HTTPS migration has become a cornerstone of Google ranking, since the search engine declared it a key component of ranking algorithm in August, 2014. The top ten verified sites in Google Search Console, counted by search impressions, are now all HTTPS.
HTTPS was termed a milestone for web security by Gary Illyes, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst at the time and he would certainly be rejoicing today.
There is a buzz in SEO circles about the role of HTTPS in getting these sites the most search impressions. Is the search engine preferring the sites that have gone HTTPS. It may and may not be the case.
Some dominant sites have migrated over to HTTPs recently and Google ranking of sites may have a correlation with it. Wikipedia was one of them. Use of HTTPs was mandated by the US government on all of its public websites by the end of 2016. With high authority sites moving to HTTPS, most search impressions going to be HTTPS makes logic.
As for the weightage of HTTPS itself in gaining search engine rankings, a study ‘HTTPS Encryption – What is the impact of TLS/SSL on Rankings?’ was published in March 2015 by Searchmetrics. The study stated
“Since the Google-announcement regarding HTTPS as a ranking signal, we can state that encrypted websites could gain in visibility, if they have already a bit of visibility. A growth of a few percentage points in visibility is possible, but not guaranteed.”
As the heavyweight websites that have gone HTTPS already have search visibility, they are also the ones getting most search impressions.Top Ten Verified Sites in Google Search Console Are HTTPS!,