- Two years ago, Google started encrypting the searches of any user that was signed in, but in the last month, the search giant has switched the default setting to encrypt all user searches.
- Before the switch, publishers would receive keyword data for those users who search a term in Google and clicked on the publishers' site; with encryption, all publishers will see now is the term "not provided."
- Publishers can still view keyword terms, but only for the past 90 days. If a publisher wants to archive terms or see past 90 days, they have to enroll in Google AdWords.
Google was in some hot water after the company was accused of offering the NSA full access to its direct search data. While Google denies these claims, the move to encrypt all sources could be a response to the negative reaction following the NSA allegations. More likely though, the driving force behind the change is to encourage more advertisers. Because the keyword data is still available in the Google AdWords system, more publishers may be inspired to create an account and hopefully, for Google, advertise. In an update on Marketing Land, Google denies that an increase in advertising is a motivating factor, but we suspect it is a welcome perk.