Writer Discovers Secure Search Workaround
Google’s recent move to implement secure search encryption scheme cut off a valuable resource for web marketers and sent a shockwave through the SEO world.
While there’s almost no chance that Google will be reversing their decision anytime soon, there is a workaround end-users can use to keep their own personal searches from being encrypted.
The workaround, which was discovered by Search Engine Land staffer Barry Schwartz, is a bit cumbersome but seems to work. According to an article Schwartz posted late last week, all end-users have to do to opt out of secured search entirely is add, ?nord=1, to their URL parameter.
For example, a search for the term, “online poker bonus,” normally has a URL that reads, https://www.google.com/search?q=online+poker+bonus. Schwartz says that if you add, ?nord=1 and replace https, with http, you’ll do an end run around the encryption.
So the new URL should read, http://www.google.com/?nord=1#nord=1&q=online+poker+bonus.
(Schwartz also provided information for how to remove secure search from your network.)
The workaround was revealed during a recent, Webmaster/Search Helpdesk Hangout, on Google+, which suggests that its uses are fairly limited.
The bigger question here is what difference opting out of secure search will make in the long run?
Unless everyone who uses Google on regular basis, all 300 million of them, embraces this idea, it won’t produce a meaningful amount of keyword data for SEOs to dissect.
Google first introduced secure search functionality in 2011 as an opt-in feature, but recently made the default setting for all users, whether they’re logged-in or not.
A number of online commentators have suggested the change was made to protect the company in the wake of the recent NSA eavesdropping scandal, Google officials deny that charge.
They maintain the changes are there strictly to increase end-user privacy.