Google starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal

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Just read this from Google Webmaster Central Blog.

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: HTTPS as a ranking signal

Google is now starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. According to Google, it is only a very lightweight signal affecting fewer than 1% of global queries.

Have you adopted HTTPS on your website? If not, will you adopt HTTPS since then?
#google #https #ranking #signal #starting
  • Profile picture of the author andrewm
    I am wondering whether it will affect organic traffic at all. If we do not convert our sites to https in time, I am wondering if Google will not include our sites in organic search.

    They say that it only affects about 1% of searches for now, but who knows what will happen as time progresses.

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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    That's interesting,

    I see Google is suggesting to use relative URLs for the internal links. They also suggest using protocol relative URLs.



    • Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
    • Use 2048-bit key certificates
    • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
    • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
    • Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
    • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
    • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I see Google is suggesting to use relative URLs for the internal links..
      I don't see that as ranking signal. A few of those suggestions seem to have nothing to do with rankings.

      Rather, with relative links you don't have to change the http to https in your web pages (or htaccess) and then in a couple years make another change to httpg when Google demands use of its certifications and authentication systems as a "security" and "trust" requirement to be found in Google.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        It only affects 1% of searches, lightweight, because those 1% of searches
        probably require a more secure website. If you don't have a member site,
        gather emails, etc., you probably do not need to be a secure website.

        That's what they are trying to prevent. People stealing your personal info
        via an unsecure website.

        I don't collect any personal info, and don't intend to.

        People might think this has to do with a site being at risk for a hack, but
        it's not. Your content is no more safe and sane with an https than it is
        without one. People might be fooled into thinking that a site with an https
        is somehow safer and saner to visit. It aint.

        Besides, data encryption is never fool-proof.

        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Banned
          Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

          It only affects 1% of searches, lightweight, because those 1% of searches
          probably require a more secure website. If you don't have a member site,
          gather emails, etc., you probably do not need to be a secure website.

          That's what they are trying to prevent. People stealing your personal info
          via an unsecure website.

          I don't collect any personal info, and don't intend to.

          People might think this has to do with a site being at risk for a hack, but
          it's not. Your content is no more safe and sane with an https than it is
          without one. People might be fooled into thinking that a site with an https
          is somehow safer and saner to visit. It aint.

          Besides, data encryption is never fool-proof.

          Paul
          I find it hard to believe that 1% of sites should use https. Most eCommerce sites use personal info. (ex: credit card #, name, address, email, etc...), eCommerce is a HUGE part of the web.

          I use Paypal for the money transactions but I still collect personal info. from the buyer before they reach Paypal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Danarchism
      hi Yukon

      ive heard that should really use 1x cert per domain but i have a client on a WP multi site environment wanting to get target subfolders to tlds and hence now looking into SSL certs for these domains and thinks Multi Domain option is best due to much reduced cost. I have heard though that much better to have 1x per domain rather than multi domain, are you able to confirm/advise ?

      Many Thanks
      Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author asiogroup
    I see no point is using HTTPS on content based sites, moreover the existing Signals are not doing any good for my sites. So, thanks Google, but no Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by asiogroup View Post

      I see no point is using HTTPS on content based sites, moreover the existing Signals are not doing any good for my sites. So, thanks Google, but no Thanks.
      You don't know that Google has started using the https signal for the entire SERPs. That blog post link in OP might simply be a heads up...

      This is actually kind of funny Google is leaning towards https.

      Really it's mostly large sites that use https over their entire domain, now Google gave a heads up that https will be a ranking signal. Even If it's a weak signal, it's still a signal.

      The funny part is small site webmasters complain about big sites having an advantage in Google SERPs yet the small site webmasters don't do what the big sites do (by choice).
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      • Profile picture of the author Abigo
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        You don't know that Google has started using the https signal for the entire SERPs. That blog post link in OP might simply be a heads up...

        This is actually kind of funny Google is leaning towards https.

        Really it's mostly large sites that use https over their entire domain, now Google gave a heads up that https will be a ranking signal. Even If it's a weak signal, it's still a signal.

        The funny part is small site webmasters complain about big sites having an advantage in Google SERPs yet the small site webmasters don't do what the big sites do (by choice).
        It's kinda weird cause they've spend alot of energy promoting "make your website faster", wich is part of their ranking algo (confirmed) - And https makes your site slower... Not much, but it's still conflicting
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      • Profile picture of the author DjWoolfy
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        You don't know that Google has started using the https signal for the entire SERPs. That blog post link in OP might simply be a heads up...

        This is actually kind of funny Google is leaning towards https.

        Really it's mostly large sites that use https over their entire domain, now Google gave a heads up that https will be a ranking signal. Even If it's a weak signal, it's still a signal.

        The funny part is small site webmasters complain about big sites having an advantage in Google SERPs yet the small site webmasters don't do what the big sites do (by choice).
        Agree with this reply.

        I think the things went too far. What about those 'simple' users (read "not SEO experts") and their blogs/ websites? That obviously means if they don't convert to HTTPs their traffic will be gone...?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
    I'm slipping in my old age keeping up to date. Looks like one of my main competitors has made the switch already. Left me scratching my head wondering what they where thinking.

    Thinking faster than me, is what they where doing.

    Google just keeps increasing the entry price for the newb. Whats new?

