It’s rare these days that I get the opportunity to talk about Yahoo, but after the revelation by Marketing Land last week that the search engine has gone a similar route to Google in making all its searches secure by default, now just seemed like a good time.
Google took the lead in providing secure searches by default, leading to a significant drop in keyword-level organic data, and an insurgence of the highly-disliked [not provided]. In doing this, Google didn’t exactly encrypt the way that referral data was being passed to web logs; instead, it created its own work-around, that still allowed the referrer source to be passed (google/organic), but not the searched keyword itself.
In typical Yahoo fashion, they opted to instead go a different route– instead of providing some sort of indicator to analytics tools that a visitor originated with the search engine, Yahoo organic visits will, instead, be reported as “direct”. Whether this is just a temporary change, or the long-term solution for Yahoo search, is yet to be seen.
I posted a full write-up on Yahoo secure search on my company’s blog. Please do check it out, and let me know either here or there if you have any thoughts on the matter.