Microsoft Bing will encrypt by default

Bing UK

Microsoft has announced all traffic going through Bing will be encrypted by default, meaning that although marketers and others tracking activity will be able to see the traffic originated from its search engine, they will not be able to see which specific terms the searcher used to resolve the query.

However, all is not lost for those who want to see how people arrive at their site. Through Microsoft's webmaster and advertiser tools, marketers will be able to see which keywords triggered specific ads, alongside clicks, impressions and conversions.

Universal event tracking will provide advanced analytics including bounce rates, duration per visit, pages per visit and total visits resulting from the keywords and Bing Webmaster tools will continue to list keyword and ranking data, but it won't compromise customer info in doing so.

Duane Forrester, senior product manager at Bing said: "Microsoft has a long-history and deep commitment to helping protect our customers' data and the security of their systems. While this change may impact marketers and webmasters, we believe that providing a more secure search experience for our users is important.

"With this change, you will still be able to see Bing as the origin (referrer) of the encrypted traffic, though analytics tools you are using to analyze your traffic generally have their own, proprietary way of including this information in their search reports."

Although Microsoft did previously allow customers to opt in or out of having their data encrypted, it was still behind Google and Yahoo who encrypted the data as default in their search engines.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.