For this update, Technical SEO considers the opportunities afforded by HTTPS’ renewed importance, while Relevancy and Technical SEO delve into the world of rich snippets, their ability to increase click capture rate and the possibility that Google may soon include them as a ranking factor.
Websites at large have been speculating as to the importance of HTTPS as a ranking factor for a while. However, given the complexity of the migration process many large sites have decided to forego use of the protocol. Now that Google has announced that HTTPS may serve as a tie breaker for situations where all usual quality signals are equal, we might see many more sites comply with the security convention. Meanwhile new studies have revealed that rich snippets, contrary to popular opinion, are in fact a worthwhile tool to use when attempting to poach traffic from competition. Sites which show up in second place on Search Engine Results Pages using rich snippets have shown to garner 61% click capture rate, compared to 48% for the first place result (which doesn’t use rich snippets). The good news for rich snippets doesn’t end there however, as Google may soon include them as a ranking factor. While technically sound websites with strong content will always top results pages, rich snippets will now play a larger role in SEO and are a strong contender for the title of 2016 SEO buzz word.