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Today, we’re happy to announce that Google Web Search will soon be using a new proposal to reduce latency when a user of Google’s SSL-search clicks on a search result with a modern browser such as Chrome.
Starting in April, for browsers with the appropriate support, we will be using the "referrer" meta tag to automatically simplify the referring URL that is sent by the browser when visiting a page linked from an organic search result. This results in a faster time to result and more streamlined experience for the user.
What does this mean for sites that receive clicks from Google search results? You may start to see "origin" referrers—Google’s homepages (see the meta referrer specification for further detail)—as a source of organic SSL search traffic. This change will only affect the subset of SSL search referrers which already didn’t include the query terms. Non-HTTPS referrals will continue to behave as they do today. Again, the primary motivation for this change is to remove an unneeded redirect so that signed-in users reach their destination faster.
Does this mean we have to modify our pages just for G - again?!
Presumably the extra loading caused by SSL is causing their servers to slow down? If so, how do they suddenly get away with no redirect, if they redirected before? Do they plant cookies on a browser?
I further read it that the referer used does not include any reference to it being a basic G search querystring.
What the H is that really all about?!
Browsers doesn't send referer data on HTTPS pages.
Google is going to add a referer meta tag to its SERP pages, and supported browsers will send that referer data to our websites.
So if we start seeing visits from "https://www.google.com", then I guess we know it's coming from a Google user, logged in to their account, using Chrome ?
[edited by: tedster at 3:25 am (utc) on Mar 22, 2012]
[edit reason] de-link the example URLs for clarity [/edit]
Here's what I'd like to know for the signed-in users that isn't fully explained by the post:
For all analytics packages (not just GA):
Will the full referring URL be removed to only show "google.com"?
Will this mean that this will become "referral" rather than "organic search"?