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Bing adopts https – there goes the keyword data

Bing

The great ‘not provided’ purge of keyword data when Google made the move to ‘https’ encrypted search traffic by default was the scourge of SEO managers everywhere, but until now Bing has continued to pass keyword data through to analytics platforms, providing a smaller snapshot of search performance.

That is about to change – in a June 15th Bing Webmaster Blog post, senior product manager Duane Forrester announced that Bing is also about to make https its default for search traffic, and will stop providing keyword data as a consequence.

“We will continue to pass along a referrer string so that marketers and webmasters will be able to identify traffic as coming from Bing,” he wrote.

“However, to further protect our users’ privacy, we will not include the used query terms. We will still provide some limited query term data available without compromising the security of customer data through our various webmaster and advertiser tools.”

What does this mean? Well, if you have an active PPC campaign on Bing, you can use keyword data from there to give you an idea of what people are searching for, and Universal Event Tracking can enhance this further.

Interestingly though, the blog post also says Bing will still provide keyword and ranking data within its own Bing Webmaster Tools – the completeness of this data after the summer remains to be seen, but it’s worth signing up promptly to make sure it is at least being collected once the move to https is completed.