Google Encourages Switch to HTTPS URL’s but will it Really Affect Search Rankings?
Recently, Google has announced that websites that switched to a HTTPS URL would benefit from a small search rankings boost. However, there is some bad news on this front because an analysis of the data so far shows that there is no real increase in search engine rankings for those sites that have done what Google advised.
Many people were wondering whether or not they should switch to HTTPS after this announcement. Well the data that has been analysed clearly shows that there is no real search rankings increase and there is also no drop in rankings once migrating to a HTTPS site.
It’s important to remember though that this announcement was only recent and over time changing to a HTTPS site may improve search rankings marginally once Google tweaks the algorithm to accommodate the changes.
You may have a few questions regarding what HTTPS is even if after hearing this announcement, including why Google has announced these changes. I’ll go into briefly a few of the specifics regarding this announcement.
What Is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. The only difference between this and a HTTP site is that in a HTTPS site there is an extra added layer of security. Now your next question may be why is this even important.
It’s important to Google because they pride themselves on security for their users. This is even more important after the leaks in sensitive personal information that was conducted by the NSA and other agencies, where Google was perceived to be involved in some way to these leaks in privacy. Now Google is out to make amends for this and they are seeking to show the world that they are serious about security for their users.
Google takes search quality and security of websites seriously. The push for security is a result of breaches in security across popular websites where people’s passwords were hacked. However, it’s important to note that switching to a HTTPS URL will not stop hackers.
This is what led to the announcement that there would be a search rankings boost to sites that switched to HTTPS. However, as I’ve already mentioned the data shows that there is no significant rankings increase but in time Google may tweak this so it’s possible that there will be.
Should You Really Bother With Switching To HTTPS?
In a nutshell, no. The reason is because switching to HTTPS is really only necessary for sites that require and transfer sensitive information of their users. Think of sites like banks, ecommerce stores, and even social networks that require sensitive information of their users. These are the only real sites that require a HTTPS site.
If you have a blog or any other website that doesn’t transfer sensitive information then it’s pointless to have a HTTPS site. It isn’t going to mean anything for your website and if anything, this switch is all about politics because of spying and other breaches in security by agencies like the NSA and other intelligence gathering agencies.
So as I’ve already mentioned if you run an ecommerce store site or something similar where you transfer sensitive information then you should already have a HTTPS site. This is what Google is trying to encourage by announcing that there will be a search rankings boost for sites that migrate to HTTPS.
If you don’t have a site like this then don’t waste your time. It will only cost you time, money, and resources to implement and it’s not really worth it in the long run. If there will be changes to search rankings over time they will only be small anyway.
What are your thoughts on making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS?