Earlier this year Matt Cutts of Google stated that he personally would like to see sites that use SSL encryption be given favor in Google’s rankings. In August, Google officially announced this as their policy as you can read in this official Google Webmaster blog post.
How important is changing your site over to SSL? Like all on-site SEO improvements there is no one thing that can be done technically that will magically boost a site to the top of the search engine. Quality and relevant content are and always will be the most important SEO strategy.
However, correctly coding, structuring and configuring your website are vital tasks to ensure that your quality content is being optimally indexed and distributed to the world. There is no single factor of this on-site SEO which is a magic bullet, however cumulatively the small benefits of on-site optimization add up and do matter.
With SSL, Google says that it is a ranking factor now but is presently a “lightweight signal”. However, and most importantly, Google says: “But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
For this reason we are now recommending that all our Web clients migrate their sites to SSL. It’s not an emergency but it should be part of a sites long-term development plan. If you have more questions about SEO, or would like to discuss a strategic SEO analysis for your site please contact us.