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SEOs Not Buying Google’s Privacy Motive for Encrypting Search

WebProNews gets reaction from several SEOs – they’re not happy

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Google caused quite a ruckus in the search marketing community after it announced some changes to search. Last week, the search giant said that it would begin encrypting logged-in searches that users do by default, when they are logged into Google.com. This further integration of a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) will prevent search marketers from receiving referral data from the websites consumers click on from Google search results.

What do you think of Google’s move to encrypt searches? We’d love to know.

While this change is only supposed to affect a single digit percentage of referral data, many SEOs are not happy with the move and believe that Google has gone too far. Eric Enge, the Founder and President of Stone Temple Consulting, told us that he was completely “baffled” when he saw the news. Rebecca Lieb, the Digital Advertising and Media Analyst at the Altimeter Group, was also surprised by the move and called it “evil.”

“I hate to say this about Google because they’re a company that I admire and like and respect, but I think this is evil,” she said.

“Google is taking something away that is a very, very valuable tool for anybody practicing SEO,” Lieb added.

Amanda Watlington, the Owner of Searching for Profit, also shared with us that she would not be able to give her clients as much value as she has in the past.

“I have learned more from the referral data that comes into the that lets me benefit the user – I won’t have that data to mine, “ she said. “Personally, it will make it harder for me to (a) understand what the performance of my pages are and (b) to learn from my pages.”

Google has said that it did this in order to make search more secure, but the SEO community doesn’t agree. Enge told us that he didn’t recall any outcry from privacy organizations in regards to search term data and, therefore, is not convinced that security was Google’s real motive. If this were the case, he thinks that Bing and Yahoo would have had to make changes as well.

Others, including Amanda Watlington, think that Google did this for financial purposes. She told us that it was “all about the Benjamins.” Matt Van Wagner of Find Me Faster also said that he could see the search giant thinking this move would make its search engine look more attractive to shareholders since it could potentially push more people to use paid search – its primary revenue model.

Lieb takes a slightly different approach and said that Google could have done this to appease regulators. What’s bad though, as she points out, is that most regulators don’t understand referral data and other aspects of Internet marketing.

“I think Google may (It’s a theory – I can’t prove it) be throwing a bone to somebody on Capitol Hill with this move,” she said.

Is Google making moves to try to improve its reputation with regulators? What do you think?

Todd Friesen, the Director of SEO at Performics, agrees that Google made this move as part of a greater effort. He told us that Google frequently makes small moves and waits to see how everyone reacts before it pushes out its bigger plan.

“Google doesn’t do anything on a whim,” he said. “They’re definitely thinking 5 and 10 years out.”

“There’s definitely a bigger plan behind it, and it’s probably big and scary with teeth and claws,” he added.

A big part of the reason why SEOs aren’t buying into the privacy theory is because the changes do not impact advertisers. This is ironic since consumers don’t typically complain about organic search data, but they are usually concerned about targeted advertising. It seems as though Google is saying that consumer information is important for advertisers to make money, but it turns into a consumer privacy issue when it relates to organic search results.

“The fact that they’re keeping all this referrer data alive for advertisers is strongly, if not irrefutably, indicative that the money is not where the mouth is,” said Lieb.

Friesen also said that it’s a “hypocritical standpoint” on Google’s part. If the motive is really about privacy, he doesn’t think that Google should be passing referrer to advertisers, or anyone for that matter.

Another point that Lieb raised was that paid search could eventually take a hit from this move. If small businesses that are investing in organic search through Google are not able to get the data they need, she doesn’t think that they would want to pursue a paid search campaign with it either.

“It’s certainly something that would make me, as an advertiser, almost inclined to go to Bing or Yahoo just because… just because this isn’t right,” added Lieb.

Google maintains that this change is very small and that it will only impact a small percentage of searches. Matt Cutts also pushed this message on Twitter:

@Sam_Robson I believe it will affect things based on the referrer, but only for a small percentage of searches (signed in on .com). 9 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

@Rhea And we’ll be rolling out slowly(weeks). We ran some tests before launch, and I don’t think anyone even noticed the change. @blafrance 9 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

The SEOs, however, are not convinced. There are so many unanswered questions that this move raises that one can’t help but wonder about the future of SEO. Watlington, for instance, told us that she could see Google monetizing the data going forward and that this move is the first step.

