Bad news, everyone - Google moving to use HTTPS as a ranking signal

Bad news, everyone – Google moving to use HTTPS as a ranking signal

As you know I love sourcing my references, here it is, straight from Google Webmaster Blog – Https as a ranking signal

Moving on from a talk that was given at Google I/O 2014 entitled “HTTPS everywhere”

Google is deciding to to use https as a ranking signal.

To quote (emphasis courtesy of this old simian)

…over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so 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.

They are also going to force your hand and pressure you to use https, as they are looking out for all our security. Right?

Wrong, young grasshopper.

The gambit is found in the bigger strategy
Think about it, and you’ll find the real reason for this move easily.

Google is continuing “not provided” on a bigger scale.

Websites running https do not trasmit information, such as “referrer” to non-https sites.
If you run a non-https site, all referer information will be hidden from you.

Businesses and individuals who spend money on https certificates (about 9$/year) will be seen as more authoritative

I found this review of cheap SSL certificates

Links coming from non-https sites might be devalued (there goes a big chunk of spamming)

So in essence, they are using “security” as a smokescreen to clean up their search results from small-time bloggers (good bye Mommy blogs) and thin affiliate sites, spam and spam links.

And they are making you pay for it.