The 2013 Google Encryption and What It Means for You

We survived Panda, Penguin, and a host of other near-crippling online marketing changes and sat on the edge or our seats awaiting this year’s massively new roll-out. Many of us hoped the delay meant nothing major was happening in the industry, but our hopes were swiftly dashed as Google announced its newest massive master business plan to revolutionize how we, as website owners, do business with them.

We’re not just talking about Hummingbird here, the search giant’s new algorithmic update that would provide users with richer and more conversational search results. It’s a huge modification and will affect 90% of all global searches. To keep up with the update, webmasters must maintain top-notch, rich content that can satisfy intent.

But that’s not only big news that SEOs should worry about. Earlier this month, Google announced that it would be encrypting all search activity within its walls, thus cutting off SEOs and marketers from accessing valuable keyword and search data.

The 2013 Google encryption roll-out is being implemented under the guise of privatizing the search information of the Google users. Now, this is something Google desperately needs if it is to keep the public customer based known as webs surfers. The bad news is that it will make the song and dance website owners, businesses, bloggers, online marketers, SEO IT specialists, and content writers do, a tremendously more difficult job. These make up the other half of the Google customer base and their main income source.


The 2013 Google Encryption News Brief

In a horribly tight nutshell, Google reported their intentions and plan to make changes aimed at encrypting all search activity except for clicks on their own ad activity. They added SSL encryption for signed-in search users in 2011 and Chrome Omnibox in early 2012. This new 2013 roll-out is aimed at anonymous users and is set to include them in the SSL encryption. Basically, it turns all websites from HTTP to HTTPS.

While Google is being accused of doing this under the guise of hiding customer activity from the NSA (National Security Agency) due to the accusation of giving the NSA access to search data in June of 2013, we cannot help but wonder if the real reason is simply a smart business move. That is, to force more people to purchase their services and specifically, Google AdWords. Which is more realistic, seeing that Google switched their keyword Tool to a paid service and combined it with Google AdWords back in July and August of 2013.


What the 2013 Google Encryption Means for Everybody Else

The 2013 Google Encryption (for lack of a better nickname like Panda or Penguin), means that anybody who relies on search data to fund their content and website data will no longer be able to identify which keywords lead traffic to their site. It means that we, as business owners and content creators, will have an even more difficult time finding out which keywords to use to target our market audience. Thus, limiting and even crippling visibility in user search for thousands, if not millions, of inexperienced and untrained website owners.

Google reported that the encryption would impact less than 10 percent of web-searches. Though, businesses and blog owners alike have reported a steady rise each month with near 100 percent encryption eminent by the end of this year from all Google specific searches.


Introducing Unknown-Keywords and Not Provided Count by Google 2013 Encryption

This new encryption update doesn’t just mean that web marketers, SEO techs, and content providers will lose some of their marketing data, it will mean they will lose all of it via Google services. Google tools and non-Google companies, which used Google tools to provide their customers with important data about traffic to their site, now see the two most dreaded words in the marketing industry: Unknown-Keywords and Not Provided Count. This means that they are not provided with what keywords lead customers to their websites as well as being left in the dark about how many were lead there. Although the current search data encryption is hovering at about 80 percent, it is only months until we reach 100 percent. The question from concerned site owners and marketing strategists are met with a cold shoulder and dead silence by Google.

Federico Einhorn
Founder and CEO at FullTraffic. Passionate about Search Engine Marketing and Optimization, regular writer for the FullTraffic Blog. Since 2005, FullTraffic has evolved to become one of the most important Traffic providers worldwide for small to medium sized businesses.
Federico Einhorn

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7 thoughts on “The 2013 Google Encryption and What It Means for You

  1. good work Fedirico and thanks for sharing this useful content as content of the web matters the most in todays online marketing world. i agree with you that now SEO is all about good social media campaign and quality content.

  2. That’s a very good article and did covered all the point. while reading the second point “Traffic count and social following count are not as relevant as actual sales and lead generation.” I was feeling like, wow the writer wrote my situation. Recently after the updates, one of my site is pushed from page 1 to page 2 and 4 but still making sales. So that makes me feel that whatever you said is true. Moverover, its the content which bring you sales with higher conversion rate and if the content is good and catches audience attention then it will be automatically shared in social networking sites automatically. So good content can bring you more social shares which means more traffic.

  3. Thank you so much for well explained this 2013 Google encryption means for us. This is the most important thing we should always keep in our mind (“Google is a business and like all other businesses, they are going to do what makes the best financial sense for them.”).

  4. Hi Federico,

    Thanks for the great post. In the aftermath of the Google updates, I’ve been keeping an eye on peoples recommendations to getting back on track, and I have to say that your points seem to resonate with other experts i.e. it’s not the end of the world! A major shift in our day to day SEO planning and a lot of work , yes!….but not so much that we cannot regroup, refocus and move forward.

  5. Well, they created a good business model around keywords. When they make all keywords ‘Not Provided’, I am not sure what kind of impact they can have on their own search ad business. Huge number of SEO based small businesses as well as webmasters are going to suffer for sure because organic traffic is STILL the main source for most sites.