Search marketers of the organic kind have all but accepted that they will no longer see anything other than “[not provided]” in their Google referral data. Keeping them going was the fact that Bing and Yahoo at least shared their keyword referral data–albeit with a significantly lower market share to pull from.
Now it appears the fat lady is warming up her voice, with news that Bing has ramped up its testing of encrypted search, possibly as a means to support Yahoo’s desire to go encrypted by Q1 of this year.
Will SEOs still be able to get keyword referral data from Bing? According to a Bing spokesperson…
“At this time we are still evolving our rollout of HTTPS at Bing. As we continue to develop our implementation, we will keep the SEO/SEM community needs top of mind and balance them with consumer privacy and security concerns.”
In other words, don’t hold your breath. We’ve seen statements like this before and they’re generally an attempt to placate us. What happens next is that the data is slowly stripped away until we no longer realize we’re sitting in a boiling pot of [not provided].
Is this all part of a big conspiracy to get companies to switch from organic to paid search? Possibly, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. As one SEW commenter suggest:
I find Bing secure search, along with Google, a means to bring both Paid and Organic search teams together in an effort to cross educate and share keyword level data.
I’ll bring the [not provided], you bring the hotdogs, and lets sing a camp song about how things used to be.