The use of HTTPS (SSL) has been a recommended SEO practice for quite a while now. More recently, a MOZ report has revealed that 50% of all Google’s page 1 search results are now using HTTPS. This has been a steady increase from a reported 30% less than 9 months ago. If this trend continues, we’re likely to see around 70% SSL adoption by the end of this year (in page 1 results).
So, how much of a boost does using HTTPS give you?
In 2014, Google announced that going HTTPS (adding an SSL certificate to your website) will give you a minor ranking boost. At the point of release, Google went to great lengths to downplay this ranking signal, stating it was “very lightweight” and carried “less weight than other signals”.
However, using HTTPS is one of the very few specific ranking signals to be confirmed by Google themselves, which makes it very valuable for SEO.
It’s difficult to say whether or not the page 1 rankings in this report are a direct result of these sites moving to HTTPS or whether these websites were already SEO focused and ranked well, simply moving to HTTPS to follow best practice.
Google appear to be remaining cautious about how much of a ranking boost using an SSL certificate provides. However, it’s likely that as SSL adoption increases, it will play a more significant role as a ranking signal.
If you have any questions regarding SSL certificates or moving to HTTPS then please contact our team.