“To me, the move to give it to an advertiser is a monetization of the data,” she said. “What additional monetization will be, I’m waiting to see.”

Van Wagner told us that, since he primarily does paid search, he is glad that Google didn’t include advertisers at this point. But, this move could result in more competition in paid search, which is not something is in favor of either.

The biggest concern is the fact that no one knows what is next. Lieb told us that if Google does decide to roll this out further, SEO could really be in danger.

“People have a right to be upset about this because, even if it’s only 10 percent now, or only 15 percent now, it could get more dire,” she said.

Watlington believes that search marketers may have to rethink what they do moving forward. She even said that they might have to “look away from search” and focus more on traditional marketing. At this point, Google is the primary search player and everything it does directly impacts search marketers, which, according to Watlington, does not indicate a promising future for search marketing.

“We have one very large player, a monopolistically-sized player… holding enough of the cards,” she said. “That’s not exactly what I call a real long-term strategy because whatever that player does, it impacts us.”

Friesen, on the other hand, doesn’t really think that this impacts what SEOs do. He thinks that the process of how they track and report on it changes but said that the job of an SEO doesn’t actually change.

“What, unfortunately, it does is drives us back to rank checking as a more important metric,” he explained.

He does admit that the SEO industry could be more heavily impacted if Google makes a further move in this area.

“At this point, it’s less than 5 percent… but if it starts to climb, then we get into a reporting issue,” said Friesen. “We get back to the ‘SEO is black magic voodoo stuff.’”

Incidentally, a petition called Keyword Transparency has been created that hopes to get Google to reverse this action. The “About” section on the site says:

This petition has been created to show Google the level of dissatisfaction over their recent changes to keyword referral information, and will be presented to the search quality and analytics teams at Google.

The argument that this has been done for privacy reasons sadly holds little weight, and the move essentially turns the clock back in terms of data transparency.

The argument that this only affects <10% of users is also concerning as this is likely to increase over time, even up to a point where it affects the majority of users being referred from search.

At this point, there are over 1,000 signatures on the petition.

Is Google’s move to encrypt searches just the first of many? And if so, is the future of SEO in question? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

SEOs Not Buying Google’s Privacy Motive for Encrypting Search
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  • Bin

    This is nothing. Next step will be to encrypt it for all searchers. It’s all about Adwords. WPN should stop supporting Google. Google is not the nice company it once was. Google needs to be broken up!

    • http://www.identifind.com Lauri

      Ever since Google started playing their little games it has really put a major crimp in our website attracting orders. We are a small business and cannot afford to pay for click services. We depended on Google searches for years. Now I feel as if we’ve been thrown under the bus! Are they trying to do what big businesses are doing? Putting small businesses out of business? And this, on top of the economy being down. What’s going to be next?

    • http://www.one24team.com Jeff

      I agree Bin. Google has taken ownership of the web and has become “big brother”

  • http://www.imago3d.com Imago 3D Animated Movies

    I don’t think it will be a big deal. I actually prefer it. I believe with the new Google Plus tie in that encryption is key. Mostly, because I don’t want people picking up on my searches or anything like that. I like my privacy and applaud Google for encrypting the searches. SEO people need to stay current and stop relying on trends. Back when search engines were new and SEO was done with just meta-tags and content no one really focused on researching keywords and freaking out by following searches. XD

    • http://www.contentforconversions.com Russ Hudson

      “SEO people need to stay current and stop relying on trends.” Staying current means staying on top of trends. Did you mean something else?

  • http://www.fatedev.com FaTe

    Not a big deal? LOL

    I almost feel like leaving it at that but the inability to mine data OR cross check against given data like Googles own webmaster-tools leaves many solely reliant on what google says to be true, which if you have half a brain cell you will know is not always right.

