The idea that making a website HTTPS improves the site’s ranking in Google has proved to cause much controversy. There are many articles on the web that say Google boosts SSL-encrypted sites in search results. However, there are just as many studies that show that it doesn’t. So does it or doesn’t it?

We are going to look at both points of view so you can decide which side you want to take.

HTTPS DOES boost rankings

Google have recently announced that they were going to reward sites with a secure setting – sites that had HTTPS as opposed to just HTTP in the URLS. They say the reason for this sudden announcement and algorithm change is purely to make sure the web is a safe place and to produce the safest sites in results for users.

Google will analyse each page individually so you may find that your HTTPS pages within your site suddenly receive a boost in search results. Google say: “Every company wants to rank favourably on Google, so it’s in their best interest to ensure web pages are encrypted.”

HTTPS DOES NOT boost rankings

Search Engine Watch published an article at the beginning of the month that had detailed analysis to show that HTTPS does not impact rankings. Searchmetrics looked at the average rankings of both HTTP and HTTPS sites and “calculated the cumulative SEO visibilities and compared the two curves with each other over time.”

The results they got are shown in the graph below. They noticed a significant spike in the HTTPS sites around June 2014 however they said that “a handful of domains or individual directories, respectively, were responsible for these outliers.”

HTTPS Graph

As you can see from the graph, HTTPS sites have not stormed above HTTP sites. We believe this is because Google still recognises quality content over whether the site is secure or not.

What is your opinion? Have you noticed higher search results of HTTPS sites? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @BritWebLtd.

Posted in SEO.

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