but why would a blog, for instance, need a ssl certificate? Sorry if i sound ignorant
Zerillos, bear in mind that I was just thinking out loud....trying to identify all the possible signs of trust that could be used. If you glance through Microsoft's credibility study, you will see one of their factors is "Reputed Credibility". They use the words "certifications" and "awards".
An SSL cert is only one type of certification (useless for non-SSL pages and non-commerce sites, so for a blog it may not even matter). Having said that, I do see some well-ranking e-commerce sites that apparently have SSL installed but utilize only http urls. They went out and got an SSL Certificate and placed the seals on all of their unsecured pages. It is a certification, so it *could* count as a credibility factor (especially to the end user who may not know the difference -- they just see the seal and feel more comfortable).
This type of certification might benefit a site pegged as an e-commerce site the most. I happen to force all https requests to http in my htaccess, but I do have SSL installed. So I could generate the code and get an SSL certificate for all of my pages. I honestly doubt it would help me given that Googlebot can detect that the pages are not https, but I can't confirm or refute that.
I'm really not sure how much all of this plays into Panda, but given that they surveyed users, I must say that I feel like *some* sort of credibility indicators that may have been common among all of the best-reviewed sites could be sought by the algorithm.
[edited by: crobb305 at 11:54 pm (utc) on Mar 30, 2011]