Microsoft to encrypt Bing searches by default

Microsoft has announced plans to encrypt Bing searches by default. The company currently provides said functionality as an option, but will enable TLS support by default across networks and services.

Microsoft will activate TLS protocols this summer, encrypting search traffic across the network. This will mean that instead of traffic arriving from http://www.bing.com, you'll be served by https://www.bing.com. This changes a few things for marketers and webmasters who rely on tracking data provided by Microsoft.

The company will still provide referrer strings to identify traffic as originating from Bing, but to protect user privacy, Microsoft will not include used query terms. Limited query term data will – however – be provided to various Microsoft tools, including the Search Query Terms Report, Universal Event Tracking, and Bing Webmaster Tools.

Microsoft notes that while the company understands how this change may affect marketing and webmaster data collection, a more secure search experience for consumers is deemed more important. See the blog post for more details on the highlighted tools you'll need to use to check search data.

Source: Bing

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

33 Comments
  • About time...
  • What's chrome doing there
  • What does that have to do with Omar's comment?
  • People will "make it back" to Google search engine.
  • Not me, everytime I use Google search I get followed by the spam ads on apps and websites all day for whatever I searched for?
  • No thanks, Google tracks all your web history, all your youtube videos you watch, its almost impossible to delete your web history if you log in using a google account, that's why I don't use Google search anymore.
  • I'm a bit confused does this affect us or just company's?
  • Better for you, worse for companies a tiny bit. Better security is always good.
  • Ah ok thanks :)
  • Google has had this for quite a while...
  • But not the query term removal. Nice bonus.
  • Query term removal is more of a buzz word here because you have plenty of tools to actually get the information from bing again
  • Yes. But it messes with google analytics and brings people back to Microsoft tools
  • and why is chrome in that pic? uggh ,use Edge or IE for pic of bing web page
  • Think of it this way; what better way to stick it to Google than to load up Bing in their browser! That'll learn 'em! ;P
  • Because IE sucks donkey balls
  • Rush Limbaugh used to identify people who called his show as 'seminar callers' if he thought they were paid by the left to listen to his show and call in to harass him. Paranoid? Maybe. But there are so many tools out there that post comments like ' Google does that...', ' Android does that...', they must be paid 'Seminar Trolls'. There can't be that many people out there so desperate for attention that they would spend their lives trolling the net just to make these comments, can there? Not without getting paid to do it, right?
    Now I'm wondering if Microsoft has an opening for an internet troll...?
  • Problem is... Microsoft needs this way more than Google/Android does
  • What the hell are you talking about? You didn't reply to anyone so none of what you wrote makes any sense - or does that make you the Comment Troll? :P
  • Thank you Microsoft. "A more secure search experience" is more important for consumers!
  • Yeah, but they still report the searches to the government when asked.
  • If by "asked" you mean legally required, then yes, they all do.
  • Nice
  • A bit off-topic: 1. Why is the option for changing the search engine in Microsoft Edge disabled (Windows 10 build 10130)? 2. Is there a way of changing the search engine for the search box on the taskbar in Windows 10?
  • A bit off topic? That's totally off topic!
  • You want to use Google on Windows? Install Chrome. I wish Google search never gets integrated in the search box taskbar in Windows 10. Leave that just for Chromebooks. 
  • You'd be better off asking that in the forums http://www.windowscentral.com/commenting-guidelines
  • Search box is Cortana, you cannot dump her like you dump other women.
  • I'm good with this move.
  • This is awesome, I hope they use AES-CBC 256-bit which is a very strong encryption algorithm. 
  • Good move, kudos to Microsoft.
  • Wonder when their start serving results over ipv6
  • As a business that relys on being able to see the search terms used, this is a set back. Many times seeing the search terms people use will help me create negative search keywords because we don't have what they search for or a suitable upsell/recommendation. Or we can create better landing pages based on what they searched for so they land on the most relevant page. Not everyone uses this stuff for nefarious purposes :/