You hear that sound? It's the sound of thousands of SEO marketers rushing to encrypt their sites to HTTPS. If you are an SEO, expect a call from your customer wanting the latest and greatest Google ranking signals. Encryption. Do not worry the NSA and all other high-tech companies in the world still taking hold data such as surface mining for coal.
Outside of the obvious range benefit Google, there are some tangible benefits in the encrypted path. Defend against what is known as man-in-the-middle, and offer the privacy of visitor’s counters. Yes, just because you will not mean the encrypted NSA stopped sucking up data. Let's be realistic at this point. You are receiving a reward perception, not reality-based.
Google has really been running the experiment, and giving insurance a little nudge in departments rated websites. A 'bit of a shove' can equal serious conversions and sales. Google Trend Analysts Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes explained through a blog that the signal encryption classification will be small for now.
In recent months we have been running tests given if sites use secure encrypted connections as a signal in our ranking algorithms in this category. We have seen positive results, so we are starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it's just a sign that affects less than 1 percent of global queries, and carry less weight than other signals, such as high content of lightweight quality - as we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we would like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
Translation, the signal is smooth to give webmasters time to upgrade the security of their sites and change the HTTPS protocol.
Most security companies are hailing the move. The goal of most companies is a push to be the default HTTPS web.
But there is a downside. The reason most companies have refused to encrypted sites is due to issues of cost and performance. If the change to a safe level is now a ranking signal, Google will have to respond to the speed signal. A lot of weight is given to the speed of your site. Encryption, in its current state, it does impact performance.
What will probably happen is a new cottage industry of companies that offer encryption speed. The sites will not want to be bogged down by times slower connection. Any push in the rankings due to the use of https will be quickly negated if the rate becomes a problem.
Mark Sparshott, an executive said this at Proofpoint Register. "I welcome Google's move to use HTTPS as a ranking signal and reduce those sites that are not Encrypt connections to visitors, but warn that the minimum capacity and Google are applying weighting may not be a sufficient deterrent to poor best practices on security. "
"Proofpoint Researchers have observed that most of the websites were slow to enforce the use of HTTPS because encryption is used to secure the connection to the web experience is anathema to the mantra of most services based slows anywhere where latency can drive visitors to a competitor service. As such some websites always an option for many years, but they do not default until recent times. "
In any case, the news is that HTTPS is a ranking signal. The run plugins and SSL certificates will be obscene in the coming weeks. Expect multiple guides to start popping up everywhere on how to protect your site and server.