Quick: What’s a common characteristic of 70 percent (or more) of top-ten sites?
Is it a clickable Title?
Is it long-form content?
Nope. In fact, to borrow from Buzzfeed, “The answer will surprise you.”
The answer: site security.
Two recent studies show secure, https pages are locking up the top results.
Barry Schwartz reported that two sources — RankRanger and Mozcast — show over 70 percent of top-ten listings are https.
(For the record, RankRanger says 70 percent, and Mozcast’s chart shows 78 percent.)
(Graph from RickRanger)
(Graph from MozCast)
That’s a pretty huge percentage.
Google + https = LOVE
I know Valentine’s Day was a few weeks ago, but I can’t help but bring up Google’s love affair with https.
Google has been pushing https for a long time and incentivizing the switch.
For instance, starting this July, Chrome will flag http pages as “not secure.”
Just last week, Google’s John Mueller said that new sites should go with https from the start.
Plus, https sites supposedly receive a “slight rankings boost” in Google.
Google is making their intentions extremely clear.
What does this mean for your site?
I’d love to say, “Switch to https and receive an automatic rankings boost! Tell your clients! Tell your friends!”
But, I can’t.
It’s true that most of the sites in the top-ten results are https. That doesn’t mean that being a secure site is what boosted their rankings. They may have already been smart, top-positioned authority sites.
Correlation is not causation.
However, with ALL the reasons Google is giving us to switch to a secure site, doing so just makes sense.
If your clients ask, “Should we go secure?” The answer is yes. After all, do you want to see, “this site is not secure” on a webpage you wrote? Or lose out on the (possible) chance for a slightly better position?
And, if you haven’t switched to https for your own site, now is the time. Talk to your web designer or host — they’ll be able to help.
After all, if moving to https can (possibly) move the needle — why not take advantage of it?
Every little bit helps.
So, what’s going on with you?
Are you happy? Frustrated? Swamped with work? Trying to figure out your next steps? Or, are you frustrated with Google and wish they’d make things easy for a change? (I know, I know!) Leave a comment and let me know!
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