  • David

    I’d like to know how/why Google’s YouTube services and their Book Project are still being allowed to continue with their blatant disregard for copyright holders.
    Google conveniently hides behind third party up-loaders, insisting that they can’t patrol all of the material on the site, while illegally and knowingly broadcasting the copyrighted and infringed upon materials all around the world. The ad revenue space that’s generated running this material is unwarranted and unearned. The public thieving and loss of revenue to the artists and copyright holders is appalling and helps to make Google one of the wealthiest companies in the world- Hurray!!
    File sharing was determined to be illegal when Napster first did it what’s the difference now? Ohh…wait… the ad revenue.

    Maybe we should all take a tip from Google’s business plan and instead of purchasing the sync and a master licenses for each copyrighted song that we want to use in our projects/commercials,websites,etc.. we should just embed Google’s videos to run right alongside our content and just sync them together where and when the music’s needed.

    We NEED TO STOP ENCOURAGING AND FEEDING THIS MONSTER

  • http://icreateofx.co.uk/ Phillip

    This is firmly a positioning move from google for its premium analytics package. I will not be surprised if the big G has an eye on thefuture with regard to its chosen line of “privacy”, however I can bet top dollar that this data will be available in the premium analytics package. Is this reaon enough for me to spit nails at google? Of-course it is, but then again, I’ve got a gripe with google for their tax avoidance schemes as well!

  • Benjamin

    Encrypt everything sent over the net! I’m all for it!

  • http://www.klwebconsultants.co.uk Paul Lashbrook

    I’ve been a SEO for the best part of a decade and What I cant believe is there is an article saying google is evil for protecting users…

    bravo google for finally protecting what i search for from ISP’s and the government thanks to new laws in place (in the UK)

    “It’s certainly something that would make me, as an advertiser, almost inclined to go to Bing or Yahoo just because… just because this isn’t right,”
    2 words…. Adwords Reports…

    • ches

      Hear Hear!

      At last a sensible person not afraid of their own shadow.

  • Greg

    I couldn’t be more pleased with Googles choice. I only wish that I had a full end to end encryption solution to keep other eyes & data siphons outta my information.
    It’s a start.

  • http://www.jubejube.net Mac

    I have been warning for years about the data mining of our lives and how goog has become damaged and obsessed with storing/tracking 4 cash gain. sites like jubejubedotnet have offered ssl search solutions for years and this goog move offers false security. Might as well wait naked at your door for google street view to click!

  • rw

    evil – or better said the corporate greed mentality in this country where it all comes down to appeasing the board members lust for bigger and bigger $$ every year … they will make a ton of money for a few years but end the end they will loose out and some day your kids will be asking “what was google” … at the rate this mentality is permeating all our “capitalistic” models my take is in 10 to 20 years or less there will be a shift in how we run this democratic system as in the end it’s all a big ponzi scheme where everything is rolled out as service and love for the consumer then as quick as they can turn that around into raping them they do – look at what netflix just did, BOA, on and on – no respect for them anymore and I’m open to a different economic system that is less monopolistic and more grass roots american small enterprises

  • http://seobacklinkspanda.com/ Seobacklinkspanda

    Well as always SEO people will have to adopt to the new set of rules. We are seeing a slow catchup of Bing search engine according to some data and if Google continues they might soon enough not be the Search Engine with 70% of the traffic.

  • Bill

    I stopped staying logged in to my google account a while ago. Google is now the evil they vowed not to become. I hope for their demise.

  • Tim

    Can’t say I told you so but “I told you so”. I stopped spending any time, energy, or MONEY on google, organically, or paid search about a year ago. It was the best move I’ve made since owning several small businesses.

    No doubt about it, Bing and Yahoo has become “the absolute best bang for my bucks”. Google has no respect for it’s customers whatsoever and citing “quality search results for it’s users” is a backwards approach considering who pays their bills, ie; advertisers, SEO specialists, and me….small business, which makes up 75% of the internet. Oh but wait, take me off that list because I assure them they will not see another penny of my money or another second of my time. This company is do consumed with ego and deceptive trade practices, preying on small business advertisers, and creating a control over the Internet that why you guys are so blind is beyond me. There’s money, leads, marketing and advertising, then there’s purely logic around integrity and right and wrong, and these folks just don’t get it. The Internet was a open platform for everyone to use. Not everyone can be on page one obviously but to continue on with this manipulation of the results for the sheer purpose of creating control and a monopoly over the Internet is going to be each and everyone of you’s fault because you refuse to spread your time and money to other search venues out of the propaganda that Google is the the only way or most effective way to drive leads through advertising to make a buck. This is simply not true and you should re-organize your efforts before you have nowhere else to turn for internet marketing and advertising. Because when that day comes this corporation will ROB YOU BLIND!

