What Is The Impact of Google’s Secure Searching on SEO?


seo_in_houstonSecurity and privacy are two important areas to consider when creating and maintaining a website to keep it free from hacking and the illegal collection of user data. Encryption is pretty widely recognized as a way to provide security to websites, shopping carts, and other vulnerable data storage areas, a way to safely gather personal information. Google has just introduced a new feature for encrypted searches and the concern is whether it could affect SEO and overall website performance.

How Does TSL or SSL Work?

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a function that encrypts information on websites and in databases so that only those with passwords have access. There is now technology called TSL Transport Security Layer – that is a similar type of security with the exception that it also covers information moving from site to site, not just data that is being stored. Information such as credit card and personal details are encrypted not only for storage but for transferring to another site, such as when entering payment information into a shopping cart form.

Google Adds Secure Searching

Until this change, SSL and TSL only offered protection while on a website secured like this – but not when just searching. Website activity could not be collected by an outside source, which is the preferred way for sites to be built today. Having such protection on a website should increase business, at least for those who know about SSL and TSL, as there is less of a risk of personal or financial information as well as online habits being released.

Adding such capability to search engines as Google has done recently is something completely different. Its logged-in users have had such protection for a few years; now it has been added overall. So even users who are not logged in have protected searches, which is good in many ways – but there are a few problems with it.

The point of encryption is to block sensitive information including online activity, which is fine on individual websites. When encryption blocks other information like search activity, keyword usage, demographics, and more, Houston efforts with SEO have begun to suffer if such information was relied upon to create an optimization campaign. This is a significant consideration; even though Google has stated that there has not been many websites affected by this, recent reports of non-searchable information requests collected by websites has risen dramatically. What does this mean? Any websites affected by this change may not be able to know if an audience targeted by SEO work has been reached – or not.

Google and SSL

While there has been increasing evidence that this new function that was quickly and quietly added is creating some concerns, Google has said it had good reasons for doing this although no specifics have been stated.

What with the issues that have arisen in the United States over the NSA and recent reports of personal information gathering from large online enterprises like Google, there is some thinking that all of this is Google’s way of protecting users to prevent the skimming of information without legal requests. This is a strong possibility, all things considered. On the other hand, there is talk that it might be a move by Google to increase advertising revenue, since this can directly affect a company’s ability to plan SEO efforts very well.

Was this change done to provide better privacy or make Google more money? That is impossible to say right now, so watching what happens next is important for anyone affected by such changes. If the recent increase in non-collectable data has indeed been caused by all of this, it will be interesting to see how it is handled by Google and website owners. So it remains important to stay current on all such information about this in order to improve any SEO efforts in Houston or anywhere else!

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Comments (2)

    • eels that a search would benefit from producing local-based results, then it will throw in local data into the search results. For example, if someone in Austin searches on Google for “pizza” they will find search results for many Austin pizza restaurants. If another person living in Fort Collins makes that same search, the search results will all represent Fort Collins restaurants. A searcher does not need to specify “Fort Collins” or “Austin” in their search phrase in order to find local pizza restaurants… they get local search results automatically. Now the person in Austin and Fort Collins both search for the phrase “pizza dough recipe” then they will get similar Google search results.

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