    Touche...
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Kevin Maguire View Post

      Google just keeps increasing the entry price for the newb. Whats new?
      That's a good thing, less noise in the SERPs.

      I can see a lot of webmasters messing up their entire sites trying to switch over to https, especially If they switch over to relative URLs from absolute URLs.
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  • Profile picture of the author khtm
    This is very interesting...

    It could hurt small site owners who don't want to pay $10/year for an SSL cert, and at the same time I wonder why content-only sites should be penalized for not using HTTPS. But I guess the security doesn't just protect stuff like user's passwords, it also ensures that content like images is secure...hmmmm...
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
      Originally Posted by khtm View Post

      This is very interesting...

      It could hurt small site owners who don't want to pay $10/year for an SSL cert, and at the same time I wonder why content-only sites should be penalized for not using HTTPS. But I guess the security doesn't just protect stuff like user's passwords, it also ensures that content like images is secure...hmmmm...
      The reasons Google say they have changed something. Are very rarely the reasons why they have changed something.

      $10 for a cert? That's cheap, can you link me...
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    • Profile picture of the author yuliak
      Seriously if you're going to be cheap and complain about $10 USD / yr, you shouldn't be running a business from the very outset.

      Even if SSL gives a marginal edge, that could be a marginal edge over thousands if yours is a competitive niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Google is leaning towards https for our own domains but I wonder how/If https will have an impact on backlinks:
    • What happens If the backlink domain is running https across the entire backlink domain?
    • Will backlinks from https sites be stronger than backlinks on http sites?
    • Will https help create SERP authority since it's supposed to be a safer site?

    Something to consider...
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    The timing for that Google https blog post is hours/days after the largest Russian hack.

    This (https) was probably all in the works years ago by Google but the timing is kinda weird.

    Tabloid headline: Is Google the Russian Hack?
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffreyhuan
    It is not difficult to implement HTTPS on your website but it is really annoying if you are currently using a CDN service that doesn't support HTTPS. A warning of "page contains secure and nonsecure items" will appear on every page of your website. So always test before you proceed otherwise it may cause problems.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      I see this more as heads up than a "hey everybody run out and get a certificate in order to rank" Google seems confident in their search results now and isn't going to releases some huge signal to muck it up. I'll walk slowly not run to make changes.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        I see this more as heads up than a "hey everybody run out and get a certificate in order to rank" Google seems confident in their search results now and isn't going to releases some huge signal to muck it up. I'll walk slowly not run to make changes.
        It was faith that I read the post. I was just about to launch a new site... She's got a big fat S now mounted on the hood. I'm probably 0.005% of the way to the top already.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by Kevin Maguire View Post

          She's got a big fat S now mounted on the hood. I'm probably 0.005% of the way to the top already.
          For moment there I thought you were going back to talking about your Valentine Day stories again
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  • Profile picture of the author linathinfotech
    Not yet as its still a new concept. When really google give ranks to all https websites. I think we should also move to https site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr los3
    So what is your take on this Yukon, are you using https?
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      I have used HTTPS only where needed, for example on the checkout process, or on pages with forms where users submit sensitive information. I, like most eCommerce store operators, have spent a lot of time insuring that the protocol gets used only on pages that fit that criteria, as it will have a significant effect on server load if used for all pages where encryption isn't necessary.

      Google's new policy seems to be at odds with their earlier policy of optimizing page load speed. Now, we have to slow all of our pages down with an unnecessary encryption of pages without sensitive data being transferred.

      I realize this is a response to the NSA snooping scandal, but I can't help but think that Google is exploiting the opportunity to expand their mission to act as an identity service. We must now verify our identity through a trusted 3rd party, or else get ignored in search results. Seems a bit heavy handed. It will help protect peoples privacy from everyone, except Google, who will have even more data about their users than ever before.

      That really bothers me because the top managers of Google's business have made it clear they are BIG supporters of all powerful big government as God. Statism has always led to massive abuse of power, and mass murder of citizens by their government. Not saying this is going to happen, just that it has always happened in the past, and I have no reason to think the same path will lead to a different result, isn't that the very definition of insanity?

      Anyway, the point is that the ramifications are huge, both in the scale and scope. This will cost website operators significant resources in both time and money, and while it may enhance privacy for some, at what price? Is it worth it? Is it wise to continue to consolidate power under a single entity? Just asking.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
        Originally Posted by dburk View Post

        I have used HTTPS only where needed, for example on the checkout process, or on pages with forms where users submit sensitive information. I, like most eCommerce store operators, have spent a lot of time insuring that the protocol gets used only on pages that fit that criteria, as it will have a significant effect on server load if used for all pages where encryption isn't necessary.

        Google's new policy seems to be at odds with their earlier policy of optimizing page load speed. Now, we have to slow all of our pages down with an unnecessary encryption of pages without sensitive data being transferred.

        I realize this is a response to the NSA snooping scandal, but I can't help but think that Google is exploiting the opportunity to expand their mission to act as an identity service. We must now verify our identity through a trusted 3rd party, or else get ignored in search results. Seems a bit heavy handed. It will help protect peoples privacy from everyone, except Google, who will have even more data about their users than ever before.

        That really bothers me because the top managers of Google's business have made it clear they are BIG supporters of all powerful big government as God. Statism has always led to massive abuse of power, and mass murder of citizens by their government. Not saying this is going to happen, just that it has always happened in the past, and I have no reason to think the same path will lead to a different result, isn't that the very definition of insanity?

