Google has decided it needs to take privacy to a new level that will have consequences for online marketers who use Google Analytics for site metrics. In an official release Google said:
As search becomes an increasingly customized experience, particularly for signed in users, we believe that protecting these personalized search results is important. As part of that effort, today the Google Search team announced that SSL Search on https://www.google.com will become the default experience for signed in users on Google.com (see the Official Google Blog post to learn more). Protecting user privacy is important to us, and we want to take this opportunity to explain what the Google Analytics team is doing to help you continue measuring your website effectively in light of these changes.
How will this change impact Google Analytics users?
When a signed in user visits your site from an organic Google search, all web analytics services, including Google Analytics, will continue to recognize the visit as Google â€œorganicâ€ search, but will no longer report the query terms that the user searched on to reach your site. Keep in mind that the change will affect only a minority of your traffic. You will continue to see aggregate query data with no change, including visits from users who arenâ€™t signed in and visits from Google â€œcpcâ€.
While this should affect a very small fraction of most web traffic at this time, the ultimate effect is more ominous. As Google leverages its foray into social media its goal will be to have all users logged in to their site at which point all search terms will disappear. It is unlikely that they will ever attain complete adoption of Google Plus, the trend is clear. Google is taking back its keywords from marketers.