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To say that this is in the interest of "security" or "privacy" is a total, utter, absolute GARBAGE HEAP of lies. Note that PPC queries are not affected even if you're signed in. Google: Just say that you want more people to run AdWords campaigns to get usable keyword intelligence. JUST SAY IT! Or maybe just develop a keyword research tool that effing works and charge for it! I'll pay if it works!!! Cannot wait to see +aaron wall & +michael gray weigh in on this - they're pros on callin G out on their own BS.
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Adam Green's profile photoHyderali Shaikh's profile photoRhea Drysdale's profile photoAdrian Vender's profile photo
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I get it, they need to make money. I'll HAPPILY pay for something that does what i need it to and is at LEAST 75% accurate. No such solution exists at G yet.
 
Just wanted to add a few thoughts to this from a developer's perspective. Why would anyone develop anything for Google Plus if using it gives you access to less data? The "leaked" post just last week gave Google a lot of insight on how to make Google Plus a platform but if for instance I was using G+ as a data source for my Keyword-Level Demographics methodology -- I now can't.

Further there is certainly a way around this, I'm not sure of legality and privacy policies and what have you but you could:
-Pull the referring URL from the Search History using history.previous in JavaScript
-Parse the keyword
-Push it to a custom variable in Google Analytics

I'd imagine this is a bigger play for a paid Organic Keyword tool though.

Free the Data Google. Stop playing.
 
I'm still just kind of shocked at the expectation that this will only affect single digit % of data. I just checked with one of our clients who has a small data set to begin with and a very web-savvy audience. With some quick number crunching, we were able to determine that on the low side 33% of their traffic is using gmail. We don't know for certain what % of those users are signed in, but they signed up with gmail and I would argue search signed in more often than not. Again, this client had a small set of data. +Matt Cutts mentioned that when this rolled out no one really noticed, but my point is that for a site with a small amount of traffic to begin with, chopping 30% of their keyword data out is painful. They use this data to fine tune their site, their conversion funnels, meet user experience, come up with engaging content and new tools, etc. Removing this feature for "privacy" matters doesn't make sense to me. It's hurting website owners who care enough to provide a better web experience.
 
I got word that in order to pass hostname to even attribute it as google/organic they will implement a sort of JS redirect so that the transport host in the headeres reads as http://www.google.com (non-ssl). This is how they will be able to gather that it's a Google Organic visit. This will be rolled out over the next few weeks so I can't analyze it yet. I'm curious as to whether it's a method that still could have added the query in some way, and whether it even fixes the original issue of cookie hijacking in nonsecure wifi networks (the very reason for this change).
 
+Rhea Drysdale the whole "privacy" or "security" thing is just Google pissin on our feet and tellin us it's raining. If paid channels aren't impacted by these "security" concerns then it really is just a move to push marketers to include PPC in the mix in ALL instances.

@ +Michael King might holler at you about that JS trick...
 
That JS trick might work... but then do you think Google will look for that and penalize the site or just ban the site from using GA for violating the T's & C's?
 
Encrypt it or use another analytics platform or just add a word to it so it's officially not the referrer.
 
Ahh, Michael's comment about 'other analytics platforms' leads me to another point. Though the focus of the outrage is on Google right now and we're all yelling about how it affects Google Analytics, this is actually a change that will affect ALL web analytics platforms. The collection of the referrer is pretty much the same across the tools. With Google not passing that in secure search, all of these tools will be missing keyword data.

I'm just now realizing that there's a kind of power move going on here. Other web analytics tools will be missing this secure search-based data. period. But with GA and it's Webmaster Tools integration you at least get some high-level info on keywords. Interesting.
 
Nah I got that point. I'm just talking about the violation of GA's T&C. You're not violating it if you are pushing the referrer from the browser history to PiWik or Omniture or what have you.
 
I don't believe it's a violation the GA T&C either so probably no worries there (just don't store PII). Still, I just believe you have much larger legal issues to worry about if you use browser sniffing.
 
I'm literally shocked over the news & don't know what to say. C'mon Google you are only barking to people Don't Be Evil & now you only shows your true color. Also, how can you say that only small percentage of stats would be affected? I mean, don't you know half of the people are logged in when they search. If you wanted money only, you could have said that straightforwardly & not by doing this cowardice act. Frankly speaking, you make us addicted to your FREE charity & now whenever you make us to pay, I feel that you are stabbing & robbing us.
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