        Anyway, the point is that the ramifications are huge, both in the scale and scope. This will cost website operators significant resources in both time and money, and while it may enhance privacy for some, at what price? Is it worth it? Is it wise to continue to consolidate power under a single entity? Just asking.
        If you can't beat them join them. The revolution will be televised.

        In the real world of business. You would have your site on a dedi or at least vps with dedi ip. If paying for decent hosting is the knifes edge of your business surviving, you're in the wrong business.

        Ram
        Bandwidth
        Storage

        It's all very cheap these days. About the price of a good dinner.
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        • Profile picture of the author dburk
          Originally Posted by Kevin Maguire View Post

          If you can't beat them join them. The revolution will be televised.

          In the real world of business. You would have your site on a dedi or at least vps with dedi ip. If paying for decent hosting is the knifes edge of your business surviving, you're in the wrong business.

          Ram
          Bandwidth
          Storage

          It's all very cheap these days. About the price of a good dinner.
          Hi Kevin,

          Yes, it is about the price of a good dinner with a good bottle of wine.

          For sites that are optimized for speed, it will require a wildcard SSL certificate to parallelize downloads using subdomains. The cheapest wildcard certificates start at around $100 and go up to $500 per domain. So, a single website that has been localized for 5 countries using CC domains, will require certificates that cost somewhere between $500 -$2500 in certificates, and that is for each website, I have a dozen different ecommerce websites so it will be in the $5000+ range to get all of my pages loading fast and still ranking in search.

          So lets say it is the price of dinner for 8 at a very nice restaurant with a few very nice bottles of wine.

          p.s. Does anyone know of a pure play in the stock market for a certificate issuer? Time to make some money.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Dr los3 View Post

      So what is your take on this Yukon, are you using https?
      No, I haven't changed anything, still running http pages.

      I'm interested to see where Google goes with this (https). That 1% of global queries just doesn't sound right to me, surely eCommerce is way bigger than 1% of the web.
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        No, I haven't changed anything, still running http pages.

        I'm interested to see where Google goes with this (https). That 1% of global queries just doesn't sound right to me, surely eCommerce is way bigger than 1% of the web.
        This isn't about secure checkout on eCommerce websites, nearly all ecommece sites already have SSL for checkout pages. They are pushing for all content on all websites to be served via SSL. Even eCommerce websites will need to redo their websites to serve all of their content via SSL, not just the checkout process.

        According to the their post on Webmaster Central Blog, the reason it is only effecting 1% is because they chose to implement it as a very lightweight signal at first and intend to strengthen it later.

        For now it's only a very lightweight signal -- affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content -- while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we'd like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
        They are delaying the full strength implementation to give webmasters some time to get their certificates installed and to convert all of their pages to secure protocol. How much time, they didn't say. From the way they are talking I get the impression that in a matter of months you will have to be serving secure pages to have any chance of getting those pages on the first page of search results.

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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I can tell you right now this is going to end up being a cluster %$@#.

    I'm not even sure that $9 SSL from Namecheap is worthwhile:

    [Google source]
    When setting up your certificate, ensure a high level of security by choosing a 2048-bit key. If you already have a certificate with a weaker key (1024-bit), upgrade it to 2048 bits.
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      What kind of information does that SSL certificate contain? Things like my name, address and that kind of things or other things that leave a footprint among multiple sites?

      The more shit they come up with, the harder it might also become to run a private blog network. First authorship, then SSL who knows what more...

      Soon if you're not active in circles or update your profile they start to tank you.

      Oh well let's see where this is heading.
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      • Profile picture of the author jeffreyhuan
        Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

        What kind of information does that SSL certificate contain? Things like my name, address and that kind of things or other things that leave a footprint among multiple sites?
        It varies according to what type of SSL certificate you are using.

        Some SSL certificates only verify domain name while others verify the company as well as domain name.

        A PositiveSSL is good enough for securing information website and low-volume e-commerce websites.

        https://www.namecheap.com/security/s...le-domain.aspx
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I can tell you right now this is going to end up being a cluster %$@#.

      I'm not even sure that $9 SSL from Namecheap is worthwhile:

      [Google source]

      It is just the key that needs to be 2048 bit. All new commercial certificates meet the 2048-bit key minimum, it only effects older certificates that were issued before the industry upped the standard. Which tells me that I should skip the multi-year discounts because the certificate might become worthless and need to be replaced long before the pre-paid period expires.
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  • Profile picture of the author Helena14
    1% is almost insignificant.
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  • Profile picture of the author Voxleaf
    If your website is already serving on HTTPS, you can test its security level and configuration with the Qualys Lab tool. If you are concerned about TLS and your site’s performance, have a look at Is TLS fast yet?. And of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to post in our Webmaster Help Forums.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Originally Posted by sandytuff View Post

    Google HTTPS will not negatively affect your page ranking this is just secure your website this is called Secure Socket Layer(SSL) .
    Hi sandytuff,

    Ok, but how does that apply to this thread? Did you even read the OP?

    The OP was about the decision by Google to start using HTTPS as a signal for ranking. Google explicitly says the opposite of what you seem to be asserting. How did you come to a different conclusion?. Please elaborate so that you may enlighten us to your reasoning.
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  • Profile picture of the author mkgg
    Read about it the other day, actually was emailed this by my domain registrar in hopes to sell me their package i guess considering they have nothing to do with seo and i was like meh, not gonna waste my money especially after the whole openssl heartbleed fiasco, i was glad i wasn't using SSL.

