Google Chrome Switching to Secure Search (https) for All Users

google chrome secure searchOn December 10, 2012 Google updated their Chrome browser and also began sending toolbar/omnibox searches through their SSL/secure search at This appears to have been a slow roll out as some colleagues saw this happening first. And even though I was using the same version of Chrome as them, I wasn’t getting sent to secure search.

Well, I was finally able to confirm it today and I’d expect more people to start seeing this happen. Whether you’re logged in or not, if you do a search in the “omnibox” or URL bar, then Google will take you to and perform your search there. This will happen in both the standard mode and incognito mode.

Keep in mind that Google was already doing this if you were logged in to a Google account (such as Gmail), but were not doing this for non logged-in users.

Prepare for even less keyword data to be passed as Chrome usage goes up. And for certain niches where Chrome usage is especially high, such as tech and SEO, this will likely be even higher. As of now I’m not seeing this happen for Chrome on iPad, but I’d expect Google to roll this out for mobile as well.

Update 12/18/2012 – It appears Google is testing this as my Chrome browser has reverted back to using the non-secure version when searching from the omnibox. They may also be testing sending people that type in to the https version instead. I haven’t been able to confirm this happening on my computer, but others have told me this was happening for them.


  1. says

    There has been lots of speculation around the motives behind these changes… The only thing people can be sure about is that “(not provided)” is going to continue and increase in the future. Google “owned” Firefox browsers started the omnibox secure search switch some time ago and the only real surprise given the latest tweak to Chrome is that it took so long to roll out.

    Thankfully, there are intelligent ways to understand the types of visitors coming from the void of “(not provided)” organic Google searches:

    1. Link Web Master Tools accounts to Analytics and look at ‘search query’ reports for trends (don’t spend too long reconciling absolute numbers – they won’t match).

    2. Use keyword landing page information, key site metrics and existing data for correlation purposes. Find the patterns that give clues to the type of visitors coming through (e.g. brand vs generic, head vs. long tail, etc).

    These methods are a poor substitute for obtaining the actual keyword used but, the landscape is unlikely to revert back so we must adapt accordingly or, fail entirely.

  2. says

    So the volume of (not provided) keywords will be higher in GA reports. As you know, we can buy those (not provided) keywords through Adwords. Would this mean the begining of the end of SEO?

  3. MH says

    Pardon the stupid question, but I’m wondering how you are actually seeing this? Thanks.

  4. says

    Why is everything the end of SEO.. Maybe the end to easier jobs in SEO, or the end to faking SEO.. SEO will always be required for websites no matter the standard for creating rankings and traffic. This means as an SEO you need to understand keyword and competitive research better. There are a wide variety of ways to find related keyword information for your brand/product, just have to work harder to get the information..