How Important Are The Latest Ranking Factors

A recent study published on Moz examined the relative impacts of the latest ranking factors released by Google on both informational and commercial queries.

As you’ll recall, those two ranking factors are mobile friendliness, and HTTPS, both new ranking factors announced by Google last year, and rolled out in the intervening time period.

Mobile Friendliness As A Ranking Factor

The study showed that commercial queries are returning results in which nearly 75% are mobile friendly, while nearly 65% of information search results are of mobile friendly sites.

It’s probably the case that commercial sites have been quicker to ensure that they are mobile friendly, particularly where the mobile market is, but the fact remains that more mobile friendly sites are showing in search results for any type of query than sites which are not mobile compatible.

Over time, this is likely to become more and more important, as the mobile space continues to experience rapid and widespread growth.

HTTPS As A Ranking Factor

The mad scramble at the time of the original announcement of this ranking factor notwithstanding, Google just recently confirmed that this is still a very minor consideration.  According to Google’s Gary Illyes, the HTTPS factor will only come into play in the event that two sites have “tied” for a ranking.  In that case, the site with the SSL certificate will be given preference.

According to the data from Moz, only 16.75% of commercial queries, and just over 11% of informational queries, are returning HTTPS sites.

Eventually, as security becomes more and more important to commercial sites and users, this factor may increase in importance.  It’s not crucial to have it now, but it should definitely be part of your long term plans, especially if you’re using e-commerce functionality.