Two years after Google announced HTTPS would become a ranking signal, Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz has put together a study with revealing new findings about the adoption rate of HTTPS since the announcement was made.
When Google made its official announcement regarding HTTPS, some were quick to make the transition, while others believed the effort wasn’t worth the potential reward. Some have avoiding transitioning to HTTPS because they believe there are possible risks associated with doing so.
Dr. Pete Meyers has put together the data which suggests Google is slowing but surely accomplishing its goal of having more HTTPS sites on the web. Here is a summary of his finding.
Before Google’s HTTPS algorithm update, Moz’s data showed that only 7% of the pages featured on the first page of Google’s search results were HTTPS. A week later, that number rose to 8%.
Two years later, that number has multiplied to over 30%:
“As of late June, our tracking data shows that 32.5% (almost one-third) of page-1 Google results now use the “https:” protocol.”
The fact that the increase has been a gradual progression leads Dr. Meyers to believe it was not purely the result of algorithm updates alone. Rather, the increase in HTTPS sites on the first page of Google’s search results is an indication that Google’s PR campaign is working.
Dr. Meyers predicts than in a another 1–1.5 years we will 50% of first page search results being comprised of HTTPS sites. When this time comes, Dr. Meyers also predicts that Google will strengthen the ranking signal.
Google has been downplaying the risks of migrating to HTTPS, Dr. Meyers argues, as there is risk associated with any kind of sitewide change to URLs.
Before migrating to HTTPS, it’s recommended that you weigh the time, money, and possible risk against receiving a minor algorithmic boost. With that being said it’s still difficult to convince website owners that converting to HTTPS is worth it.
Dr. Meyers’ final recommendation is, if you’re still not sold on HTTPS, then at least be aware of how many sites in your industry are making the switch. Stay alert for another HTTPS algorithm update which could be coming within a year’s time.
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