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Theory on https

     
8:20 pm on Oct 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Strange...I am seeing many http sites above the https on allot of keywords in my own personal searches not related to my website. It crossed my mind that maybe by going https our sites are "re-evaluated" The question is: why force us to move to https? why would content only sites need to be https? Is there something else?

Does it just take your domain and "evalute" your site? Maybe moving the site into another Google algorithm specifically for https sites, that mixes with the https algorithm? mobile https, mobile http and so on. Afterall, there are many many Google algorithms but I am seeing http at the top of my personal searches most of the time. ohhh and the huffpost and other large media companies always in top 5.
3:54 pm on Oct 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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HTTPS matters to me, as a user, for two main reasons.

1) I dislike my ISP (or WLAN operator if out) knowing what I'm browsing
2) I prefer knowing the site I'm seeing has not been tampered with by the above

On #2, that covers anything from deleting content, to injecting advertising, to injecting malicious code.

Especially after the KRACK exploit, everyone should consider SSL to be a key priority for personal use.
8:57 am on Oct 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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There's an ongoing & informative discussion regarding server response headers that strengthen security after you've made the switch:

HTTPS Security Headers [webmasterworld.com]
12:32 pm on Oct 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The initial announcement in 2014 stated that https is a lightweight ranking signal. As you can plainly see, https continues to be a lightweight ranking signal.

HTTPS as a ranking signal
https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html [webmasters.googleblog.com]

I think it makes sense to keep it a lightweight signal. Don't you agree there are more important signals?
6:11 pm on Oct 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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lightweight signal
Currently, we don't know how singular it is applied. Is it a rank factor when combined with other factors in multiple combinations, or just once if it is present or not.

I think HTTPS and other security measures will become stronger rank metrics as technology progresses.

As outlined in the above linked discussion about Security Headers, HTTPS is not the end of the story. It's just the *start* of things we need to do as webmasters to keep our web properties safe for our users.
9:31 pm on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think as far as ranking metrics go, this one falls under user experience, like anything to do with ad heaviness or speed. So if all else is equal with another site, this could tip it in it's favor.

But how often are two sites in such close contention in terms of inbound links, reviews and other factors that it constitutes a tie? I've heard the phrase "tie breaker" ranking factor and it just doesn't seem plausible that two or more sites would accumulate similar ranking factors where both are equal or near equal.

I'd love to hear an answer about that from a Google engineer.
11:37 pm on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think it makes sense to keep it a lightweight signal. Don't you agree there are more important signals?

As with most things, it depends. I could see the lack of https being almost a dealbreaker for a banking site, but of little or no importance for an information site.
12:02 am on Nov 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I could see the lack of https being almost a dealbreaker for a banking site, but of little or no importance for an information site.

HTTPS protects the integrity of your website
HTTPS protects the privacy and security of your users
HTTPS is the future of the web
Why HTTPS Matters [developers.google.com]
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