  • Mirim

    I’d never thought I’d say this but Google is the new Microsoft. Direct your hate toward them. Google is truly evil. Don’t use any of their services like analytical; especially if you are worried about your site rankings. They will use your own data against you. Don’t use gmail, G +. Use firefox and Addblock to ban adsense and all ads when surfing/searching.

    I want Bing or Yahoo to succeed; it is sad they are stuck on stupid and can’t see the light.

    • ches

      Yawn….

  • Mirim

    I wish some kid would start some site that signs up webmasters against google so they can insert automatically on their sites a small banner asking the visitors to dump google and use Bing next time. Can you imagine millions of websites displaying this “Google is not safe for you. Use Bing” banner? It is time we get organized and fight back against G’s abuse. The equivalent of “Occupy Google”.

  • http://ultimatemarketingstrategies.net Peter Sundstrom

    I keep seeing the figure of <10% of searches are conducted from logged in users (only Google would know for sure), but I suspect it would be higher than that.

    Just think of Gmail, Google+ and other Google services that require a Google account. Logic suggests the figure of 10% is too low.

    • Adsense Publisher

      It’s what Google estimates right now would happen if they turned on the encrypted search today. I have no reason to believe that figure isn’t true. Where Google is being disingenuous about it all is they are trying so hard to get everybody to use a Google service (Gmail, Google+, Adsense, Adwords, etc.) and that would cause a greater percentage of the searches to be encrypted and not pass along keyword information from their search that bring those visitors into your website. So logic says that even if what they say is true for now, eventually that number will climb as it’s their intention to get everybody using a Google service.

  • http://uplog.org Israel Rothman

    SEO is dead, long live social media marketing.
    http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=77601408&gid=2967&commentID=56454687&trk=view_disc&ut=0joRlSLhY1GQY1

  • http://www.medlawplus.com medlaw

    I wonder if this move by Google is done to give competitive advantage to google analytics. I assume referral data (including key words) for google analytics is not effected the encryption.

    • Steven G

      No, it’s even if you are using Google Analytics. Every webserver has raw logs that if you can access that information off your webserver, you’ll see ip address, referring site, and if they came from a search engine you’ll see the search they used to get to your site. All this is going to do is take out the search used. I can still tell that you came from my site from Google, what your ip address is, and where you go on my site from there. So I don’t understand where the privacy is by taking out the search used. If they really wanted to protect the user, then Google’s search engine should act more like a proxy hiding even the ip address no matter if it’s a raw log on a server or some analytical script added to the pages. Why didn’t Google do that instead? They want people to advertise more, that’s why.

  • http://www.makemoneyteam.com Raymond

    I have been watching Googles “updates” to their alogrythm anouncements every year and I am getting to the point where I have no idea what they want from me. I take good care of my sites but it seems they just dont want me to be able to rank anymore. I still rank a little but half what I once had. And I see a guy in my same topic arena who has a crappy page with four banners, almost no text and an order form to sell you a banner spot and his 1 page peice of crap is outranking my 800+ page domain. Google has become useless to me. I should prolly research how to improve my rank in the other search engines and focus more on social networks.

  • http://none jebbiii

    This is definitely big brother bs. (bbbs) I even like Google but as the saying goes about power and absolute power. If they were into being responsive they would just make the email use ssl – not all of the login actions. Or if there was another thing going on they could explain it.

    SEO’S UNITE! Tell everyone to log out of gmail and web history so they don’t get their own results spooned back to them. when I tell people this they are shocked. And PR brothers – please come to our aid. Let the world know – log out of Gmail & kill web history. Bing People – this is your chance — tell the world about Google’s bad results for logged in users. App developers – maybe you can help with a reminder or some other trick.

