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Back in October of 2011, when Google first announced it would start implementing HTTPS/SSL encryption on all searches of logged in Google users, I raised an eyebrow. “This could be very bad for organic search” (and marketers), I thought to myself. The move had SEOs and digital marketers all over the blogosphere crying foul. But then Google SEO-in-chief Matt Cutts appeared on Twitter assuring everyone that it was no big deal and would only impact a small percentage of searches. I was slightly dubious, but ultimately accepting, of this explanation.
Fast forward a year and some change; last week, Inbound Marketing Agency Hubspot put out a blog relating that about 55% of the organic search it gets per month is now encrypted; worse, Hubspot has seen this percentage steadily rise by about 4% each month. Given that Hubspot has produced a massive amount of high-quality content geared toward organic search queries, its findings should not be taken with a grain of salt. What does it mean? In a nutshell, encrypted search renders the ability to track individual keywords impossible, effectively killing organic SEO.