In August 2014, Google announced that they would give a small ranking boost to HTTPS with the new HTTPS ranking factor. Now that it is a few weeks later, many are wondering how much of an impact does HTTPS URLs actually have on rankings.
The answer according to SearchMetrics is none currently. Marcus Tober of SearchMetrics said there is no data to prove that HTTPS has any impact on Google’s rankings after the ranking factor launched in August. Marcus wrote:
In a nutshell: No relationships have been discernible to date from the data analyzed by us between HTTPS and rankings nor are there any differences between HTTP and HTTPS. In my opinion therefore, Google has not yet rolled out this ranking factor – and/or this factor only affects such a small section of the index to date that it was not possible to identify it with our data.
Marcus shared data on HTTP vs HTTPS URLs and their ranking change, if any, and after removing outliers, there was no data to show a ranking improvement:
I personally have migrated two sites since the HTTPS ranking factor launched and I also have seen no significant ranking impact on either site. In fact, I am happy that there was no drop in rankings or traffic from Google and not surprised to see no increase in rankings or traffic from Google.
I migrated the Search Engine Roundtable on August 12th and there was a 0.63% drop in Google organic traffic comparing August 13th through September 1st, to the same time period before. 0.63% is not a significant number at all and thus the data is not conclusive.
I migrated my corporate site, RustyBrick, on August 7th and there was a 3.00% drop in Google organic traffic comparing August 8th through September 1st, to the same time period before. The issue is, we had some nice product announcements during the time period before, so a drop of 3% is not alarming at all when analyzing the data.
The good news is that migrating from HTTP to HTTPS should not harm your site’s ranking in Google, if done right. But you won’t see a significant or any ranking benefit in the short term, at least now, when doing so. That may change as Google tweaks the factor over time.
To be fair, Google did say this is a “very lightweight signal.”
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