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Google just announced that SSL will affect site ranking positively: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.se/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

I have an Easter Island tourist agency called Easter Island Traveling for which I had planned doing a subdomain (secure.*) for doing sales, logins etc.

Now, does Google want my SSL to be on for all of my site to have this SEO benefit? This would be quite radical by Google, since it would affect my site speed negatively. Or is it enough that I have SSL on a part of the site only? Thoughts?

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Yes, Google wants all of your site to be served over HTTPS. They say:

Use HTTPS on all sites and pages

Link leads to the exact part of production where that is specified, (though the whole video would be useful.) - Google I/O 2014 - HTTPS Everywhere.

3

Since pages are ranked individually I would assume that you do not have to have it on for pages you do not care about rankings for. But it is possible that since their goal is to get sites to have always have SSL on that they may take into account whether SSL is applied to an entire website or not. It's a brand new concept so only time will tell how it really works.

Other thought on this:

  1. It's such a small ranking factor that it isn't going to make any practical difference in your rankings anyway. If you're really concerned about performance (or cost) doing this should not be a priority.

  2. It isn't going to slow down your site in any practical way, either. Technically there is more overhead but it really is negligible.

  • 1
    Google has considered HTTPS as a trust indicator for quite a while. This is nothing new and a minor factor. I think the post is referring to the same thing except this is another case where Google wants to shape the web to it's own end/benefit. There is absolutely no reason for most websites to have encryption and therefore a ridiculous premise that will likely go by the way of the do do just like Google's notion that redirects should be 404 errors. If encryption is a good idea for your site, then do it. But always take Google with healthy dose of salt. – closetnoc Aug 8 '14 at 15:43
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    Yes, it's per URL, you could pick & choose if you wanted to. That said, in most cases it wouldn't be worth your time to do this selectively, just do the whole site if you're going to do a part of it. – John Mueller Aug 12 '14 at 21:51
  • @closenoc - And all those secure negotiations after marketing demands all those social buttons, analytics, ROI tracking, etc with several other off-domain sites and services per several people who've bothered with A/B testing works directly opposite to Google's other vaunted new ranking indicator, => Page Load Speed. Kind of humorous actually. – Fiasco Labs Sep 18 '14 at 5:41
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The idea is to encourage more web browsing to happen using SSL. The theory is that this prevents a wide variety of attacks and exploits, and is better practice, overall. If you already need to get a site certificate, it makes a lot of sense to just use it for the whole site. That also keeps you from having to gerrymander parts of the site into a "secure" section, and the resultant site maintenance complications.

If your site includes no logins, purchases, or forms, this is definitely overkill. In fact, if you have forms, but no logins or purchases, it is probably overkill. But, otherwise, the overhead is minimal and probably results in more benefit in terms of safer browser.

Some details and discussion are on searchland: http://searchengineland.com/google-starts-giving-ranking-boost-secure-httpsssl-sites-199446

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Google likes to try and shape the web like Microsoft likes to shape the PC world. Often, their more bizarre attempts fail. This will be just another failed attempt, I predict. Sorta. Bear with me. I will explain how this ranking factor is applied and what it all means.

Google touts the notion that the web would be better if all web sites were served with HTTPS and if all sites had certificates. While this is true for sites that require log-in accounts and other services that are better off with encryption, for most sites this is just plain unnecessary and, in fact, a ridiculous notion.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, in fact, I often hate these theories, but I think there is an alternative reason. And I think the answer is as plain as the nose on our faces. Spamdexing. Or at the very least, control over who is a quality provider and junk websites. And admittedly, in part, Google is right. Certificates can at least be a valid and worthwhile step in the honesty/forthright category. It will be a step that sites can take to up their trust game. I am in favor of that. The question is, how necessary is it? For most sites, not very, if at all.

How Google has weighed HTTPS and certificates for years:

It is a really simple process that has existed for years now. It is not something new, despite Google announcing it recently. Often, Google will cop to something old by pretending it is new.

The earliest notion of PageRank was applied to the site and not on a page-by-page basis, despite the fact that it was calculated page-by-page. Google realized its mistake in confusing the issue and changed the game, and rightfully so. Is PageRank for the site or for the page? Today, the answer is the page, of course. But the confusion over PageRank for any site remains as it still exists within the toolbar and in the questions on this site. So what does Google do? Announce that PageRank for any site will disappear. But is it really disappearing?

No. Because a long time ago, PageRank for the site was renamed, not publicly, but internally, as site rank. It is more conceptual. Why would Google ever admit to a site rank when PageRank offered so much confusion and concern? Keep that in mind. A portion of site rank are factors which fall under the umbrella of trust. Remember that too. It will come in handy.

So here is how it works:

As factors in trust rank, HTTPS (encryption use), a site certificate, and the certificate provider quality are measurable factors. Trust rank is a factor in site rank. Site rank is a factor in the placement in the SERPs. Tah dah! It is that simple. Yes. HTTPS is a factor. It has been for quite some time, but the trickle-down effect is limited. Why? Because a good trust score can be had without HTTPS and certificates. So is it a big concern? No. Not that I can see so far. But if Google decides to, it can become a much larger factor over night by simply changing the weight of the various metrics. Let's hope not.

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