  • http://none jebbiii

    and sorry israel rothman: i mostly work in b2b for other than fortune 500. Social media is mostly useless in this arena (as well as some others I suspect). You can get a few links from some, and target job titles in another, but then you look at the engagement and conversions from the traffic and realize it just is not worth the time or money, unless your company acts like a retail business or something else

  • Jeff B

    Not sure what this means. Are they blocking keyword data from Yahoo and Bing? Are they blocking referrer data so you can’t determine which sites your traffic is coming from? Will Google Analytics no longer show organic keywords and referrer traffic?

  • http://www.palmtreeservices.com.au Eric Frei

    It’s only search term data not your personal details so why hide it? So Google is building an inventory of search data that it will keep for itself and others in the dark. I can only think that they will profit from it, and it will keep everyone suspicious as to the authenticity of SERPs. Will we simply be sheep dished up what some monopolistic corporation wants us to swallow? Transparency removes suspicion.

    Perhaps down the track it will be sold to webmasters or SEO people, you want to get the search term data you pay for it.

    Evolution pushes sound small enterprises into large greedy corporations, this is a dangerous move. Perhaps in 10 years time millions of websites will not even rank as the largest search engines only ranks those who pay and the users have no idea they are served up inferior results.

    Who remembers the early days> There was ads showing small businesses and people selling via Google Adwords for 0.05cents etc. It was hailed as the new frontier to give the small business a go …. not anymore. So now Google is perhaps getting greased up too well by the fortune 500′s? Large corporations with huge budgets for advertising and media campaigns.

    Social media is a minefield and has it’s own risks, called trolls.

  • http://www.TheOkayNetwork.com Steven G

    I think Google’s estimates to the effect it will have initially is probably spot on as they know how many users are actually logged into a Google service (Gmail, Google+, Help Forum, etc.). But as more and more people are logged into those services that Google provides the effect a move like this will have is going to grow exponentially. Isn’t it wonderful how Google gives us tools such as Analytics and Webmaster Tools so that we can measure performance, but yet now wants us to be Advertisers or else we’ll loose some of the key parts of the data that were provided for free to us. Why not simply start charging everybody to use Webmaster Tools and Analytics instead of the move they are going ahead with? That would make more sense to me. Who wouldn’t pay for those services if Google started charging for them? While I cannot prove it I think the goal here is to make the internet such a hostile environment that publishers feel it necessary to advertise instead of spending money and time into creating better content for their visitors and improving their pages, infrastructure, and site architecture. Is that really good for the user experience as they claim it’s why they do a lot of the things they do? Even if that was not the intended result I’m sure that Google is well aware of what could happen as a result and they’re being disingenuous when they claim what they are doing is a good thing. When you ask anybody that works at Google, they are quickly to tell you all the good things, and seem to have a hard time trying to think of all the bad things that could come from whatever it is they are doing. I really consider that one guy who works for Google that said bad things about Google+ my hero. I wish there were more employees to voice about how Google just doesn’t get it, and also hope to hear from more in the future from Google employees to cause debate over the bad things that could come from the moves that Google makes. The main problem with Google is that I believe they take things a bit too far and don’t consider the effect it could have on the internet. Imagine if Google didn’t have the data they are planning on taking away from publishers. Google would have a harder time improving their search engine like we publishers will have making our content and sites better for the user experience. How can Google one hand say they want people to make websites better for the user and then give away free tools to help publishers do that and then turn around after that and limit the data that is essential in helping publishers reach those goals? Basically Google is taking a backward step here. All you really have to do is follow the money and look at Google’s quarterly reports to see that while 3rd party publisher income is going through a decline, their own income generated from their own website is climbing. The same income that they don’t have to share with anybody but themselves, whereas with Adsense publishers they have to pay a majority of that income to them. So the more traffic they can keep on their own sites and more information they can give to hinder traffic to an Adsense publisher, the more income that Google can keep for itself. Google has truly shown that they are more interested in being a gatekeeper than the gateway they started out as. They really need to go back to their grassroots idea of being a search engine of the world’s data, as they have done a better job than anybody else, at least until Panda went live. Panda should have been an option to see if you thought the results were better or worse. Like one of those links at the top that tell you “did you mean…..”, there should have been a link to ask “Would you like to see the same results in the newest beta test of Panda?”. Then when people compared and still clicked on a link on the non-panda version of the same search, it would send a very strong signal to Google that they didn’t quite have Panda down to the point of incorporating it into the live algorithm. They might have even avoided being called in to testify before various US government organizations if they simply had done as much beta testing as they did with things such as Google+, the new Adsense interface, and even the new Analytics interface instead of throwing Panda down everybody’s throats and ask us to still swallow even if it tastes bad.

