Google have recently declared that a new ranking signal is being used in determining search engine results. Websites that make use of the secure HTTPS will receive a slight ranking boost and are looked on more favourably than those without.
Although this is now being taken into account for how well websites rank, it is only currently a very small signal in the overall algorithm. Google have said that this signal carries less weight than the other signals within the algorithm and that “fewer than 1% of global queries” are affected by this. However, this may well become a larger factor in time in a bid to encourage safety online.
Response to this news from Google has been fairly varied, with some viewing this as a good way to help boost security for users on the internet. Others however, feel that it is an unnecessary signal for determining a website’s rankings, with the view that as long as a page is relevant and valuable to a user it shouldn’t matter.
If you do decide to make the switch from HTTP to HTTPS care should be taken to ensure that SEO efforts are not hindered and traffic lost. Google have outlined the following guidelines to help:
So, yet another element to consider for webmasters and an interesting one to watch, with the possibility of increased weighting in future.