Google announced in its Webster Central Blog Post on August 6, 2014 that HTTPS is now being used as a ranking signal. Google stated in the same post that the reason behind this change was over security and that they began to “see more and more webmaster adopting HTTPS.”

The post also says that HTTPS will be a “lightweight signal” and that it will affect less that 1% of global queries. The internet has been awash with blogs and articles about the benefits of switching to an encrypted SSL connection for your website – ‘HTTPS’, as opposed to HTTP. In August we published a blog about why you shouldn’t buy into the HTTPS hype – and now, a study made by SearchMetrics shows that switching your website to a secure HTTPS connection may have no benefits for SEO at all.

SearchMetrics – an analytics firm – studied ‘hundreds of thousands’ of keywords across HTTP and HTTPS domains to discover whether the secure protocol provided a worthwhile ranking ranking boost or not.

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.

Opinions vary; Tober himself thinks that the ranking factor hasn’t actually been rolled out yet, or that “this factor only affects such a small section of the index to date that it was not possible to identify it with our data.”

Bary Schwartz, writing for SearchEngineLand, shared his own experiences migrating sites over to HTTPS. He moved two sites over to the secure protocol, he noticed “no significant ranking impact on either site.”

There’s a lot of people that think it’s just a marketing ploy by Google. You never know, Google could be waiting to release their HTTPS SSL packages soon…