What Google’s encrypted search means for Raven

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Following the chaos caused by Google’s announcement yesterday that they will no longer pass on organic search referral data from logged-in users, we noticed more and more of our customers asking, “How does that affect Raven?”

Before we dive into that, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. This update means that if someone is:

  1. Logged into Google (whether that be for Gmail, Google+ or any other Google product), and
  2. they perform an organic search, and
  3. they click an organic keyword through to your site, then
  4. you will not be able to see what organic keyword they used to find your site, nor their visitor session information from Google Analytics associated with that keyword.

Simply put: From now on, can you find out if a logged-in Google searcher converted after coming to your site via [any given] organic keyword? No.

Let’s take a look at how that affects various features within Raven’s toolset.

Rank tracking

Google’s announcement, as confirmed by Authority Labs, does not affect Raven’s ability to display ranking data for you. Authority Labs is the third-party source Raven uses for ranking data in our SERP Tracker tool.

However, Raven has a unique ranking feature that displays how much traffic you’re getting for each keyword you’re tracking rankings for:

Rank Tracking

Going forward, you may see that number decrease, since Google is not going to be sharing that information for logged in users anymore.

Keyword insights

Raven’s Keyword Insights tool is great for discovering new keyword opportunities. The tool uses Google Analytics to find keywords that are either highly engaging or highly converting, even if traffic for those keywords is otherwise low.

Keyword Insights

Again, you may see the keyword volumes cited in this tool begin to dip…but keep in mind it is still being populated by paid search keywords and non-logged-in organic referrals.

The bottom line, and a tip

Outside of those slight volume changes, we don’t expect this to affect any of Raven’s tools in a significant way.

We do strongly recommend you create an event in Raven’s Event Manager marking the launch of SSL search.

That way when you run reports in the future, you’ll be able to pinpoint the cause in any apparent organic traffic dips.