NSA, ad sales, or both are to blame for Google's switch away from transparent search data

If you want to know what people searched for to land on your website, you’ll have to be buying ads from Google. The data will soon be completely unavailable to those who use organic search terms as a measure of their marketing efforts.

In the past month, Google quietly made a change aimed at encrypting all search activity — except for clicks on ads. Google says this has been done to provide “extra protection” for searchers, and the company may be aiming to block NSA spying activity. Possibly, it’s a move to increase ad sales. Or both. Welcome to the confusing world of Google secure search.

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