HTTPS and You: Does HTTPS Really Affect SERP Rankings?

Introducing HTTPS – Whether You Like it or Not

http vs https

As all SEOs should know, Google announced in August 2014 that they would be adding a ranking factor to their SERP algorithm based on whether or not a site was serving a secure or insecure page. As is typical with Google, they didn’t add anything more, leaving many of us wondering: Just how much does HTTPS really matter?

Well, now that the dust has settled a bit, one month later many SEO experts are ready to look back at August’s data and draw some initial conclusions.

So, Does HTTPS Affect SEO Performance?

Well, that totally depends on what context you’re asking that question in. Do you run a banking or finance website? Do you deal with users’ sensitive information? Then yes, you should definitely be using HTTPS, amongst other safeguards. But what about if you run a personal fitness blog, or a fashion website? Does HTTPS affect SEO performance? According to Marcus Tober of SearchMetrics, not enough for anyone to notice:

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. In my opinion therefore, Google has not yet rolled out this ranking factor – and/or this factor only affects such a small section of the index to date that it was not possible to identify it with our data.

The short version: There was barely enough of a difference for the change to be statistically significant in reporting, leading SEOs to believe this is nothing more than an additional, minute ranking factor, used primarily to tip the scales one way or another in the case of a very tight ranking battle between two sites. But don’t expect HTTPS to be winning you any top spots on its own.

So friends, don’t go running out to upgrade to a secure server and dish out for a certificate unless you have a legitimate security need for HTTPS/SSL. One thing is for sure: HTTPS is not going to push you to the top of page 1. Sorry, pipe dreamers!

 

Google Compare Adds Auto Insurance Quotes in United States

As previously speculated by many SEO insiders including Search Engine Land, Google today announced the launch of Google Compare for Auto Insurance in the United States.

Google Compare will show up to 14 sponsored results from insurance providers, including rate quotes. It is expected that this number will increase as Google adds more providers to the service. A snippet describing usage benefits for providers explains the advantages of the service:

You can highlight what makes your business unique, whether that’s an “A” rating in customer service or better discounts for safe drivers. And when users adjust their deductible or add additional cars to their quote, you can show updated pricing that matches their needs.

From those sponsored listings, users can then proceed to purchase coverage online, or via phone. The program will initially cover drivers in California, and will roll out to more states including more features including user reviews, ratings, and local representative information in the coming months.

Auto Insurance results will display above organic results in SERP on Desktop and Mobile.
Auto Insurance results will display above organic results in SERP on Desktop and Mobile.

Google: Lead Generator?

Eschewing the normal PPC ad facilitation revenue model, Google is acting as a qualified lead generator, with pricing based on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) model instead of a traditional clickthrough model.

Despite these changes, Google has clarified that traditional organic rankings will not be affected by the inclusion of sponsored elements in SERPs.

Auto Insurance, at Long Last

Google has operated a similar Auto Insurance quote acquisition program in the UK since 2012 (As shown in the featured photo for this article.) There is analyst speculation that Google may even move to provide and sell their own insurance products through this new vertical.

Auto insurance is only the latest of many retail verticals Google has seen fit to conquer in recent years, joining shopping, hotel accommodations, and flights in an ever-growing list. Google Compare Auto Insurance Services, Inc. has been approved to do business in over 25 states, with more surely to come.

Top SEO and Organic Search Articles!

Hello friends and readers! As we dive deeper into 2015, I wanted to take a few moments to compile together some of the best SEO and Organic Search related articles that we’ve posted here on Indexed Marketing in the last year. We’ve covered great topics, from Brand Authority to Verifying your Pinterest Account, and today I’d like to share some of my favorites with you!

SEO and Organic Search Mechanics

These articles cover the mechanical aspect of SEO, from metadata formatting to page speed optimizations, and are considered the ‘under the hood’ changes that affect your site performance in organic search. Many SEOs would agree that on-page mechanics are often the first actionable item with any website (after research and planning, of course!)

https banner

HTTPS and Your Google SERP Rankings

Starting off with HTTPS and the importance secure sites can have on your organic search performance. HTTPS is an interesting topic that many people easily forget about when assessing all of the details of a site that can have a search impact. Brush up on this HTTPS info to keep your site on top!

 

Google Webmaster Tools

Configure Google Webmaster Tools in 5 Minutes

Configuring Google Webmaster Tools not only tells Google that you are the legitimate owner of your website, it also gives you helpful alerts and heads-up info when something is going wrong on your site. This free tool is used by most every webmaster today, and though Yahoo and Bing have comparable tools for their own search engines, the lion’s share of traffic obviously comes from Google (for US search queries, anyhow)

SEO Jobs/SEO In the Workplace

Becoming a wizard of SEO can give you a skillset that will help you stand out in your workplace. Because SEO is still largely understood by most, being able to prove technical proficiency in even the most basic of SEO disciplines may give you the competing edge over your competition. Check out these articles for more helpful info on SEO in the workplace:

Berlin Startup Tour

7 Skillsets to Make you A Rockstar Job Candidate

By devoting a small amount of time to learning a new technical skill, or brushing up on a skill you already have, you can give yourself a massive edge over your professional competition. Whether it’s by learning a software discipline like Microsoft Excel or Adobe Photoshop, or just simply working to improve your professional writing skills, self-improvement pays off not only in the office, but in your personal life as well.

 

seocopy

Keeping your Blog SEO Friendly

Here’s a quick tip-list on how to ensure your blog or website is always SEO friendly. Not a lot here, just some great SEO/organic search tips for your blog.

 

shcokinglygoodcontent

 

Shockingly Good Content Creation

With these content creation tips, you can ensure that your site content is fresh, relevant, and attractive to your potential organic audience!