Keyword Not Provided Percentage to Grow: Firefox Adding Default Encryption for Google Searches

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firefox default encryptionRecently, Mozilla announced that they are testing default encrypted Google searches on the Firefox browser. The change, which is expected to reach all Firefox users within the next several months, will severely limit publishers’ analytics data related to how Google searchers are finding their websites. Since approximately 25% of the browser market is controlled by Firefox, publishers should expect the “keyword not provided” percentage to drastically increase when the new change is public.

Johnathan Nightingale, the Director of Firefox Engineering, told Danny Sullivan the following regarding the new feature:

“We are currently testing the change to use SSL for built-in Google searches in our Firefox nightly channel. If no issues are uncovered, it will move through our Aurora and Beta release channels before eventually shipping to all our Firefox users. This will include migrating the changes to our non-English version of Firefox, as well.”

While the change will protect Google searchers from unwanted eavesdropping and make searches more secure, the data will continue to be shared with Google’s advertisers and on Google Webmaster Central.

With Firefox implementing the secure search by default, there is already widespread speculation that the Chrome browser will follow suit in the near future. However, when Sullivan asked Google if they would be implementing a secure connection by default, a spokesperson said: “We don’t have anything to announce about Chrome at this time.”

[Sources Include: Search Engine Land & Slight Paranoia]

David Angotti

David Angotti

After successfully founding and exiting an educational startup in 2009, I began helping companies with business development, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO),... Read Full Bio
David Angotti
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  • Nick Stamoulis

    The amount of data that is “not provided” from Google is already well over the initial 10% they had estimated. For some of clients’ site, over 30% is “not provided.” This will just make that percentage even higher and that’s not something I am looking forward to seeing happen.

    • David Angotti

      Hi Nick,

      I totally agree with your assessment — several of my clients are currently in the 25-35% range, which is well above the “single-digit range” that Google representatives told us to expect at PubCon and other industry conferences last fall. With Firefox already implementing and Chrome expected to, this number is going to grow exponentially.

  • mashilo

    I really do not like this keyword hiding in Analytics reports because it obscure the analyzing of your traffic. And now that the browsers are joining the party that means it is going to be in full force very soon.We have no choice but to adjust and move on.

  • Jeff Downer Indianapolis, IN

    Well, Google and Mozilla did just renew their deal.

  • scottkrager

    (not provided) continues to grow. We are seeing 20-45% across more tech focused sites. I would not be shocked if google forces SSL in the next 12 months and all keyword referral data goes away.

    • Lance Padgett

      I totally agree Scott. At the tech company I work, our non-branded organic traffic is just under 40% (not provided).

  • Andy Kuiper

    It’s all about ‘gathering information’ for G, and soon, ‘providing gathered information for a fee’ It’s a tough situation for FF.