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Is Google's New Search Function Good for Privacy, Bad for Business?

Up until this week, Google SSL was in a test stage. You may have noticed it the last couple months if you were searching while logged into your Google account.

Google officially launched its SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) search function, an option that allows you to encrypt your searches on Google when you're logged into your Google account.

This feature was created to protect your searches and results on Google from being intercepted by a third party. But, as Technorati points out, it also prevents websites from effectively using and monitoring SEO terms, which is a traditional marketing strategy for getting people searching certain terms to notice your website.

SEO -- Search Engine Optimization -- terms are those that help you find businesses in your searches and by knowing what terms got you to the site. Businesses are able to tailor terms on their site to get the most traffic. Technorati explains further:

These words are used strategically in your site to help the search engines find your site and match it with appropriate search terms. The better your SEO the better you will turn up in the search results. Really good SEO can result in you being one of the first few websites found in a relevant search.

Searches conducted using SSL will also prevent businesses from seeing the link that brought users to their site.

So is Google SSL a double-edged sword? More privacy but marketing challenge for businesses? Technorati notes that Google is still collecting the information of searches:

This is giving users the option of increased privacy in their searches. Of course, Google still has this information and that information is still feeding into their ads, sponsored links, stories, etc. So you will not likely notice the increase in privacy.

They also note that currently, only about 10 percent of people with Google accounts are signed in when they conduct Google searches, so this may not affect business too much.

If you don't have a Google account or don't want to login but still want to conduct searches under SSL, you can got to https://www.google.com or to https://encrypted.google.com.

One last thing…
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