Study: HTTPS Has No Discernable Benefit for SEO (Currently)

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Thinking of switching your site over to HTTPS to improve SEO? According to a study by SearchMetrics, it may not be worth it - yet.

The analytics firm looked at the rankings of 'hundreds of thousands' of keywords across HTTP and HTTPS domains to discern whether the secure protocol provided a worthwhile ranking boost. The conclusion was clear - to quote Marcus Tober, the study's author:

"In a nutshell: No relationships have been discernible to date from the data analyzed by us between HTTPS and rankings nor are there any differences between HTTP and HTTPS."

Back in August, Google announced that it was using HTTPS as a ranking signal, in an effort to "encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web."

However, in Tober's opinion, the ranking factor still hasn't been rolled out, or "this factor only afects such a small section of the index to date that it was not possible to identify it with our data."

Barry Schwartz, writing at SearchEngineLand, shared his own experiences migrating sites over to HTTPS. After moving two sites over to the secure protocol, he noticed "no significant ranking impact on either site."

At the time of its announcement, Google said the signal affected fewer than one per cent of search queries - but though the impact of the change may be indiscernible now, the search engine said it may strengthen the ranking factor in future.

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