Secure Search to be Standard on Google

Scott Lambert

With studies showing that privacy concerns are increasingly leading members of the public to change their online habits, Google has begun to change the way its system works so that secure search becomes the default. This has been automatic for logged-in users for several years. The move has fueled speculation, as the search engine giant has given no reason as to why it is making this move now.

The changes, which have developed rapidly over the last few days, potentially represent a problem for those working in search engine optimization, as they make it much harder to trace the keywords with which a particular search originated. Google AdWords still seems to be providing organic search terms to those invested in it, as clicks on ads are still recorded, and some have suggested that the changes may be designed to generate more AdWords revenue; however, Google is denying this, insisting that its motivation is providing an improved service to its general users.

Concern about privacy peaked this summer when the US National Security Agency (NSA) confirmed that it had been spying on internet users through its PRISM program. Though the response in the US itself was slower than in some other countries, it saw users becoming increasingly cautious about giving away personal information online or participating in activities that might reveal sensitive personal details if tracked. Google faced serious PR problems following accusations that it had cooperated with the NSA in sharing user data, and it is possible that its move towards providing users with additional privacy is intended to win back their trust.

The risk Google faces is that tracking search terms will now be more easily done via its competitors, which could in turn lead to those focused on search engine optimization becoming more interested in the offers these competitors have to make. Though some variations between search engines is to be expected, in the absence of clearer, freely available information it may be worth marketers’ while assuming that popular terms will be the same across the board. For bigger companies or those using specialist marketing firms, however, getting access to more accurate data should still be relatively straightforward. It remains to be seen how Google’s new approach to privacy will develop and it is possible that its plans will be adapted along the way as it observes how different customer groups react.

For more information about search engine marketing and the options available to small and medium sized businesses, call Xcellimark at 888-318-3950 ext 211 to speak with an internet marketing consultant today.

Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

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