Search targeting might take a hit with Firefox’s search over SSL

Adnetworks like Chitika who rely a lot on search engines and search queries to target their ads will have to rethink on their strategies.

With the merge of the current Aurora branch of Firefox into release, all search traffic to Google would go via SSL. Which means adnetworks doing search targeting could lose about 20% of their search traffic, as Google might stop sending search referrer URLs.

Enabling HTTPS for these searches shields our users from network infrastructure that may be gathering data about the users or modifying/censoring their search results. Additionally, using HTTPS helps providers like Google remove information from the referrer string. While Google users may expect Google to know what they are searching for, Firefox users may not be aware these search terms are often transmitted to sites they visit when they click on items in the search results; enabling HTTPS search helps sites like Google strip this infortmation from the HTTP referrer string, putting the user better in control of when and to whom their interests are shared.

 

via Rolling Out HTTPS Google search | Mozilla Privacy Blog.

 

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