Google announced this past week that for all signed in users it will now show search results with an https:// address. This means that if you are signed in to Google+, Gmail or any other Google Properties when you go to Google.com the page will default to https://www.Google.com.
So what you say, “no big deal”, well here’s the rest of the story…
“Today, a web site accessed through organic search results on http://www.google.com (non-SSL) can see both that the user came from google.com and their search query. (Technically speaking, the user’s browser passes this
information via the HTTP referrer field.) However, for organic search results on SSL search, a web site will only know that the user came from google.com.”
This is very important news for website owners who are using Google Analytics to track traffic on their website and for the SEO firms that you may employ who may be tracking keyword information. You can read the full article on the Google Webmaster blog.
The bottom-line is that Google is not going to show the search terms people used to find your website when doing organic searches. This information has been incredibly valuable. One, it let’s you know what keyword search activity has helped people to find you so you can build on these successes; two, it allows you to evaluate your current SEO strategy to adjust if needed; and three, it allows your Google AdWords account manager to harvest additional keywords to help your AdWords program perform better.
Google does go on to say that they are making the change to protect a user’s privacy but annoyingly enough they are showing the full data in Google AdWords accounts. As a result webmasters all around the world have gone crazy over this news. Here is a link to a site that has archived a few of the most interesting articles on this topic if you would like to read more.