    Google can use it as a ranking signal all they want but all its going to achieve is skew the results in favor of SEOs who are trying to game their search engine because your average webmaster isn't going to bother with this if it isn't required for the functionality of their site and its going to be a loss of Google if they don't include them. I don't see a reason to use SSL for every website, unless you have big $$$ to have a fast server, all it does is slow your site the **** down when there is absolutely no need for it. That was the same thing with authorship where everyone and their mother started using it in hopes of getting ranked and look where that is now.

    Google's job is to show results relevant to the search you are performing, if they start enforcing stupid shit on people and disappear genuine good websites because they don't follow their stupid rules, well guess what its going to be Google's loss. A couple years back, i got sick of the spammy crap on google and i switched to bing and it was pretty good, i still had to use it because of the traffic it brought to my site but thats what i used it for back then. I eventually came back to it and started liking it because they improved the SERPs and i believe its the best search engine these days but anytime they **** that up, people are going to get sick of this shit, not the SEOs but the average users and i can tell you average user doesn't give a crap about SSL, they just want the info they are looking for whether it comes from a SSL site or a non-SSL one and apparently, your information is not secure even when a site uses SSL. Look at all the hacked information and passwords, they were on SSL secured domains.

    Thats just how i feel about it, of course that doesn't mean its going through the minds of every webmaster out there, in fact i think this news probably is going to make tons of $$$ for SSL companies out there, makes you wonder if google had gotten into bed with them...who the heck knows
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by mkgg View Post

      Read about it the other day, actually was emailed this by my domain registrar in hopes to sell me their package i guess considering they have nothing to do with seo and i was like meh, not gonna waste my money especially after the whole openssl heartbleed fiasco, i was glad i wasn't using SSL.

      Google can use it as a ranking signal all they want but all its going to achieve is skew the results in favor of SEOs who are trying to game their search engine because your average webmaster isn't going to bother with this if it isn't required for the functionality of their site and its going to be a loss of Google if they don't include them. I don't see a reason to use SSL for every website, unless you have big $$$ to have a fast server, all it does is slow your site the **** down when there is absolutely no need for it. That was the same thing with authorship where everyone and their mother started using it in hopes of getting ranked and look where that is now.

      Google's job is to show results relevant to the search you are performing, if they start enforcing stupid shit on people and disappear genuine good websites because they don't follow their stupid rules, well guess what its going to be Google's loss. A couple years back, i got sick of the spammy crap on google and i switched to bing and it was pretty good, i still had to use it because of the traffic it brought to my site but thats what i used it for back then. I eventually came back to it and started liking it because they improved the SERPs and i believe its the best search engine these days but anytime they **** that up, people are going to get sick of this shit, not the SEOs but the average users and i can tell you average user doesn't give a crap about SSL, they just want the info they are looking for whether it comes from a SSL site or a non-SSL one and apparently, your information is not secure even when a site uses SSL. Look at all the hacked information and passwords, they were on SSL secured domains.

      Thats just how i feel about it, of course that doesn't mean its going through the minds of every webmaster out there, in fact i think this news probably is going to make tons of $$$ for SSL companies out there, makes you wonder if google had gotten into bed with them...who the heck knows
      Hi mkgg

      I heard a lot of people share the same general sentiment about Google's introduction of Quality Scores in AdWords campaigns. A lot of people predicted that advertisers would leave in droves and that Google would eventually abandon it, as it was their primary source of income. Not only did Google not abandon it, they eventually doubled down making Quality Scores even tougher, which has driven away all but the very best advertisers. Now, Google's user trust ads more than they ever did and advertisers that are really good are converting more business than ever.

      You see, Google understood that while advertisers were their paying customers, it was their large user base that created the value for those paying customers. And more specifically, it was their users' "trust" in the quality of the ads that generated value for their paying customers. Google is very good at thinking strategically, to do things that people never believed they could pull off.

      You are right the "average user doesn't give a crap about SSL", just as the average user didn't know or care about AdWords Quality Scores. Users do care about quality of results and that I believe is the motive behind both the QS decision as well as the SSL decision.

      I think that Google believes using HTTPS as a ranking factor will help weed out low quality websites, and scam websites in particular, from the top range of the search results. Sure there will be plenty of webmasters that don't comply and they will stop receiving traffic from Google. In the end Google's search results will be more trustworthy than before and users will prefer using Google search even more than before. Ultimately it will be a win for everyone except those webmasters that are too cheap, or too lazy, to implement better security for Google users.
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      • Profile picture of the author mkgg
        Originally Posted by dburk View Post

        Hi mkgg

        I heard a lot of people share the same general sentiment about Google's introduction of Quality Scores in AdWords campaigns. A lot of people predicted that advertisers would leave in droves and that Google would eventually abandon it, as it was their primary source of income. Not only did Google not abandon it, they eventually doubled down making Quality Scores even tougher, which has driven away all but the very best advertisers. Now, Google's user trust ads more than they ever did and advertisers that are really good are converting more business than ever.

        You see, Google understood that while advertisers were their paying customers, it was their large user base that created the value for those paying customers. And more specifically, it was their users' "trust" in the quality of the ads that generated value for their paying customers. Google is very good at thinking strategically, to do things that people never believed they could pull off.

