Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.161.3.108

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & andy langton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google To Give Secure HTTPS Sites A Ranking Boost

     
6:06 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 11, 2000
posts:11481
votes: 208


Just announced. Google's official blog post apparently hasn't gone live yet....

Google Starts Giving A Ranking Boost To Secure HTTPS/SSL Sites
Aug 7, 2014 at 12:45am ET by Barry Schwartz
[searchengineland.com...]

Google has announced... that going HTTPS -- adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site -- will give you a minor ranking boost.

Google says this gives websites a small ranking benefit, only counting as a "very lightweight signal" within the overall ranking algorithm.... Google says it has an impact on "fewer than 1% of global queries" but said they "may decide to strengthen" the signal because they want to "encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web."

Google has tested this and is reported to like what it sees. As I read the incomplete information currently available, using HTTPS is probably scored as a Panda-like quality signal. Not yet clear about why it should affect some queries and not others.

Two items that jumped out at me, among others, in Google's list of recommendations, that will likely need further discussion....

- Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
- Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains

I anticipate that this change is going to raise many questions in the community.
6:56 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 25, 2005
posts:1112
votes: 104


I anticipate that this change is going to raise many questions in the community.

And a lot of cash for certificate authorities. This'll be another craze like site speed. It's manipulation of the webmaster community, and I don't believe it's fair to judge every site based on HTTP vs HTTPS. People will be buying certificates just because it might help a teeny-tiny bit, when in fact their site does not warrant a secure connection.

The recommendation to use "protocol relative URLs for all other domains" is not necessarily good practice. Not all "other domains" support HTTPS, so linking to an unsecure www.example.com from a secure site as <a href="//www.example.com">Example.com</a> is going to break that link.
7:16 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

joined:Apr 14, 2010
posts:3169
votes: 0


- I have a couple of static html sites that really don't require https, will these gain rankings benefits from having https anyway?

- If I convert a site from http to https do I risk actually hurting my rankings with the new and slightly different urls? Switching from www to non-www and vice versa doesn't always work out so well!

- How about switching to all relative internal urls, or vice versa? Is the risk to current rankings worth the benefit of adding https?

In my opinion you should get secure if it makes sense for your site, Google rankings alone are not a good reason to make such a change.
7:45 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 11, 2000
posts:11481
votes: 208


Here's Google's official announcement...

HTTPS as a ranking signal
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

It says essentially what Barry's article reports.
8:39 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 6, 2003
posts:1145
votes: 23


My site is informative only, no login or personal/sensitive information, so why the hell do I need to use SSL?

I also use CDN for static resources, so more problems for SSL :(
9:04 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from LK 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts:2501
votes: 30


It makes sense for some sites, but is completely unnecessary for others, and as long as WIndows XP is around it will exacerbate the shortage of IP4 addresses.
9:14 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Dec 7, 2009
posts: 57
votes: 0


Mentat, I'm in the same situation.
I run some informative websites with no registration, no sensitive data, just a useless contact form.. Why should HTTPS be necessary?!?
9:29 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 11, 2000
posts:11481
votes: 208


They said it's going to affect less than 1% of global queries, so obviously they're not anticipating it would be applicable everywhere.

I'm wondering why they'd see an entire site in HTTPS as desirable. Also, though, I'm thinking that sites in https would prevent certain services some of us now use from collecting toolbar data.

I can see a lot of advantages, though, to things like https email.
9:37 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2013
posts:388
votes: 0


Umm, hasn't Google just become a domain registrar? Do they per chance also do the 2048 bit certificates they now recommend?

What sorts of costs would a 2048 bit certificate cost for a single and multiple sites? Don't you also have to have a dedicated ip for a certificate? I don't know much about this area...

One things for sure, SEO just got more expensive!
10:16 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from LK 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts:2501
votes: 30


Not much more expensive: you can get free (and very cheap) certificates.

You need a dedicated IP if you want to support IE on Windows XP, otherwise you do not.
10:38 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2013
posts:388
votes: 0


graeme_p are they the 2048 bit certificate Google specifies though? Could you share a link to low cost 2048 bit certificates? im sure it would be helpful for many here (me 2)
1:32 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2013
posts:388
votes: 0


I wonder if this has ANYTHING to do with fighting spam? Surely spammers wont buy certificates for their churn and burn sites?

Links from non https sites could be trusted less also in future algo updates?
1:34 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Dec 19, 2007
posts: 404
votes: 0


how does this work? you have to redirect all existing links to the https? do you run http and https alongside each other?
1:50 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2013
posts:388
votes: 0


use htaccess or 301 every individual page from http to https counterpart! Very easy from a server side programming point of view if youíre a developer using PHP/ASP/ECT. I can see this will prove difficult for the wordpressers and bloggers who arenít technically minded!

