In the worlds of search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO), gathering user information can help build and launch superior online marketing campaigns. However, through the evolution of SEM and SEO, users have longed for more private search features that prevent data from falling victim to prying eyes. Consequently, professionals take a different stance, as search data can help them put better content in front of users.
While search is a long way from going completely private, Firefox 14 has made an interesting step in that direction by encrypting all Google searches by default. However, there is a Google loophole, which allows for certain snippets of data to slip out to the search engine's advertisers. The leaked information can help improve their paid advertising by understanding what SEM actually resonates with users. Google has already made the decision to help protect privacy in some instances, but the company also has to balance the needs of paying advertisers who require data to improve their ROIs.
The secure version of Google search – Google SSL search – will prevent anyone from eavesdropping on what is being searched. Google unveiled its SSL search option back in October 2011 in an attempt to protect user data, and the same feature has recently been integrated into Firefox. The transmission of information to advertisers will only occur when a user voluntarily clicks on a paid advertisement featured on any given SERP. Google will only provide the SSL search option when users are signed into their accounts.
Overall, this change to Firefox interface provides consumers greater privacy features than they've been accustomed to in search, while also trys to balance the needs of advertisers and marketing professionals.