Yandex officially acknowledges: HTTPS is a ranking factor.
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Yandex's team has recently released a statement regarding HTTPS on their blog. They state that they deeply care about the safety of their users and that is the reason why their servers run exclusively on a secure protocol HTTPS. Compared to a regular HTTP it significantly decreases the risks of:
- interception of the user's sensitive data, such as logins, passwords or credit card numbers;
- website content substitution or addition of third-party advertising;
- users' digital identifiers leaks — cookie files which make it possible to target advertising.
Yandex.Radar's data shows that more than 66% of the most popular websites among Russians use HTTPS protocol. At the same time, about 80% of Yandex's search traffic comes from the websites with the protected protocol.
Yandex's team states that they consider HTTPS to be an indication of a good quality website and the lack of it - a risk to the user. They intend to start to warn users of an unsafe protocol more efficiently.
While answering some common questions it was revealed that websites using HTTPS protocol will have an advantage over those that don't.
Here are some Q&A's:
Will the change affect the ranging?
Safety is an important quality factor of a website, and using HTTPS protocol is a sigh of a safe website. By choosing a secure protocol, the owner looks out for the safety of the user data, and that should be accounted for in ranging.
Why do content websites without authorization need to change to HTTPS?
Content and the look of your site can suffer if you use unsecured protocol for many various reasons, so it is advised to make the switch to HTTPS.
Will there be any traffic loss with the change?
Traffic loss is a big concern for website owners. The research shows that there is no traffic loss when moving to HTTPS if you follow the recommendations.
Does Yandex recommend to set up HSTS?
Yes, it does. It reduces the delay for the subsequent connections as there is no redirect.
Will SQI (Site Quality Index, also known as Yandex X) be the same with the change to HTTPS?
Yes, it will, site quality index is transferred with the move.