Google protects your privacy… unless you click on its ads

Search optimisation experts have accused Google of cynically profiting from a service update sold to the public as a privacy tool.

Google protects your privacy... unless you click on its ads

Google yesterday announced that it would encrypt searches for logged-in users with SSL to protect their privacy, but according to critics the move has the added bonus of making its AdWords more attractive.

Although website owners won’t now see the search queries used to reach their site if the user clicks on an organic search result, webmasters will still get the data from clicks on Google AdWords.

“In the long term, it is trying to create a better web experience, but in the short term it’s very cynical and will make Google a lot more money,” Rob Jackson, MD of optimisation consultancy Elisa DBI, told PC Pro. “The analytics community can’t believe that Google has been so short sighted.”

Google cares about your privacy, unless it makes money on you, then it doesn’t


“This is what I call hypocrisy at work,” adds SEO consultant Joost de Valk, on the SEOBook website. “Google cares about your privacy, unless it makes money on you, then it doesn’t. The fact is that due to this change, AdWords gets favoured over organic results.

“Once again, Google gets to claim that it cares about your privacy and pulls a major public ‘stunt’. The issue is, it doesn’t care about your privacy enough to not give that data to its advertisers.”

Although Google said it would provide websites with a list of the top 1,000 search queries that drove users to their pages, Jackson said that was a poor second to good keyword analytics.

Google was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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