Our Response to Google’s Query String Security Announcement

October 19th, 2011

Topics: Measurement, Optimization

Yesterday Google announced changes to their default search experience for users signed in to a Google account – http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/making-search-more-secure.html

When Google makes a change like this there’s usually some confusion and this is no exception. As with the Instant Search changes last September – read our post here – we’re working with the Google Search team to ensure we understand the changes and how they affect our offerings.

In summary here is the change that Google Search announced:

Google is changing the information they provide in organic search URLs. Initially this is for Google users that are signed in to a Google product such as Docs, Gmail, Maps etc.  Google will redirect the signed in user to https://www.google.com – their secure site. All organic searches performed from this secure site will have the search query stripped from the URL – replacing the search terms with a blank “q” parameter. Note that there is no change to how paid search clicks behave.

Webtrends products will continue to operate as expected, with affected traffic appearing as Google referred but without any search results. We applaud the importance Google places on security and privacy and will provide an update in the near term that will clearly identify those searches that had the terms stripped out.

If you have any questions or concerns, please post a comment.

3 Responses to “Our Response to Google’s Query String Security Announcement”

  1. Ulrik

    I would suggest to tagging your AdWor campaigns with WT.seg_1={keyword:nil} on top of the WT.srch=1 and WT.mc_id tags. This will allow you to build a report based on paid search keywords and not just Paid search phrase. I wonder if that would also be stripped.

  2. Peter Buhagar

    Hello Mr. Kenny,

    Please discuss the effect (if any) this change will have on data received from google adwords with respect to keyword popularity.



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