During the second week on August, on a Thursday, Google introduced a brand new ranking signal in order to offer the HTTPS sites a boost in ranking, although a small one, so that the webmasters would feel encouraged to migrate their websites from HTTP to HTTPS. Given the fact that there are various concerns that some SEOs face during the migration, the concerns of this article will cover why Google is doing this and the process one should adopt while carrying out the migration. Check out the remaining article to know some new facts on the new ranking signal.
Google ranks HTTPS ranking signal in real time
Did you know that unlike the Panda and Penguin algorithms, Google runs this HTTPS ranking signals real time? As soon as Google indexes your HTTPS URL, you will witness a tiny plunge in your ranking due to the HTTPS URL. However, that doesn’t mean that you will see your URL jump from search result number 5 to 4, but behind the scenes, it will definitely have a small impact in boosting the overall ranking algorithm.
Google’s HTTPS Ranking Signal is done on a per-URL basis
What if you have some parts of your website migrated and some that have still not been migrated? Well, in such a situation, Google will give a boost to the ones that have HTTPS URLs and not to the others. This particular signal is done on a per-URL basis and it’s not done on a sitewide basis. Google will of course want you to migrate the entire website into HTTPS but if you don’t have the time to do so, technically you do it on a URL by URL basis.
The Change of Address Tool of Google is not supported
According to recommendations of Google, when you migrate a site from HTTP to HTTPS, you should use the change of address tool within Google Webmaster tools. But with HTTP to HTTPS, you still can’t use this tool as doesn’t support HTTPS migrations yet. There is no time within which one can expect to use this tool. John Mueller of Google said that when you’re doing the migration, a 301 redirect is a good signal to speak of the change, even without the use of the tool.
Google News publishers can easily switch to HTTPS
One of the major concerns is how the News index of Google differs from the normal Google web index. However, you need not worry as Google has told its users that migrating sites within the Google news Index won’t have any issue. You just have to go through the normal migration process and Google News will automatically pick up the changes as well.
For some unknown reason, there were webmasters who felt that the new HTTPS ranking signal was a part of the Panda algorithm but this isn’t the case. This is a standalone signal and it stands independent of any other ranging signal. Some are reporting that since the launch of this signal, Google has been sending out security certificate errors through Google Webmaster Tools. If you have received such SSL errors in Webmaster Tools, Google says that it has nothing to do with the latest changes. The error is taking place due to misconfigured certificates and nothing else.