https

Google confirms HTTPS as a new ranking signal: What are the implications?

On August 6 2014, Google announced that it is starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal within the search results.

While on the face of it, this might not seem like big news, it’s another instance of Google using its influence to put pressure on websites to conform to what it considers best practice.

Google has said that right now HTTPS is a very lightweight signal which will affect less than 1% of search queries globally, but it has stated that this may change over time as Google encourages all site owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS.

As a result of this, we anticipate that secure and encrypted connections will become the norm for all websites in the future.

Time to say a last goodbye to organic keyword data?

There are lots of reports around the web right now that Google is redirecting all traffic to the HTTPs (secure) version of its site. 

Search Engine Land explains that this may be an attempt to block NSA spying, or perhaps to increase ad sales. Who knows?

What does seem certain is that the amount of organic traffic which is encrypted has leapt up over the past month, and more so over the last day or so. 

The horror: Google now encrypts up to 33% of search referral data

A few weeks ago Google started to encrypt search data for logged in users. This essentially means that website owners will see no keyword data for visitors referred from Google.

We didn’t think too much of it at the time, given that just 0.68% of our visits were affected in the period immediately after this initiative came into play.

However, it seems that things have significantly worsened in November, at least for Econsultancy. 

The impact of Google moving to HTTPS for logged in users? Not a lot…

As you may have heard, Google is no longer passing on the keyword information for logged in users of google.com. 

This
change has not been well received, particularly in the SEO industry. It will mean website owners have less information about where some of
their organic search traffic comes from. 

But
is this general air of doom and gloom warranted? How much data will
actually be lost? We’ve been trying to estimate the impact of
this change…