Firefox 14 launched with secure search as default – the effects on SEO

Last month saw the official launch of the latest update of Mozilla’s Firefox browser, aimed at improving security for its users. The Mozilla Foundation reports that version 14 of the browser will make browsing more secure by utilising Google’s HTTPS search functionality by default. This change means that the search terms used by the user will not be passed onto third parties – unless of course they use Google’s AdWords advertising network.

Last month saw the official launch of the latest update of Mozilla's Firefox browser, aimed at improving security for its users. The Mozilla Foundation reports that version 14 of the browser will make browsing more secure by utilising Google's HTTPS search functionality by default.

This change means that the search terms used by the user will not be passed onto third parties - unless of course they use Google's AdWords advertising network.

Mozilla report that this will result in tighter security for millions of Google users using the Firefox browser. It should be noted, however, that a loophole exists where businesses using Google's advertising networks and those who have Google Webmaster Tools will still have access to this information.

For other third parties looking to find this information, for instance businesses researching how visitors arrive at their site to improve search engine marketing results, this is yet more bad news. The change will lead to similar results to those witnessed when Google released secure search for its logged in users; resulting in 'not providing' showing up in analytics programmes instead of the actual keyword. This means that marketers will have to get used to relying on a smaller sample of organic keyword referral data to inform their decisions.