Recently, Google announced a new signal into their search ranking algorithm – the use of Transport Layer Security, or more commonly referred to as Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). HTTPS is an internet communications protocol that adds additional security for its users, effectively preventing man-in-the-middle attacks. Essentially, HTTPS is the equivalent of the HTTP protocol, but adds the security capabilities of SSL/TLS. This additional layer of security is important for public Wi-Fi connections found in airports, coffee shops, and other areas where strangers can connect to the same network as you.
Google is now considering the use of HTTPS as a positive factor in their search ranking algorithm, encouraging websites to implement additional security measures for its users. At first glance, there should be no reason for websites not to adjust their online media planning and utilize HTTPS to help their search engine optimization tactics, but there could be consequences in changing your website to include this more secure protocol. While HTTPS is now a ranking signal in Google’s algorithm, we suggest that only new pages be implemented with this additional layer of security, rather than immediately implementing HTTPS across your entire domain. The additional layer of security is great for users – but this in turn can decrease your presence in the search engine result pages.
Regardless of HTTPS being a new factor in Google’s algorithm, one thing still holds true: content is king when it comes to online marketing. Creating content that proves thought leadership is still the most important factor in Google’s algorithm as this provides users valuable information. Matt Cutts has stated time and time again that user experience is most important – and users want relevant information regarding their search query.