Google today announced that they will, form now on, use SSL certificates as a ranking factor.
Now before you go out and buy the best most expensive SSL ever, Google have also said that the weight given to this ranking factor isn’t very much. Also, after running tests for several months, they have said they expect this new ranking signal to affect less than 1% of Google searches globally.
They’ve not done this without cause though. They’ve released this as a ranking signal in a bid to encourage more people to run their websites on HTTPS by default. They’re trying to build a safer and more secure web.
Check out what John Mueller has to say on the subject:
Adding an SSL to your website can be a bit tricky, so you need to make sure that you manage the transition properly and carefully. The last thing you want to do is thinking you’ll be receiving a ranking boost, botching it, and actually losing your rankings.
To help with this, Google have posted the following tips to help Webmasters with the upgrade of their website:
> Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
> Use 2048-bit key certificates
> Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
> Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
> Check out our site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
> Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
> Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.