A hell of allot of work for the guys who run static sites with no server side coding, but it might push these older webmasters to join the year 2000+ and get a proper CMS put in place! After careful thought this is a good move by Google IMO and will push the web forward!
1:57 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 28, 2004
posts:3160
votes: 4


Anyone else find it interesting that Google started offering 2048 bit encryption late last year?
2:10 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 26, 2013
posts:454
votes: 69


In my opinion, Google is laying the groundwork to make money selling security certificates. It was not that long ago that Google began issuing invites for their domain registration service. See [seroundtable.com...] for additional information. Most of the bigger registrars offer SSL certificates as an upsell (Godaddy, Verisign, etc.).

I think Google sees some money at the end of the road with this move and is using their dominance in search to push a standard that makes them some billions.
2:35 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2602
votes: 363


If you were writing a news story about this, your headline could read "99% of Google search queries will be unaffected by HTTPS ranking boost."

In the overall scheme of things, it's not a big deal. Not yet, anyway. Down the line? Maybe.
2:39 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Oct 20, 2013
posts:67
votes: 0


great now I can buy all my ugg boots safely all because its https :)

Google could have made this all up and https doesn't give any boost whatsoever... and like other are saying using their power to make more money.
3:16 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 23, 2002
posts:585
votes: 0


Surely spammers wont buy certificates for their churn and burn sites?


It's all about ROI. If it's there they will buy the certs. A quick search for 'cheap ssl' shows that it's really not that expensive. It's just inflation.
3:26 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 6, 2006
posts: 1157
votes: 32


It's all about ROI. If it's there they will buy the certs. A quick search for 'cheap ssl' shows that it's really not that expensive. It's just inflation.


Ah, but will there be different levels? It would make sense. A certificate given by a trusted authority which investigated a company's bona fides could send a strong quality signal. At around £1000 a year with VAT it would cripple a lot of small sites though. Do we pay up? For some sites, definitely.
3:31 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 26, 2013
posts:454
votes: 69


If you were writing a news story about this, your headline could read "99% of Google search queries will be unaffected by HTTPS ranking boost."

Some of the headlines coming out put a different spin on things and will influence webmasters, SEOs and their clients differently. For example, PC World reports "Google Search starts penalizing websites that don't use encryption."

Although it may not be a big deal, whenever Google announces something it is a big deal because of their influence in the ecommerce industry. The hysteria is the direct result of their dominance.
3:49 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2013
posts:388
votes: 0


In my opinion, Google is laying the groundwork to make money selling security certificates.


Piffle, next you will be saying google used authorship in an attempt to salvage their dying social platform ;)

Seriously though I can see this being used as another BRAND signal! They say it's only a small ranking boost now but also say this maybe increased! Expensive certificates like the ones the big companies used could obviously be used as a clear signal between a company with money and a spammy site! I guess privacy is now king? ;)

A downer to consider, there go all them hard earned Facebook likes on the counter :(

I suggest people will want to get in this ASAP to start building up them social counts again, the longer you wait the more you will lose when you do switch over! And you will if you see someone with https a outrank you, let's be honest!
4:00 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2013
posts:388
votes: 0


Something else to consider, can your server handle a 2048-bit certificate? (I would think most of us use decent servers?)
4:03 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:2875
votes: 163


Google To Give Secure HTTPS Sites A Ranking Boost

Is there any reason to think that this will improve Google's overall search results?

What if a lot of big-time spammers start using https, but owners of most quality sites don't? Wouldn't this actually make the search results worse?
4:30 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:12880
votes: 191


Google is laying the groundwork to make money selling security certificates.


It's all about ROI.


No. It's about ad targeting, and who gets to profile you, and who doesn't. Mark my words.
5:01 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2005
posts: 335
votes: 5


SSL certificate providers are salivating. They are gonna be stinking rich.

btw, this boost is likely trivial. we're talking it might increase your rank by .01 percent.

All google needs to do is make this announcement and people will switch even if it doesn't really help
6:00 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:12880
votes: 191


Surely spammers wont buy certificates for their churn and burn sites?


My host charges like $19/year for a 2048-bit certificate. They only sell to their hosting customers, however, and there is also a slight additional charge for a dedicated IP number. I have a bunch of sites, but it'd still only add up to a few hundred bucks. It's more the nuisance factor; all my clients are already in all-SSL, but never saw the use of putting my event sites into it, and if I decide to go that way it'll be a lot of work.
6:01 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 11, 2003
posts:255
votes: 0


How would this affect webmasters using CDN?
6:03 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:12880
votes: 191


Depends on the CDN. Best ask them.
8:44 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 25, 2005
posts:1112
votes: 104


And/or have a look at: [istlsfastyet.com...]

SSL can either slow down or speed up a site, depending mostly on technical ability and the properties of the hosting platform (i.e. are you able to implement SPDY, OCSP stapling, session tickets, etc). In the end, with HTTP 2.0 coming, it's definitely the future, and we should probably celebrate that, but this announcement from Google is too summarily.
This 190 message thread spans 7 pages: 190