On August 6th, Google announced that they will start to consider HTTPS as a ranking signal within the search results. This was not a major release that will have a large impact overnight, but a minor change to one ranking signal that is considered alongside around 200 other signals when deciding on where to place a website in the search results.
Google has recently pushed out Secure connections across all their products and continue to strive to make the Internet a safer place on the whole, this was recently discussed at Google I/O under an initiative called HTTPS Everywhere.
Does this mean my rankings are affected if I’m not running HTTPS across my entire website?
For now this amendment is so slight that a major change in ranking results, (affecting less than 1% of global search queries) and your SEO efforts are still better focused on site architecture, structure and unique content. This allows webmasters time to implement this across their websites. Over time Google may decide to strengthen this signal and push it out across a larger set of search queries.
Is HTTPS update another algorithm like Panda or Penguin?
No, based on comments from the Google search team, HTTPS ranking signal is not part of any larger algorithm changes.
Should we migrate to HTTPS now?
As we have mentioned above, the change is so slight that we currently don’t feel that cost in making your site completely secure would be benifical at the present stage, but should be considered as an on-going development within the next 12 months.
Google's Webmaster team have also released a Youtube video explaining this further;