Google's Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, hinted that such a feature was coming Thursday during a question and answer session at Google's annual stockholder meeting. But the company must have decided it could no longer wait following the disclosure that it had improperly collected Internet usage data from Wi-Fi hot spots as part of its Google Street View program.
"Earlier this year, we encrypted Gmail for all our users, and next week we will start offering an encrypted version of Google Search," Google said in its blog post Friday on the Street View issue. Google encrypted all Gmail accounts in response to the hacking incidents that prompted its decision to move its Chinese-language search operation from Beijing to Hong Kong.
Msg#: 4133175 posted 4:49 pm on May 15, 2010 (gmt 0)
There was a debate about that when it was first rumored, mainly implicating traffic stats programs, few people said we may not be able to see, however, this was not just by using the encrypted search, it was in conjunction with encrypting the keywords themselves which will impact keyword intelligence. Basically if one sees a string of unreadable characters similar to cookie strings, we can't make out what was searched for except for a bunch of cookie like characters. The only people that will benefit out of this if that's the case will be cookie sellers :)
Msg#: 4133175 posted 3:35 pm on May 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
I don't believe that browsers will create a referrer header when moving from a HTTPS scheme to a non-HTTP scheme (or another domain), so I'm guessing that no source or keyword data will appear in your logs at all if the user visits you from encrypted google searches.
However, don't forget that Google love to be in a position of power, so I'm also guessing that Google Analytics will still be able to tell you which keywords the users entered when reaching your site from Google encrypted search. Other stats engines are up the creek, though.