Whilst the writing has been on the wall for circa 22 months (see my the end of seo keyword sale tracking post) it still came as a shock to see that yesterday Google rolled out encrypted Search for all users.
Google claims that SSL encryption protects natural Search users. PPC tracking is unaffected. What I know is that the result is too much “Not Provided” SEO data in analytics for my liking.
Optimisation and tracking keyword level sale data is now practically impossible. The only way around tracking to a keyword level now is via modelling, landing page optimisation data/ assumptions and Google Webmaster Tools data (and this is really only good enough for themes/ trends).
I need to sit back and ponder on what this truly means. All I know at this stage is that SEO-ers need to dust themselves down and figure out alternative KPI’s.
…The good news is that you will still be able to see total SEO sales (and thus what % share SEO has of your digital sales mix) and if you then incorporate this in with benchmarking tools (e.g. amended usage of SearchMetrics), traffic per landing page and monitor output (e.g. number of links obtained or you go mental and consider an Agile Velocity model to SEO output) it isn’t the end of the world.
SEO will survive!
UPDATE: Some good advice at the bottom of the Adobe Anaytics post on what to do about the missing data