Making Sense Of Google’s HTTPS Ranking Signal, And What Matters
Does it make sense to move your blog to HTTPS? If you’re on the fence about this, you might be very confused. There seems to be a real war of words going on about this right now. Clearly, Google is trying to get publishers to move to the encrypted standard as evidenced by their recent blog post. But some are actually saying this move is about public relations and not a ranking signal. As you might guess, I’ve been very interested in this topic given the full switch this blog has made. As someone who has blogged for a while and site owner, I can help you make sense of this.
Briefly: I talk about whether it makes sense to move to HTTPS, even if your site doesn’t sell products or take in user data.
The consensus from many seems to be that if you don’t actively work with user data, run any sort of application, or take in any information from your blog – that you don’t need to move to HTTPS. This sort of idea comes from search marketers and technical people alike, so there has to be some truth to it right? Yes, but many of these people are missing the point entirely. If you’re on the web right now and your site is a simple set of unchanging static pages, you’re doing it wrong.
Here’s the thing: I agree that moving to HTTPS thinking you’ll get a higher Google ranking is foolish. It’s downright reckless, actually. But, if you run a web property for any length of time, you probably already have administration consoles that need logins, contact forms that take in user data, and possibly various other pieces of information that are already using encryption (like commenting systems). You may be interested in offering a newsletter and, in turn, gathering email addresses. You may be thinking of selling products soon.
If you’re new and run a static blog or site, you probably have several layers of struggles you’ll face before encryption web traffic comes to mind. Given that, this is probably not something you should be thinking about. For other, more mature sites, you should be considering this seriously. This move by Google is that simple nudge that should get you over the hump and out there encrypting your site’s traffic.
At least, that’s what it was for me. So far, it’s been worth it.