So How Does Secure Search Change This?
Google’s new search feature enables a signed in user to retain control over their search. Only the user and Google will know what search terms are used.
What the changes that Google has introduced means is that a user who is signed into their Google account is performing searches via the HTTPS protocol as opposed to HTTP. This can be checked on your own computer by running a search - the URL will reveal whether you're searching securely or not:
This might seem like a good idea, and many people might accept this as Google making an attempt to protect the privacy of its users. Whether the search giant has any real interest in this area other than a PR move isn’t for discussion here – instead it is the implication of protecting search data from other parties.
Using the tools we talked about above, website owners can check how successful particular articles are by checking the keywords used to find them. Google’s secure search system prevents this, so anyone visiting your site while signed into Google will arrive relatively anonymously. For the vast majority of website administrators, this is a clear disadvantage.
And why are search results being secured? After all, if there was a real and present threat to user privacy being broken by search terms, Google can quite easily encrypt all of its services.