encrypts Search Data

Chris CrumFeatured, Search

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Microsoft announced that Bing will start encrypting search traffic by default meaning that like much of your Google traffic in Google Analytics, you'll start seeing "not provided" for query data from Bing.

Google started doing this back in 2011. It's a little surprising that Bing has taken this long to follow suit, but they're doing so now nevertheless. Bing's Duane Forrester says in a blog post:

At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping users keep their data safe and secure. That’s why we support the industry’s move to use of TLS protocols as part of our effort to expand encryption across our networks and services. Bing has already been offering users the option to encrypt search traffic for about a year and a half now. Beginning this summer, we will begin the process of encrypting search traffic by default. This means that traffic originating from Bing will increasingly come from https://www.bing.com as opposed to http://www.bing.com.

With the move to encrypted search by default we will continue to pass along a referrer string so that marketers and webmasters will be able to identify traffic as coming from Bing. However, to further protect our users’ privacy, we will not include the used query terms.

Unless you get the majority of your search traffic from Bing, this probably won't affect you too badly as you're probably already used to it from Google. If you do get most of your search traffic from Bing, have fun.

Microsoft says it will still provide some limited query term data through its Search Query Terms Report, Universal Event Tracking, and Bing Webmaster Tools.

Image via Bing

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.