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https Could Be A Tie Breaker in SERPs

     
7:26 pm on Jun 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google's Gary Illyes indicates that https could be a tie breaker in the SERPs.

In other words, having https could give a site the edge over http site.

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9:20 pm on June 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This was "supposed" to be the case since one or two years.
9:48 pm on June 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I don't suppose he indicated what proportion of their current index is taken up with bona fide ties for all searche(r)s, all the time. Sure, all things being equal ... but as reasons for HTTPS go, that's a pretty silly one.

:: counting the months until I run out of excuses not to HTTPS the last site that isn't already ::
3:12 am on June 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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could be


At the moment this is a to-MAY-to to-MAH-to kind of thing ... until g ACTUALLY COMES OUT AND REVEALS FOR A FACT that HTTPS is their preferred, game continues as normal. "could be" is a what if.

Sorry ... it is things like this that are designed to "scare folks to go that way" kind of thing and have no fact or evidence.

(Still trying to figure out why my logs have HTTP/1.0 in them)

Serps are all over the place these days ... what few organic are still there after g takes over the top nine and wikipedia is in there (ten?) and an answer box, too?
6:21 am on June 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Still trying to figure out why my logs have HTTP/1.0 in them

Bots?
6:51 am on June 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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A surprising number of law-abiding robots still use HTTP/1.0. No major search engines, sure, but some perfectly respectable operators.

:: quick look at logs ::

Heh. Mail.RU--which I guess counts as a minor search engine--still uses 1.0 sporadically, intermixed with 1.1. Various others are consistently 1.0.
11:13 am on June 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The problem is that , SEO (self proclaimed) "experts" , believe that, if you are HTTPS, you can outrank anyone else, just for this reason ...
11:50 am on June 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just putting a perspective on this, he's saying, from an internal point of view, if google's algo finds two sites with exactly the same ranking, the signals from https will tip the balance.
2:32 pm on June 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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All six of my sites are still http. There are a lot of old http sites still doing well in the rankings. What are the chances of a "exact tie"? Or maybe they mean "almost a tie". Whatever. I'll probably change some of my sites to https eventually, but am not in any hurry.
5:15 pm on June 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In sifting through the words of Googlers over the years I've come to believe two things:
1. while they never purposefully tell an untruth they frequently shade or tell partial truths.

2. their comments are mostly/always made to advance an agenda.

Using the above points as a sieve to the discussed statement one can be reasonably certain:
* that there are a number of similar sites - shock! - of similar 'quality' - surprise!
Think of all those cookie cutter WP all following the same paint by number SEO sites - generic is the kindest description.

* Google has, for a number of years, been pushing the web to go HTTPS.
Note: imo, primarily to stop MitM ISP ad substitution.

And out of the sieve comes a ready made frame on which to hang their HTTPS drum beat.

Oh, and get the SEO bloggeratti to spread the marketing message as gospel to the kool-aid krowd.

That's all, folks!
4:59 pm on June 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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if google's algo finds two sites with exactly the same ranking, the signals from https will tip the balance


Why wouldn't that be the case?

Why, all else being equal would the http site be preferred?

The reality, however, is that all else is never equal, so if you have a fantastic site that isn't https I wouldn't worry about switching for that reason (although there are plenty of other reasons to switch), and if you have a dreadful site I would worry about a lot of other things first.
5:46 pm on June 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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HTTPS is one thing, but a "side effect" is the possibility to use HTTP/2 (which requires HTTPS), and HTTP/2 is faster than HTTP, excepting if you are really running on a very old hardware server, but if so, this should be the last of your concern :)

So HTTP/2 still improves user experience. And it's good, for the user, it's good for you.
8:42 pm on June 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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These days I take what g "suggests" with a grain of salt. Most of the time there's extra work/expense on my end to play their game, and I STILL DO NOT GET ANY MORE BENEFIT FOR PLAYING.

Or as the little boy who cried wolf too many times learned: "After a while nobody listens."
8:45 pm on June 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I put sites on HTTPS where it makes sense, payment processing, PII, etc. Makes no sense for info/no ads sites at all which are "brochure" points for B2B or B2C, or just "hobby", "vanity" style sites.

