The security of your website will have an impact on your ranking. This is after Google released an update which shows that websites that have HTTPS will get better ranking than those that don’t. This shows how strongly Google thinks of a website’s security. This shift was announced in 2014 when Google said that going from HTTP to HTTPS and adding the SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your website will enable you to get a minor ranking boost.
All in all, it is important to note that the keyword here is minor. Simply making the change will not guarantee that your ranking will go up. Doing so only gives your website a small ranking benefit. This is a more lightweight signal in the overall ranking algorithm. The shift carries less weight than the other signals like link building and high-quality content.
Tests done by Google concluded that the shift to the more secure HTTPS will have an impact lower than 1% to the global queries. However, Google said they might decide to strengthen the signal since they want to encourage webmasters to build websites that are more secure and ones that use the HTTPS. Doing so not only keeps their websites safe but also keeps their visitors safe. Additionally, Google said that tests done showed that HTTPS signal showed a very positive result in relation to relevancy and ranking in the search results.
Is the shift concerning?
Moving from HTTP to HTTPS should not concern you a lot. For several years now, Google has continued to tell website owners that the shift is safe. However, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure that the move doesn’t impact your web traffic. One of the things you have to do is to communicate clearly to Google letting them know that you have shifted from HTTP to HTTPS.
Below are the key tips that Google recommends webmasters to use when shifting:
- Decide the certificate you need: single, multi-domain or the wildcard certificate
- Use related URLs for resources that are on the same secure domain
- Make use of 2048-biy key certificates
- Use protocols that are relative to your URLS for all your domains
- Do not block the HTTPS website from crawling using the robots.txt
- Allow the indexing of your webpages by search engines. Avoid non-index robots meta tag
In the same vein, Google has recently updated Google Webmaster accordingly so that it handles the HTTPS websites better.
There are so many benefits that come with the shift from HTTP to HTTPS. All in all, you must keep track of your migration. In addition to that, you must never ignore other practices in search engine optimization. You have to continue using quality content and building links from reputable sources. You will also have to create updated redirects and inform the sites that link to you of your shift.
It pays to keep up with the trends, more so when it comes to website security. Don’t be left behind. Shifting to HTTPS may be new but it will be a major thing in a few years. Stay ahead of the herd.
Barry Schwartz is a search engine expert. He manages the security of https://www.libertylending.com/ and also runs a search blog on SEM topics. Follow him on twitter @rustybrick.