        You are right the "average user doesn't give a crap about SSL", just as the average user didn't know or care about AdWords Quality Scores. Users do care about quality of results and that I believe is the motive behind both the QS decision as well as the SSL decision.

        I think that Google believes using HTTPS as a ranking factor will help weed out low quality websites, and scam websites in particular, from the top range of the search results. Sure there will be plenty of webmasters that don't comply and they will stop receiving traffic from Google. In the end Google's search results will be more trustworthy than before and users will prefer using Google search even more than before. Ultimately it will be a win for everyone except those webmasters that are too cheap, or too lazy, to implement better security for Google users.
        You can't compare Adwords with https, those are completely different things. I have no experience whatsoever with adwords so can't say anything about that but far as https is concerned i don't think its going to be such a big issue. If its a ranking factor its probably going to be very minimal because what has https to do with quality of results ?

        If people can spend hundreds or even thousands on backlinks, why the hell won't they buy a cheap cert when google is telling them its a ranking factor.
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        • Profile picture of the author dburk
          Originally Posted by mkgg View Post

          You can't compare Adwords with https, those are completely different things. I have no experience whatsoever with adwords so can't say anything about that but far as https is concerned i don't think its going to be such a big issue. If its a ranking factor its probably going to be very minimal because what has https to do with quality of results ?

          If people can spend hundreds or even thousands on backlinks, why the hell won't they buy a cheap cert when google is telling them its a ranking factor.
          Hi mkgg,

          I wasn't comparing "AdWords with https", I agree they are completely different things. What I was comparing was Google's previous decision to implement a policy that most webmaster did not like, with this new policy that many webmasters also do not like. In both cases they were looking to improve the trust and confidence in making Google the preferred search engine for users.

          They were quite willing to walk away from advertisers that were spending big money, just so they could improve user experience. In this new decision, they are only upsetting webmasters that are not their customers, so it seems less likely, in my opinion that they will back off this decision.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonathanKrantz
    Hey guys!

    Did you know that you can get a FREE ssl certificate?

    https://www.startssl.com/

    I got one for myself, and it's 100% free!
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by JonathanKrantz View Post

      Hey guys!

      Did you know that you can get a FREE ssl certificate?

      https://www.startssl.com/

      I got one for myself, and it's 100% free!
      Hi JonathanKrantz,

      Have you tried it out?

      If I recall correctly, that certificate is for personal use only, It requires you to install a certificate in your browser to use it. Your website visitors may not be able to use it without first installing client certificate.

      Please let us know if you get it to work for all visitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonathanKrantz
    Yes I have tried it myself and it works without having to install anything in the browser. A nice green lock shows up on chrome by default.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebStatsO
    https only good for ecommerce websites or those who collect informations through registration. I dont see a point on spending 50$ or more just to have an https on your site if you dont need it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
    Wondering how big an effect this would play in long tail search. Where off-page (links) are more likely to be less of a ranking factor over on-site. The weight of a large e-com site already has an advantage, now having a + something for a security cert too has to play a big role.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Well, I got my first two emails promoting SSL certificates and how they will make my site rank better. Surprised it took a week for SSL sellers to jump on this. They are probably going to see their business skyrocket.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    I decided to get an SSL cert for my most profitable site (not an ecommerce site) because even if it increases traffic by .5% it's more than worth it. Moreover I suspect most of my competition won't bother which maybe gives me a slight advantage for the next while.

    It may have been a big waste of money, but it's worth the gamble... even if it's just for testing purposes. The cert should be fully installed by early next week.

    I went with digicert which is fairly expensive, but they offer high assurance ssl certs, and I figured if I'm going through the trouble, I might as well get a good cert.

    I only publish a few sites so ssl certs aren't a big deal, but I can see they'd be a real nuisance if you run dozens or hundreds of sites.

    If I see any pop in traffic over the next while outside of the norm in traffic growth, I'll add some updates.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hudson White
    I have also read recently that Google keyword rankings will be affected if you don't have secure website (ISHIR). So, in my opinion, HTTPs is generally used by ecommerce sites so for sites which are not offering products online will not go for secure website. I'm not understanding the concept of Google for forcing HTTPs on every website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ferzy
    I like to look at this as a way SEOs can improve their skills and not always complain about it. A lot of people say SEO is dead, nothing seems to be working, where look at this like something new that is working and is certified whitehat by google, even if its impact is low at the moment. A new tool to add to your arsenal, and i don't think a couple of bucks paid for a ssl is that big of a deal to pay.
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  • Profile picture of the author epicdubai
    As Https can effect only 1% so instead of its implementation working on other SEO activities is better unless your site is ecommerce website.
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    • Profile picture of the author A S M
      Originally Posted by epicdubai View Post

      As Https can effect only 1% so instead of its implementation working on other SEO activities is better unless your site is ecommerce website.
      I believe the 1% is just for testing purposes... as others have said, it's a heads up, coming soon to computers near you kinda thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author zerronet
    I'll prove it. I will not do anything bad and get as little to reassure our visits.
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  • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
    LOL... you guys got it all wrong.
    Instead of jumping when G. told us to jump, we're trying to second guess G, where as
    all we have to do is to ask G: how high we should jump?

