September 4, 2014

Will Switching to HTTPS Give Your SEO a Boost?

Published: 4 September 2014 

So Google officially confirmed that HTTPS is a ranking factor about a month ago. A few days ago Search Metrics released results of a study showing there doesn't seem to be any discernible correlation between using HTTPS and search rankings.

This is not really surprising as Google stated that HTTPS is for now "only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals". It seems that Google wanted to include it as a signal only so that it could encourage adoption, and not to actually impact their search results.

So What's Going On? Should I Switch to HTTPS Anytime Soon?

There are good reasons to think the SEO effect of HTTPS as a ranking signal will be negligible in the foreseeable future. Until the average visitor starts to care about visiting secure websites only - Google can't put too much emphasis on it. After all - if the best search result for a query is not delivered via a secure protocol, should it be shown in the search results lower than an inferior resource delivered over HTTPS? Our thinking is - no, at least not until SSL adoption grows significantly.

So should you switch to HTTPS now? Maybe. But do it because you care about your visitor's security, not for SEO reasons.

Ben Maden

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