A benefit of https with non status
In a previous article we have explored what https is and the difference between the ‘s’ and none ‘s’ counterpart. The article can be reviewed here. The crux of the article (and indeed the whole point about a https site) is that the site is supposed to be secure and so it would gain a small rankings boost because of this. Of course all sites should be secured anyway (well you hope) and if you are looking to go https with the expectation of a ranking boost, it probably isn’t the best way to go about it.
However, it now appears to have come to light that there is a ‘loophole’ in the system and that websites who are not https can receive the ranking benefit anyway:
Simply stated it appears that all Google looks for is the first letters of the URL to check whether the site is secure (i.e. whether the https appears.) What you might regard as some of the more traditional (and probably practical / wise) parameters for assessing site security, (such as checking a websites certificate or seeing whether the page content is secure) does not seem to be taken into account.
It seems that some of the ‘additional pointers’ mentioned about were going to be included to assess whether to give a website a https status, but after discussion within the Google team it was decided that more effort should be placed on helping people covert to the https and so the added checks were dropped.
Google has acknowledged that this can be a problem as it is obviously less than perfect if this practice is happening (or worse still people are doing it deliberately.) Google points out that in this instance it is more of an indexation problem rather than the fault laying with https or ranking. This is a fair enough answer and follows through logically. It doesn’t really seem to remedy the problem though. Google does point out that there have been and are changes being made to try and ‘fix some of the problems’ associated with https. Surely they recognise that this is a problem and so we will wait to see whether it actually gets resolved?
Before you get too excited…the rankings boost from having a https website is described as ‘small’ and we wouldn’t recommend trying to pass your site off as https secure if it is not / possible to do so. Despite it being a small ranking boost, Google would be wise to fix this problem before the ‘authentic’ https webmasters really start to complain!
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