    People, I surprised after all these years you still care what G. says or does... no really.



    fastreplies
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  • Profile picture of the author Larryfrank
    Hi Friend, I'm Larry Frank a young blogger and I wicsh you all can help me make my blog start ranking on search engine when I was using my blogspot domain name my blog was very visible on search engine but since I bought a domain name my blog traffic has refused to climed to usual. I blog at The Tech Evangelist! and its sameblog i want you to help me optimize it for search enging. Thanks wish to hear from you.
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  • Profile picture of the author martinwilson
    This is one of the best step taken by Google to improve user's security.

    Google cared about user's security and it wants a single web page should be protected with HTTPS.

    Every users must need to know how SSL works and how it protects website. SSL by Symantec - Learn How SSL Works | Symantec
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  • Profile picture of the author annavirk
    Https is used for security purpose, S stands for Security. If you are running a site which is related to e-commerce, financial, social networking or even if your site have a member login you should really switch to HTTPS.

    But if you're running a blog, brochure site, news site, or any information site in which users do not provide with any personal information, then I would recommend not using HTTPS.
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  • Profile picture of the author auminfotech
    If we do not convert our sites to https, will Google not include our sites in organic search?
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  • This was after Google's announcement of the new Algorithm signal, I'm assuming? You plan on testing across multiple domains or is this your one guinea pig?
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  • Profile picture of the author sidmatthew
    So, now we must have to convert our website into HTTPS to get high ranking in Google search engine.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by sidmatthew View Post

      So, now we must have to convert our website into HTTPS to get high ranking in Google search engine.
      No. All indications from Google are that it is a very minor ranking factor.
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  • Profile picture of the author st0nec0ld
    Even if it gives a ranking signal a site will only get a very very small percentage on this. Some might say it is better than nothing but is it really worth it or is it really necessary??
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  • Profile picture of the author riyazalam
    Originally Posted by jeffreyhuan View Post

    Just read this from Google Webmaster Central Blog.

    Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: HTTPS as a ranking signal

    Google is now starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. According to Google, it is only a very lightweight signal affecting fewer than 1% of global queries.

    Have you adopted HTTPS on your website? If not, will you adopt HTTPS since then?
    I do not think that this is logical. majority of the websites are on http if every one have to shifted in https then it will be a big headache
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    • Profile picture of the author andrewm
      Just came across this post by one of the leading certificate authority call digicert. Because of them being a certificate authority, I think they know what they are saying. Or this may be just another post by them to get persons to purchase their certificates.

      I think this post by Digicert gives a really clear understanding on SSL and what kind of certificate to purchase if you intend to do what Google says. At least Google did say the it only affects about 1% for now. At least if the percentage goes up, we would know what to do.

      Moderator, I hope I can post this link here.

      https://www.digicert.com/which-ssl-c...king-boost.htm

      Regards
      Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    I just completed installing an SSL certificate on one of my existing sites. Time will tell if it's been worth it.

    I purchased from Digicert. Their support is excellent. It's a high assurance certificate. I have no idea if spending more on an SSL certificate is worth it... so in an abundance of caution, I chose to get the high assurance certificate.

    It's not an easy process when adding it to an existing site.

    ISSUES I ENCOUNTERED:

    The main issue is ensuring every item on every page is secure. Items and issues were:
    • Image source URLs
    • Plugin URLs
    • Social Sharing - all of my Facebook like/shares count volume reset to zero.
    • AWeber forms: AWeber doesn't provide a secure form, so you need to change it to https in the raw html code. It worked for me, but apparently doesn't always work.
    • Display ads: Adsense transitions perfectly; however, I needed different ad code for Media.net. One advertiser didn't offer secure ad code, so I had to drop it. That's going to be a bit of a cost, but I'm looking for a replacement. Fortunately, it was my lowest earner, sot it's not a big loss. I just hope potential traffic increases make up for it.
    • Related Posts (I used Shareaholic) are not secure. I had to remove it. I may use AddThis which offers a secure related posts widget.
    • Site load speed: Slightly slower.

    My hosting service was helpful installing it and ultimately redirecting http to https. However, I had to locate all unsecure items on all pages and make them secure.

    I ended up hiring WPCurve.com who were tremendously helpful and made every page secure.

    CHECKING FOR UNSECURE ITEMS:

    At first I used http://www.whynopadlock.com/; however, it wasn't terribly accurate for me. It said my pages were secure when they were not.

    A much better approach to checking a URL for unsecure items is when on the URL, press CTRL/SHFT/J - this will display all unsecure items on that url.

    TOTAL COST TO DATE:
    • Digicert SSL certificate: $175/year
    • WPCurve.com: $69
    • Lost ad revenue from lost ad source: $240/month (however, I hope to find a replacement)

    The lost ad revenue was unexpected, but I decided to proceed anyway because I suspect the SSL cert will grow in Google search algo importance.
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  • Profile picture of the author Samker
    I don't plan to use HTTPS on my site in the near future... /-:
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  • Profile picture of the author godabhi
    I think content based sites are safe for now as most of them don't have https so Google has no option.. However, to present more security on web Google trying to make more site Https so that they can easily fight with Spam over Internet or SERP..
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  • Profile picture of the author Athithya
    Google advice for HTTPs for secure the website. Consider a case, if two websites have same weight-age ,then google look for https website and rank them top. I like it is better to convert to https to secure the website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danarchism
    Hi

    I think certainly makes sense for new sites, why not just get it done now before having to do in the future

    I also think all other things being equal (for 2x similar sites) and G's looking for something to prejudice one over the other having HTTPS compared to not having it may be a deciding factor as to which outranks the other. Similarly a site with Enhanced Validation Cert may well be considered more highly than one with a lesser certificate for things like ecommerce sites etc.

