The Real Problem with Not Provided–SSL Encrypted Search

I write a fairly geeky blog here.  No, it’s not about World of Warcraft or Diablo 3 (PWNage), but it caters to people who are likely a bit on the tech savvy side.  So most of those folks are logged into a Google Account while they’re on their PCs.

What that means to me is that I don’t get to see the search terms they used to find my blog.  I just get a big <not provided> notice in all my web analytics tools. And it’s bad for me, and worse for companies trying to do business on the web.  Those search terms are how we make our living.

Now, I’m all in favor of privacy. And in some ways, you might be protecting me, if you searched for things like “kevin webster + total douchebag”.  I guess I don’t want to know that.

However, what I lose as a casual blogger is the ability to understand the context of why you came to see me. So you looked at my European Paper Wasp image.  Why exactly? Are you interested in them?  Are they living in your attic? Are you trying to ID a bug you found?

Without the exact keywords you used to find the picture, I can’t gauge my audience unless they leave a comment about it. And folks on small blogs rarely leave comments. Who’s got time? And without the context, it’s difficult for me to determine what else to write about. I might be completely missing the point of why you were here, and then I can’t add more info in the future that you might also be interested in. So I’ll never really be able to build a super niche-y content collection based on passive user feedback.

For companies doing e-commerce or lead generation, it’s even worse. It costs money. Lots, and lots of money. I can write a whole post or ten about that, and maybe someday I will. At the same time, I’m sure it’s been covered ad nauseum by other bloggers.

They just can’t tell why you’re reading about it. Smile

Anyways, there’s my Friday lunch time soap box speech.  As a blogger, how are you dealing with the “new” lack of information in the information age?

About kevin

I work as an internet marketing manager in domestic (US) manufacturing, and blog about B2B web lead generation, CRMs, web analytics, and a little bit about affiliate marketing. I also am an avid Kayak Fisherman.