Google Encrypted Search: Measuring the Impact One Month In

A few weeks back I wrote a post examining Google Encrypted Search, the impact on SEO benchmarking thus far, and key action items for B2B marketers.

With a full month under our belts, it seemed appropriate to revisit how this change has impacted SEO reporting in November and through the first six weeks.

Some quick summary points:

  • Even though Google indicated only single digit percentages of search queries would be impacted, several SEO organizations were seeing significantly higher, double digit numbers a few weeks in.
  • This change not only impacts an SEO professionals ability to measure performance, but hampers third party marketing tools, which rely on keyword data to provide more actionable marketing communication campaigns.
  • Just this week JBS Partners left us a comment that one of their client’s websites was impacted by a staggering 28.89%. Over a quarter of their search query data was no longer actionable for that organization.

Trends in Google Encrypted Search Impact by Week

Keyword Impact Across Key Verticals

The percentage impact on keyword referrals appears to be increasing across the board for all types of B2B organizations. Technology/software and professional services have been impacted significantly higher than the single digit percentage indicated. This does not seem surprising given the type of users we expect frequent these types of sites more often (management professionals, faster new technology adoption, etc).

Percentage of Client Sites Impacted by Greater than 10%
Average Total Impact Across All Sites

The overall trend in percentage impact and percentage of sites with greater than single digit impact continues to grow. It was interesting to see a slight dip the week of Thanksgiving, but numbers quickly increased shortly after.

It is worth pointing out that across all client sites, the average number of keywords impacted greater than 2,000 unique referrals. In my opinion, that represents a significant amount of actionable data lost.

As Google continued to rollout Google+ and improvements/enhancements to all search-related services, we can be certain this number will continue to trend upwards. What has been the impact to your website’s reporting metrics? I would love to hear your perspectives and opinion via comments below.

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