    Does anybody know if theres any particular benefit to having multi domain certs over individual ones ? I see some companies offer Multi Domain certs much cheaper than buying individually but i have heard that you should really get one per domain and not multi domain, can anyone else concur ?

    All Best
    Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author TygraOlympia
    I've implemented it onto my site just because I like being in favor of Google. But i haven't seen any changes as you'll notice from my current thread about my website issues.
    Also, i don't think its really necessary since i don't have a shopping cart option.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    UPDATE:

    I've had my SSL cert installed for about 1 week. I've had a bit of an increase in traffic, but it's impossible to know whether the SSL cert is the cause. My traffic has been increasing steadily for months.

    ONE BIG PROBLEM WITH SSL CERTS

    I've now had 2 ad networks whose banner ads are not secure. I've removed those ads because there are other options and these ads were not huge earners... but it is a cost.

    One of the ad networks is Amazon's new CPM ad network, which really surprised me that they don't offer a secure option (they confirmed it via live chat). I've requested that they do offer a secure, option, but because it's new, I'm sure that feature will be a long time coming. It's too bad because it pays on CPM basis and I earned decently for the few days I had those ads on my site.

    Because I really want to see how the SSL cert performs in the long run, I've decided to stick with it and keep non-secure ads off the site.
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    • Profile picture of the author anonymous99
      How has your traffic been after 3 months?

      Originally Posted by jgant View Post

      UPDATE:

      I've had my SSL cert installed for about 1 week. I've had a bit of an increase in traffic, but it's impossible to know whether the SSL cert is the cause. My traffic has been increasing steadily for months.

      ONE BIG PROBLEM WITH SSL CERTS

      I've now had 2 ad networks whose banner ads are not secure. I've removed those ads because there are other options and these ads were not huge earners... but it is a cost.

      One of the ad networks is Amazon's new CPM ad network, which really surprised me that they don't offer a secure option (they confirmed it via live chat). I've requested that they do offer a secure, option, but because it's new, I'm sure that feature will be a long time coming. It's too bad because it pays on CPM basis and I earned decently for the few days I had those ads on my site.

      Because I really want to see how the SSL cert performs in the long run, I've decided to stick with it and keep non-secure ads off the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author imabigboy
    I think that Google believes using HTTPS as a ranking factor will help weed out low quality websites, and scam websites in particular, from the top range of the search results. Sure there will be plenty of webmasters that don't comply and they will stop receiving traffic from Google. In the end Google's search results will be more trustworthy than before and users will prefer using Google search even more than before. Ultimately it will be a win for everyone except those webmasters that are too cheap, or too lazy, to implement better security for Google users.
    Agree with this. My opinion is that this is just another trust signal for Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author dlinq
    There real is not reason for a site that is content based to have https. This should only be for sites that require personal info registration and a check out process ie shopping cart.
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  • Profile picture of the author hostking
    I work for a web hosting company and my manager stated we need to make this change to https. Do you really think it's necessary and will our backlinks we have to our site be irrelevant. Should we update some of our backlinks we can to https instead?

    Thanks for any help
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  • Profile picture of the author melvinsh
    Does Godaddy offer them? Or does it have to be where your host is?
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    • Profile picture of the author jgant
      Originally Posted by melvinsh View Post

      Does Godaddy offer them? Or does it have to be where your host is?
      GoDaddy sells them. Buy it and then get installed on your site. Your hosting company should assist.
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  • Profile picture of the author RadiantDarkness
    Originally Posted by jeffreyhuan View Post

    Just read this from Google Webmaster Central Blog.

    Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: HTTPS as a ranking signal

    Google is now starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. According to Google, it is only a very lightweight signal affecting fewer than 1% of global queries.

    Have you adopted HTTPS on your website? If not, will you adopt HTTPS since then?
    HTTPS has been a ranking signal for years... That's why so many of my sites have had it... for years.

    Now will adding HTTPS give you the magic bullet in ranking? Absolutely NOT. Though it will give your site more security as well as give anyone interested in purchasing or opting in a little more peace knowing you have a secure site.

    -RD
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by RadiantDarkness View Post

      Though it will give your site more security as well as give anyone interested in purchasing or opting in a little more peace knowing you have a secure site.
      I seriously doubt the average person shopping online has a clue what https is, or even notices the URL.
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      • Profile picture of the author RadiantDarkness
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        I seriously doubt the average person shopping online has a clue what https is, or even notices the URL.
        You're right... But for the price when I put my credit card into a website it better have shiny lock in the toolbar...

        You're not always marketing to the uneducated.. Might as well close up any fear or doubts.
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  • Profile picture of the author bcpdesign
    Well this is an oxymoron and rather silly - because enabling an SSL site wide will make your site slower, and hurt site speed, basically perhaps canceling out the increased factor with HTTPS
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  • Profile picture of the author Glenn Rodgers
    HTTPS is not a jackpot for SEO guys if this is true so those people who wanna rank well their older website which they has been trying their best to get top rank their website but failed so when they just set up their website's URL in HTTPS so do you thing that their website will get top rank magically no this is not a scene. HTTPS is just informing signal for the visitor is that this is website is secure and safe for the visit and interaction and creating account.
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  • Profile picture of the author DipeshTimilsina
    Even 1% can affect heavily in my opinion!
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  • Profile picture of the author ilgod
    1% is almost insignificant.
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  • Profile picture of the author OutSourCed
    Matt Cutts has a video where he talks about this and kinda sorta seems to relate that it "might" be okay. Even he doesn't know...

