Did Google just let the cat out of the bag revealing its worst kept secret?

Did Google just admit that it introduced encrypted search to make more money with paid ads? Did it admit that it wasn’t for the greater good and protection of user search queries? Well I just received a very interesting email.

A bit of background first.

Ok so Google makes a ton of cash. And good on them, they built the best search engine with the most robust advertising platform in the world. It has helped other businesses flourish and grow and has given us some super cool things like Google Maps, Android, Gmail, Analytics and so on.

However I have to admit, whenever it releases some type of ‘for the greater good’ type of update, I’m a bit sceptical as to the purely wholesome intensions. None more so that it making all search from Google encrypted, giving us the fantastic (not provided) that we have all come to know and love (sarcasm intended).

The encrypted search was designed to “provide more security” for people using Google’s search engine. But let’s look at these facts:

1. You don’t pay for traffic – then you don’t see keyword data. In its place, you are provided with the notorious (not provided).

2. You pay for traffic – All the keyword info is available to you from Analytics, just link up and away you go. All the data you need. Brilliant.

For a while we have speculated that this was simply a way to drive more businesses to paid search (which has worked super well mind you). I tell my clients that you NEED to run paid search for data reasons and I’m sure many other consultants do the exact same thing now.

Speculation no more! Google has kinda just admitted it was a revenue generator. Not directly, but its pretty obvious.

Check out this email I just got in regards to Analytics:

Encrypted Search Analytics

Google KNOWS you cannot see the keyword data, even though they have mentioned it above. It also know thats people will be looking at this section and then realising they can’t see the data. Oh but the Google will explain that if you pay for the traffic…

It would be interesting to see if anyone else feels that this is a bit of a slip. Worst kept secret out of the bad? Hmm… I think so.


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