Google’s Encrypted Search Could Cost It Ad Clients

Some advertisers don’t think this is quite good enough.

Over at Business Insider, a new article suggests that Google encrypting search will lead to widespread advertiser dissatisfaction.

“Web site owners can no longer look at Google Analytics to see exactly which words people use when searching Google to find their sites,” it reads. “A lot of people who conduct marketing on the web are freaking out about it: Now, they complain they’re basically flying blind.” Google’s Webmaster Tools platform is still active, and offers some of the necessary data via sampling; but advertisers want the full dataset.

Google argues that the Webmaster Tools, which generates an aggregated list of the top search queries in the past 30 days for a particular Website, is good enough. “This information helps webmasters keep more accurate statistics about their user traffic,” the company wrote in a blog posting. “If you choose to click on an ad appearing on our search results page, your browser will continue to send the relevant query over the network to enable advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and to improve the ads and offers they present to you.”

Ad Age offers a good rundown of the possible impact: “The shift is a bit like climate change—everyone anticipates it will have an effect, but it’s not felt immediately. Further, because the shift affects everyone equally, the competitive pecking order seems to be staying intact.”

Google’s new strategy might prove an annoyance for advertisers and publishers, but the search-engine giant is betting few of them will actually leave over it. That being said, any dissatisfaction in that relationship is a ripe opportunity for Twitter, Facebook, and other Google competitors to step in, provided they can provide the necessary analytics; indeed, Facebook could use the opportunity to aggressively pursue a selection of Google clients, provided it can prove that ads on the social network have actual worth.


Image: Google