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Earlier this week Google has announced that they will use HTTPS as a ranking signal for the Page Rank.

HTTPS is now a lightweight ranking signal: Secure those sites! #WebmasterNews

--- Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) August 7, 2014

A lot of people on Hacker News and Twitter were annoyed (even upstet for some) by that decision. I understand some of the concern, but I don't think they are legitimate:

  • Yes, most SSL certs are not free. But hosting a website has also a cost.

  • However, certificates are not always expensive. You can get one for $16 with Gandi.

  • Yes, there is probably additional cost. You'll need the technical knowledge on how to set up the certificate. But it's the same for running a web site. If you don't know how to do it, you'll need someone to do it for you.

  • There's an opportunity for hosting companies to compete on this, and make it easier and cheaper for small business and individual to run a web site with TLS.

  • The Page Rank is already secret, no one know how important having TLS will impact the ranking.

  • Yes, it matters even for a "content only" site. How can you trust the content was not altered otherwise ?

  • This decision impact business more than anyone else. If you're worried that your own personal blog is going to be impacted, I don't want to be mean, but I doubt this will have a huge impact for you.

  • Google won't stop ranking you because you don't have TLS.

I really believe this is a first small step in the right direction. Plain HTTP should die at this point.