Google announced late in 2014 that they’d start giving https pages a boost in rankings versus http. The web community has been waiting to see if switching to https improved rankings. There is now some pretty good evidence that Google is now giving https pages higher rankings.
A Google update was detected around June 19, 2015, as covered here. In the article, they found
Most of the HTTPS URLs we’re tracking have changed their position in search; not only that, but 68.13% of these shifted with more than 10 positions!
Wikipedia appears to have started to move their pages from http to https around June 12, 2015. This is covered here.
Like it or not, Google still dominates the search world. If you rely on search results, you need to pay attention to what they are saying and doing. Bing has also said they will give https a boost in rankings so consider yourself informed.
What is https?
It is used to secure Web sites by using encrypted traffic to and from the user by means of Secure Socket Layer (SSL).* Encryption keeps others from seeing the data passed between your browser and the website server, such as credit card numbers and passwords. It’s become more and more popular to encrypt all traffic to help prevent anyone from seeing anything you are doing online.
Should you switch to https?
Most platforms, like Zen Cart and WordPress, will allow you to encrypt your entire site. However, if done incorrectly you can do more harm than good. You could prevent your site from being indexed or cause warnings to be displayed to your site visitors.
Switching to https is just one signal of hundreds that the Google uses to determine you page rank. As such, this alone with not make a big difference so should be considered along with other factors. There may be elements of your site that cause issues with https.
If you do decide to convert your site to use https, the switch needs to be properly implemented and tested. If you do not have an SSL, they are a lot less expensive than they were just a year or two ago. Your hosting company may offer them or you can buy them from us, purchase an SSL here.