Today Google made two separate announcements that are somewhat related -- both basically made Google Analytics less accurate for webmasters who use the tool to keep tabs on their traffic. I'm wondering if the two announcements were coincidences, or if Google decided to group them together to avoid as much pain as possible.
The first announcement was that they released a tool which lets users be completely invisible to Google Analytics -- traffic from these users will not count toward the website statistics. Great for users, kinda crappy for website owners.
Google also recently decided to turn on the ability for people to use Google Search with SSL. Doing this basically encrypts the user session, making it nearly impossible for people sniffing wifi to spy on your searches. What's wrong with this? Well, referral information for anyone who opts to use this service will not report properly in Google Analytics -- another problem for webmasters who like to know which searches people used to find their website.
It's kind of a double edged sword for Google, and it will be interesting to see how webmasters react to the change. On one hand, you have angry users that want Google to handle their personal information better, and on the other, you have website owners that are addicted to their stats.
What do you think of these changes that were announced? Which side of the fence are you on?