• Gary Steel

    Fascinating! Thanks very much for doing this extra work, Barry. It would be fantastic if Google would once again provide the keyword data if we secure our sites. That would certainly eliminate the ‘security’ issues that have been discussed.

  • Li Ma

    This is a great summary of referrer info testing, and thanks for the extra effort to code the tool for HTTPS referrer validation!

  • http://www.rustybrick.com/barry Barry Schwartz

    Of course I read what he wrote, this helps users understand what he wrote.

  • Gareth Mailer

    This is a great post and good tool, too.

    To provide my answer to your rhetorical question “why isn’t Google complying?”, well because privacy matters and is Google’s foremost concern, except when it doesn’t matter (and we ALL know under what circumstances privacy doesn’t matter *cough* Money *cough*).

    Now, remember everyone, “don’t be evil”.

  • Gareth Mailer

    This is a great post and good tool, too.

    To provide my answer to your rhetorical question “why isn’t Google complying?”, well because privacy matters and is Google’s foremost concern, except when it doesn’t matter (and we ALL know under what circumstances privacy doesn’t matter *cough* Money *cough*).

    Now, remember everyone, “don’t be evil”.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    Actually, they are ALL doing it wrong. The original RFC wanted USERS to have the ability to toggle the ability to strip referral data: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2616.txt

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    Actually, they are ALL doing it wrong. The original RFC wanted USERS to have the ability to toggle the ability to strip referral data: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2616.txt

  • http://scratch99.com/ Stephen Cronin

    Might be missing something, but how does Google Analytics (GA) know how to separate organic traffic from direct traffic?

    If Google didn’t pass google.com as the referrer for HTTPS searches to HTTP URLs, would GA still be able to distinguish them as being organic rather than direct?

    Does that mean GA won’t be able to distinguish between organic and direct for Bing and Yahoo HTTPS searches to HTTP URL? That would get people moving to SSL…

  • http://scratch99.com/ Stephen Cronin

    Might be missing something, but how does Google Analytics (GA) know how to separate organic traffic from direct traffic?

    If Google didn’t pass google.com as the referrer for HTTPS searches to HTTP URLs, would GA still be able to distinguish them as being organic rather than direct?

    Does that mean GA won’t be able to distinguish between organic and direct for Bing and Yahoo HTTPS searches to HTTP URL? That would get people moving to SSL…

  • http://scratch99.com/ Stephen Cronin

    Might be missing something, but how does Google Analytics (GA) know how to separate organic traffic from direct traffic?

    If Google didn’t pass google.com as the referrer for HTTPS searches to HTTP URLs, would GA still be able to distinguish them as being organic rather than direct?

    Does that mean GA won’t be able to distinguish between organic and direct for Bing and Yahoo HTTPS searches to HTTP URL? That would get people moving to SSL…

  • Rajesh_magar

    That’s really awesome plugin, worth thousand of share!

    Thanks Barry,

  • Rajesh_magar

    That’s really awesome plugin, worth thousand of share!

    Thanks Barry,

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    Plugin? What plugin where? Or do you mean the tool lol ;)

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    Google mines all the data it can, but it doesn’t mean they will share it with the rest of us, unless you pay for it with adwords!

    To answer your question, the GA code on your site tells GA what site your visitors are from, it has nothing to do whether google hides data from us or not.

  • Rajesh_magar

    Ooh yes the tool! My mistake… :(

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    That Friday feeling ;)

  • Mary Kay Lofurno

    Thanks Barry. Yoast had a post discussing this last week.

    http://yoast.com/web-https

  • RightTech

    My impression was that Google Analytics would only know what website a visitor came from if that site was passing referrer info. And so if you have a plain HTTP site, you won’t get any referrer info from Yahoo/Secure Bing (thus GA counts as Direct traffic), but that Google will pass a referrer so that you know it came from Google and that Analytics somehow knows it was a Search result (and not some static page on Google.com with a link to your site)