Google’s Gary Illyes: HTTPS May Break Ties Between Two Equal Search Results

A google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in Toronto Remember back when we were told by Google’s Gary Illyes that by switching over to HTTPS would help improve your online ranking?  Well, Gary’s at it again by saying that Google’s HTTPS ranking boost could end up being a tiebreaker when the quality signals for two search results would otherwise be the same.  He spoke about this, and even shared some updates on the Panda and Penguin algorithms while in a video chat with Bruce Clay.

Illyes, who spoke about the HTTPS ranking boost that was announced last August by Google, said that all websites would use HTTPS.  Illyes said that it would be “perfectly fine” if you aren’t, but if you did, it would help to break up any tiebreakers that could come about.

I hope that I see more and more websites on HTTPS because I think that privacy, for example, is important, but of course I can’t expect everyone to go HTTPS. Some people don’t have the resources for that. Some people just don’t want to do it for reasons … I don’t know.

It’s important in general, but if you don’t do it, it’s perfectly fine. If you’re in a competitive niche, then it can give you an edge from Google’s point of view. With the HTTPS ranking boost, it acts more like a tiebreaker. For example, if all quality signals are equal for two results, then the one that is on HTTPS would get … or may get … the extra boost that is needed to trump the other result.

Illyes even said that Google is certainly trying to run the Penguin filter in real time, but the next Penguin update is “still really far away.  I think we are still talking about months.”

When it came to the Panda update, Illyes said that Google’s planning “to integrate Panda into our core ranking algorithm.”  Currently, the update is still running as a separate update that will be “rolled out really slowly.”

In case you’re interested, you can check out the 18-minute interview.

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