  • http://www.aftereffect2012.blogfa.com abbas

    سلام خوبی

  • http://www.dfwdataservices.com Corey Bryant

    Awwww the spammers are crying.

    Go Google. The more privacy you offer me, the better I like you.

    • Steven G

      This has very little to do with actual privacy and more to do with Google hiding the keyword information that they say is crucial for every website to know. They’re giving you Webmaster tools and Analytics away for free, but then are going to turn around and block some of the data from appearing. Does that even make sense to you? To block analytics there are add-ons for just about every browser that will do that. If you are so concerned about privacy you should be more concerned what Google already knows about you, not some other website that can’t get any personally identifiable information from Google currently. When you’re signed into Google, Google can track you while you are searching and can attribute those searches to your Gmail or other Google account and will most likely be profiling you. So the solution to privacy is to install the Analytics blocking tool for your browser, don’t search while signed into any Google service (including Gmail), and opt out of the Google DART cookie. This is just a scare tactic disguised as a privacy protection tool. What it does is block the website you are going to from knowing what you were searching for. I still can see the ip addresses and that it came from Google.com. So I can still track you by ip address, just I wouldn’t know what search term had you enter into my site from Google.com. It’s one more way that you could say would hit the spammers hard, but also will hurt just about every website out there as well. You fail to recognize that paying advertisers can see this data if they advertise and get clicks on those ads. So I don’t see where the real privacy protection is, because I could get that data should I pay for traffic. Google is evil and what you have here is more proof of it. Google’s motto is, it’s not illegal unless proven in a court of law.

    • ches

      Three cheers for this comment.

      • Steven G

        Thanks.

        I’m just mad at people that buy into the Google hype when the implications of what they are planning is far beyond what they are telling us their intentions are. Google used to be a gateway and now they are becoming a gatekeeper.

  • http://www.completewebsites.biz Jane Jake

    Much as I love Google, they are like the rich man that won the lottery. They are scared about losing their fortune. Their long lost relatives are the people that work for them, hanging on to the tails of their fortune. The people that pay Google are forced to do so, or die! The people that use Google search for free feed the giant.

    Meanwhile the rich man can do as he wants.

  • ches

    The man that said this:

    Media Analyst at the Altimeter Group, was also surprised by the move and called it “evil.”

    ….is a fool.

    Regular people need and want this extra level of privacy, I can only assume that the foolish speaker is from the S, where the privacy laws are not the same as the UK; ie they stink.

  • http://www.darrenleno.com Darren L

    Google really must encrypt this data for advertisers as well as SEO’s. This is the only way to justify the security/privacy claim.

    I will be very interested in their answer to why it’s ok to provide the data to advertisers, but not to SEO’s.

    • Steven G

      Are you on crack?

      This is going to affect organic links. Not the paid links. It’s not like if you’re an advertiser and somebody is logged into Google that you’re going to see keyword information about an organic click and I wouldn’t if they visited my site instead.

      What is disingenuous about what Google is saying is that right now it will affect a very low number of searches, but Google’s plan has been to get everybody to use Gmail, Google+, Analytics, Adsense, Adwords, etc., etc., and so eventually everybody will be logged into some sort of Google service and all keyword data from organic link clicking will be held back. The only data you will be able to eventually get is paid click data.

  • Jim

    Google? what this.

    A company with no respect for others, like me, my and I.
    Time will come that peoples will start to learn they just want to control the net. There are nothing left for others with them. We not use any of their tools and our clients too

  • http://www.ogdenian.com Ogden

    Why ared some surpised that Google is becoming “pay-to-win”?

    • http://www.ogdenian.com Ogden

      are*

  • http://www.belfast-architects.co.uk Alan

    Not enough real competition unfortunately. However if they keep progressing as at present they may find their dominance decline and that may be to all our benefit.

