Google quietly confirmed earlier this week that it would be encrypting all search data, regardless of whether a user was signed in or not. The company offered the following statement to clarify their sudden decision to withhold the data:
We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We’re now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in.
Marketing Land’s Danny Sullivan wrote about Google’s move to encrypt all non-paid searches, explaining, “The change makes it very likely that in the near future, publishers will receive no search term data sent to them directly through the decades-old and industry-standard ‘referrer’ system.”