From the Google Webmaster Central Blog – emphasis added by me
“…we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal – affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high quality content – while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
Well – Google’s done it this time. They want the whole world to be “secure”, even sites where it really doesn’t matter (like this one). They want it so badly, that they are offering an organic ranking boost to webmasters who comply. I’ll let that sink in for a minute…
When does Google EVER do that? When they want something from you. Google lost a lot of trust from Webmasters when they offered an incentive for implementing authorship and then took it away.
I’m very annoyed by this. One of the biggest things that annoys me is that it’s another example of Google forcing their agenda on people. They are basically saying “Don’t use HTTPS? Don’t think it’s relevant for your site? Well, too bad. We’ll cut your traffic until you comply.” Certificates cost money and in some cases take a lot of time to implement which costs even more money in IT support time. One of the more annoying things is that their push for HTTPS contradicts their push for a fast web. HTTPS slows down sites which messes with another ranking signal – site speed. When all other factors are equal, site speed really helps push a site up the listings. Is the HTTPS organic “boost” enough to overcome the damage to site speed caused by HTTPS? I’m not sure yet, but I would hope so.
I guess I’ll pencil in time to convert my site and blog to HTTPS, since you all give me so much personal information here. Oh wait…. no you don’t. I guess you’d better start.