Granted that most here at WW are in it for the money the above it not particularly convincing. :)
9:20 pm on June 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I switched to HTTPS before Google talked about it, (and before Let's Encrypt appeared) my motivation was just to be sure that no one can alter my pages, between my server and the visitor's devices. I am certainly paranoiac , but I know that a compromised network equipment in between, can inject malicious code, and I didn't want to take the risk. Also, there was an ISP, which I forget the name, which was adding their own ads, on top of all pages, their argue was that they were proposing cheaper prices than the concurrence, and this was to "compensate".

Then later, there was the HTTP/2 protocol, which i am using especially for the PUSH feature, and now my pages are faster than they used to be on HTTP 1.1.
12:20 am on June 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The web evolves. Like most anything, what works best will eventually win ... and in that regard I am reluctant to have a "cheerleader" telling me which way to go. Back in the day the cheerleaders were all for 8-track tapes and BetaMax. :)
10:31 am on June 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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to have a "cheerleader" telling me which way to go

Also, Google didn't invent the HTTPS :) It's not because it the louder voice, that it means it's the leader :)
6:26 pm on June 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Is “tie breaker” an accurate description of the process? It implies that G### first evaluates criteria A through W (more likely 1 through 19,876), and then if-and-only-if everything else is equal, then-and-only-then do they consider whether one site is HTTPS and the other isn't. But is that really how it works, or is it just one factor among dozens? Otherwise you could just as well say that by-the-book use of headers is a tiebreaker, or top-rate <alt> text is a tiebreaker, or a-few-milliseconds connection speed is a tiebreaker ...
6:43 pm on June 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Back in the day the cheerleaders were all for 8-track tapes and BetaMax.


BetaMax was substantially better as a recording/playback medium than VHS. Its failure was due to Sony's over-protection of its Patent (Sony wouldn't license Betamax for the rental market), not its suitability for the job-in-hand or anything the then cheerleaders said or failed to say.

The 8-track tape is another matter, but in any case 8-track tapes and Betamax were hardware-based technolgies that became obsolete through lack of users. Https isn't comparable, in that I don't know of any current mainstream hardware or software that doesn't support it, and don't know of any users in my own sector that are not using it. The advantage/disadvantage debate with the only other contender doesn't leave http with much on the scoreboard. Https is now free and simple to implement with many hosting contracts (and generally inexpensive and relatively easy otherwise), while delivering performance and security advantages over http. What does http do? Nothing that https doesn't: even a couple of milliseconds head start in latency is swept away by http 2.

The fact that a site's content has no direct security requirement doesn't make it or its users immune to MITM attacks. If you care whether your users see what is on your server then TLS is a no-brainer. OK, I give you IE5 (6, 7, 8..), but they never saw it correctly anyway.

Old technologies will die and new ones will replace them whatever the cheerleaders say, but end-to-end encryption (of which https is a device-to-server variant) has been around longer than any of the current hardware or software, and will be around for a long time yet.

What Gary Illyes says is a perfect Red Herring (how many real cases are there in which it will make any difference at all?). Don't let mistrust of Google put you off doing what is good for you anyway, or incline you to dissuade others from doing what is good for them.
6:59 pm on June 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Sure, and pagespeed could be a tiebreaker, the "ad heavy algorithm" or whatever it's called these days could be a tiebreaker, and so on. Something to keep in mind, though: Tiebreakers work only when there's a tie. Why settle for equal if you can do better?
8:30 pm on June 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@kiddies ... I speak only to the "urgency" which seems to emanate from talking heads. As yet there is no real world urgency for MANY to rush forward.

That said, I have been an advocate for HTTPS from the get go ... when it makes sense to do so.

Now that hosting packages are providing easier to implement (and less expensive) methods of getting to TLS, the future is assured in that direction.

Sometimes you just wait for commonsense upgrades to occur ... after all, these companies are in business to host sites at a profit. :)