Bing has announced that, starting this summer, search traffic will be encrypted by default and referrer data will appear as ‘not provided’.
For nearly a year Bing users have had the option to encrypt search if they chose to — now it will become the default for all users. This means traffic coming from Bing will instead come from https://www.bing.com as opposed to http://www.bing.com.
Webmasters will still be able to identify when traffic is coming from Bing, but with this change the search query terms used to find pages will no longer be provided. The company says this change is being made in an effort to protect users’ privacy.
The company says a limited amount of search query data will still be available through its webmaster and advertiser tools, which include: Search Query Terms Report, Universal Event Tracking, and Bing Webmaster Tools.
As many marketers and webmasters know, Bing used to be among the only major search engines to provide search query data after Google stopped providing such data back in 2013.
With Bing adopting what has become the industry standard, those who previously used search query data from Bing have been told to explore some of the tools mentioned above.