Robert_Charlton - 7:37 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
Is there a general consensus on the best way to deal with this, or have we all just decided to give up and accept that Google has gone evil?
dataguy - There's probably not much in this to make you any happier about losing referrer data, but here's an update on the situation....
Google To Change SSL Search Referrer Data
Mar 20, 2012
The best commentary I've seen about this most recent development is Danny Sullivan's March 20th article....
How A Google Change May Mistakenly Turn Search Traffic Into Referral Traffic
IMO, the privacy problems relating to incorporating a social network into a search engine are apparently quite genuine. Facebook, even without the search engine part, has goofed up on the privacy part numerous times.
The "evil" part may have to do with preserving referrer data for ad buyers but not for non-customer webmasters, but I really haven't looked into the details enough to say.