Bing has recently announced that they will now encrypt search traffic by default starting sometime this summer. This comes from a commitment to help keep data safe and secure, and following the industry’s general move to use TLS protocols. Bing users have had the option to encrypt searches for the last year and a half but now do not have to worry about taking this extra step to protect their privacy. All Bing searches will be encrypted.
This has several impacts on webmasters and marketers:
- Your traffic from Bing will increasingly come from https://www.bing.com vs http://www.bing.com
- Bing will not pass on the users’ query terms to webmasters and marketers.
- You will have limited access to query term data through Search Query Terms Report and Universal Event tracking within Bing Ads, and through Bing Webmaster Tools.
Since late 2011 Google has directed more and more searches to a secure page for their search activity and Webmasters have become accustomed to seeing the “not provided” or “keyword unavailable” in their data. At first Google predicted this would impact about 10% of search query data, but that number kept growing, and now most Webmasters see their “not provided” traffic for about 80-90% of their Google traffic.
Microsoft admits that this change may impact marketers and webmasters but believes the benefit of providing a more secure search is more important.