Welcome to this week's WebmasterWorld Weekly Round-up.
Some of the latest news out of Google is sending some webmasters into a quandary: It's about Google starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. Some webmasters are more cynical and feel it's a ruse for Google to sell more and make more $$. That's just speculation, and unlikely to hold much water.
Let's look at the facts. Fewer than 1 percent of global queries are likely to be affected, so it's such a small factor, and unlikely to boost a site to any real extent. Additionally, certificates are relatively cheap and I doubt it would make a great deal of difference to Google.
The ranking boost would only affect pages with SSL on them, such as ecommerce site checkout pages being likely candidates. Really, the whole site needs to be switched to HTTPS, de-indexing the HTTP and re-indexing HTTPS.
What we really don't know is whether Google will slowly increase the weighting of HTTPS over time?
Aside from the ranking signal, which as I said is small, should you switch over? It's certainly worth considering, and you can find out more in our threads on the topic.
As I mentioned last week, it's in the middle of holiday time so our updates are slightly shorter right now.
Let's take a look at a few of our hot discussions and news topics for the week.
The previous WebmasterWorld Weekly is here.
Let's start off with that news of Google using HTTPS as a ranking signal. Google said, "We've seen positive results, so we're starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal." Have you set up your site yet, and what are your results so far?
There's been some apparent movement in Google's SERPs in the last few days and here's this months latest monthly look at the changes.
In the European equivalent of a "class action lawsuit," Facebook is being challenged over privacy by 25,000 users. Part of the argument is that if a US company wants to do business in Europe it should abide by European laws. This is early days on this one.
At last, there's some control for Google News publishers with the news that the company has released a News Publisher Center. It's only currently available to US publishers, but it's a step in the right direction.
Pinterest made a further step to become a social network by announcing it's adding messaging and conversation about pins.
News of security vulnerability in WordPress and Drupal broke this week, and users should ensure that all patches are in place to avoid problems. Find out more in our thread, "Denial of Service Security Vulnerability in WordPress, Drupal"
In what seems to be one of the largest hauls of of it's kind, a crime ring had harvested via botnets and malware more than 1.2 billion usernames and passwords. According to researchers, the list is confirmed as real. "Crime Ring Amasses 1.2 Billion Usernames and Passwords Via Botnet"
You've heard of cryptolocker, right? If you're unfortunate to have been hit by it, or know someone that has, there's news that an unlock code is available for free. "Users Hit By Cryptolocker Can Now Get an Unlock Code For Free"
The EU's "Right to be Forgotten is still causing angst. "Wikipedia Describes EU's "Right to be Forgotten" as "Memory Holes" I'm in agreement, and these EU rules are crazy, imho.
This news report begs the question over security of virtual currencies. "$83,000 Virtual Cash Stolen Through Net Traffic Hijack" What's your experience of using virtual currencies, and is it secure?
Google has uprated the Shipping Tool in Merchant Center to help resolve some of the issues around price differentiation. "Google AdWords New Shipping Configuration Tool" This is going to be very helpful, and should mean fewer abandoned carts.
This story caught my eye and might be another negative aspect for Google+, "Report: Google Planning To Separate Photo Service From Google+" Another nail in it's coffin? I'm not sure it is, but it's certainly no longer the lock-down it used to be.
Thank you for joining the conversations, until next time...
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