    It's not. Secure socket your pay page only.
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  • Profile picture of the author kishoreseo
    Is it worthy going to HTTPS for service based websites?
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  • Profile picture of the author Val22
    Please learn from my lesson.
    Sequel to the August release of the information by Google on using HTTPS as a ranking factor, i quickly purchased and installed Quick SSL on my site.
    The purchase and redirects went smoothly and everything was perfectly done.
    Now the SEO results:
    First, my whole site disappeared from Google index and resulted in 0% traffic from Google for a few days until i decided to submit the HTTPS version of the site via Webmaster tools.
    After indexing my HTTPS site, the end result was a 60% drop in traffic.
    Please bear in mind that your traffic would definitely be reduced if not totally lost after you migrate to SSL.
    I have now removed the SSL from my site because the site traffic is the most important thing why i created the site in the first place.
    Today, everything is back to normal including my traffic showing that the original implementation of SSL on the site was the main issue.

    Google will never tell you this, so be careful on your choice. (Site in question: Valforex.com)
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by Val22 View Post

      Please learn from my lesson.
      Sequel to the August release of the information by Google on using HTTPS as a ranking factor, i quickly purchased and installed Quick SSL on my site.
      The purchase and redirects went smoothly and everything was perfectly done.
      Now the SEO results:
      First, my whole site disappeared from Google index and resulted in 0% traffic from Google for a few days until i decided to submit the HTTPS version of the site via Webmaster tools.
      After indexing my HTTPS site, the end result was a 60% drop in traffic.
      Please bear in mind that your traffic would definitely be reduced if not totally lost after you migrate to SSL.
      I have now removed the SSL from my site because the site traffic is the most important thing why i created the site in the first place.
      Today, everything is back to normal including my traffic showing that the original implementation of SSL on the site was the main issue.

      Google will never tell you this, so be careful on your choice. (Site in question: Valforex.com)
      Hi Val22,

      I agree that we should all learn from your experience, but the question remains: "What we should take away from your lesson? What caused your implementation to fail? Was it an improper implementation? Since you left out some important details in your post, we must consider the possibility of errors in the implementation.

      Did you update the canonical meta-tag on all of your pages? Did you verify the canonical was updated properly in Webmaster tools? Did you implement a proper 301 redirect for all of your pages? Did you test each and every redirect to make sure the HTTP headers were properly formatted to be SEO friendly?

      Were internal links updated? What was the change in page load speed times? Did all SSI scripts work properly in Secure mode? How about scripts and other resources link from external sources, were all of them updated to secure protocol, and did you verify they functioned properly and loaded quickly?

      While you say "everything was perfectly done", I have no reason to doubt that, except that you did not post any details about the efforts and precautions you took to verify that it was all "perfectly" done. From the way your wrote your post it sounds like you never even question if you had made a mistake that went unnoticed. I read nothing in your post where you verified that all the new URLs were properly indexed and that the canonical URLs were specified and verified to be accurate within Google WMT.

      What was the time span of your test? Did results change over time? Did you gradually build back to 60% of original traffic, or was it a sudden return of traffic to 60%. Those details might be enlightening as well.

      There are many things that could account for the results you experienced that have to do with implementation. Can you please enlighten us on those items so that we can better judge the validity and the efficacy of your test?

      Also, I'd like to point out that Google indicated the weighting of this signal would be small in the beginning, to give webmasters time to migrate, so any benefit you would see at this point would be very slight, but as Google strengthens this signal over time it should become much more noticeable in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author hbhanot
    This is serious stuff if you are really serious about your online presence. Google want people to use their search Engine with security and no fraud one snatch details of their users. They want to take care of their Searchers from whom they make billions daily.

    We use https or not it does not matter to Google but if Google find the same content under https domain searched by the their SE user they will put it in front. Its as simple as that. Your opinion don't matter but lets face the reality.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by hbhanot View Post

      This is serious stuff if you are really serious about your online presence. Google want people to use their search Engine with security and no fraud one snatch details of their users. They want to take care of their Searchers from whom they make billions daily.

      We use https or not it does not matter to Google but if Google find the same content under https domain searched by the their SE user they will put it in front. Its as simple as that. Your opinion don't matter but lets face the reality.
      How is it serious stuff considering Google has been online since 1997 & only went to https about 2 years ago?

      Google wasn't serious for 10+ years?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ducce
    Originally Posted by jeffreyhuan View Post

    Just read this from Google Webmaster Central Blog.

    Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: HTTPS as a ranking signal

    Google is now starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. According to Google, it is only a very lightweight signal affecting fewer than 1% of global queries.

    Have you adopted HTTPS on your website? If not, will you adopt HTTPS since then?
    I did but not for google, but for my users safety. DonĀ“t care much of google tricks to keeps us busy, but Do care of user loyalty and trust. SSL is so cheap these days and easy to implement ...
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  • Profile picture of the author namlth
    [DELETED]
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