Everyone knows that Google has been a strong advocate for high quality search results. Google wants visitors to get exactly what they are searching for on the first try. Google has done extensive work to understand the searcher’s intent.
In contrast, website owners tend to want their site to show up on the first page, regardless of intent. A website manager will care less that the match is high quality, hoping to attract more traffic… favoring quantity rather than quality. As a result, the “SEO industry” has earned an unfavorable reputation by being less than honest about the keywords they post.
Google has had to deal with “Search Engine Spam” polluting their search results for years. In studying this problem, Google discovered that secure websites tend to have higher quality, more authoritative content, and come from high quality sources. Since discovering and announcing this correlation, Google has been pushing toward a secure internet.
In a major step forward, Google has announced that they have started using HTTPS as a ranking signal.
This means that websites that use secure, encrypted connections (SSL) will get a boost in search results. Google’s commitment to making the Internet safer is well known so the change did not come as a surprise to anyone.
Google says that they are using HTTPS as a “lightweight” signal for the time being but results have been very positive and they may consider strengthening this signal in the near future.
We see this as a strong trend so you may consider upgrading your site to take advantage of SSL:
- SSL now helps with organic search rankings, which means that you get a boost in free traffic.
- A secure website instills trust. When users feel safer, they are a lot more likely to convert.
- SSL helps grow your bottom line. If you get more traffic and the traffic you get is more likely to convert it means that you can grow your bottom line faster.
So, check out HTTPS options with your website manager. If you are using Alpine, we have plenty of options. Email if you have questions.