  • Pedro Pablo

    Not having search encrypted is the perfect gate to data thief. People believe they are protected using https connections when they buy or read email, but if any step of the whole transaction, even a humble search, is not encryted, chances are than a Man In The Middle Attack could get ALL your data. It is really easy, and almost impossible to detect, even for experienced technicians and network engineers.

    Most network traffic starts from a simple unencrypted search. As HTTP is insecure by design, most traffic and data could thus be stolen. So no doubt, Google is doing the right move.

    Unfortunately, this move has some drawbacks, but blame on those performing such criminal activities. It’s crime that cost us a lot: most complexities and disturbing rules are in place just to prevent crime…

  • http://www.top-asian.net Top Asian

    Well, this year, the politic of Google is crystal clear if you step back a bit. First wave, Panda update, to clear up MFA and make usre on the long run, that the loos of income will be so grat for the webmasters that they will have 2 options left, clean up and focus on original content or quit. Second wave, SSL for search, to limit the power of SEO, who on the long run will also have to adapt. I guess, Google, in an utopic plan wants people to go back to 100% original content and stop partly or at all to SEO around. In his view, I think microformats (or equivalente) will be the only things he will accepts in the year coming, anything else would be risky…

  • http://www.q3tech.com Software Product Development

    Its very weird how the whole SEO industry is somewhat controlled by Google. Whenever they roll out changes, it really affects SEO practitioners. Is there a way in which this phenomenon can be reversed?

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    Wow!!!!

    Why is this an issue?

    Is there anyone still relying on referral information?

    That was still-born ‘technology’.

    Google probably did some people a favor by helping nudge them into the 90′s if not at least this century.

  • John

    We still need to remember that Google is like any other website, we all choose to decide how we want to run our own sites.

  • Bob

    The old Google is disappearing. Google is going to charge now for Google Maps usage so a lot of companies are going to drop them; therefore losing a ton of exposure. They’ll keep pushing and pushing until they disappear. Probably they’ll charge to view vids on Youtube next.

  • http://www.gonzotrucker.com gonzotrucker

    My site went from position 10 to not even in the top 500 now.

  • http://www.jnbwebpromotion.nl John Bertrand

    Its very important not to rely on only Google, look for the mindset of customers and focus on this key phrases and you are better out rather what others will tell you.

  • http://rodolfogrimaldi.com Rodolfo Grimaldi

    Now I understand why my site’s traffic decreased 6 times, and the visitors came through bing, lately, not google, :). Bad times, indeed. But I’ll figure something out, soon.

  • http://theyachtowner.net Daniel Mihai Popescu

    My site being relatively new, I think I’m not affected like the others. But I’m sure, giants like problogger.net, are not so touched.

  • http://www.ipnostudio.com hypnodude

    What really bothers me about Google is that any time it gets an update I get a drop in traffic. It goes back to normal level in a week but it’s annoying. Also Google has stopped being a reliable source of information when it entered the selling ad business, but what is worst is that it probably earns even more selling information about people who uses Google. The same level of respect for privacy that has Facebook.

    Anyway the best thing would be to drop Google both for its ads, almost never relevant and paying pennies, and for searches, only that the great majority of people stil uses it.

    Dealing with Google and obeying its commands it’s a necessary evil until it will share the same fate of Yahoo, which will happen sooner or later.

    Imho. :)

  • http://www.bukittinggi-fashion.blogspot.com Bukittinggi

    thank you wwww.bukittinggifashion.com

  • http://mercadeoweb.com Mercadeo Web

    This takes us to think that news sites will over power the regular sites, which seems not correct. Some news require to be atop of the list sometimes but not as a permanent source for specific terms.

  • http://adondeirhoy.com Adondeirhoy

    Our site did not suffer any ranking changes. Maybe because it is an international site locale to our country?

  • http://www.fixmyownbackpain.com/ Dr. Tom James, DC, CAc

    It becomes difficult just to keep up with the changes, even if they are good. My site Fix my own back pain bounces around every time there are changes. I get frustrated, like many others.

  • sushilver

    It’s smart move by the search engine giant but in other way Google hiding important data from the internet marketer.

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