Securing Your Website Can Now Boost Your Rankings On Google
Google revealed that they are now using SSL/HTTPS as a ranking indicator in their search algorithm.
Google stated that it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting less than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content. Yet as time goes on, Google might decide to strengthen it, and encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep all users safe when using the internet.
So, what about sites which already have SSL applied on their checkout pages? Are they good?
Unfortunately, no, you need to still do more. This ranking boost is applied to only the pages that have SSL on them. Typically, SSL is only on those checkout pages and not on your product pages, content and landing pages. Everyone needs to make your whole domain name, all the URLs, all the files, all the includes, everything needs to be HTTPS.
This clearly will take time; you will have to do thorough testing, to make sure the HTTPS certificate doesn’t show errors to your users. There can be images, videos, and third-party includes that need to be adapted on the pages to ensure that it doesn’t give the user a security warning.
Are there any negative SEO effects of converting to SSL?
According to Google, when a website owner switches their site over properly, there is no downside.
The key is you need to do it right, Google gave this advice:
- Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
- Use 2048-bit key certificates
- Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
- Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
- Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
- Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.
- Use Qualys Lab tool to test your SSL certificates and pages.
There has been quite a mixed reaction to this news around the internet. Everyone from SEO professionals to webmasters to small business owners who run their own sites, are concerned and trying to decide what to do about the algo changes. The SEO professionals and webmasters wonder how the speed of the site might be affected, which is also a ranking factor. Business owners are concerned about the additional costs to have their websites upgraded, wondering if it is something they should do. We will be doing testing on some of our sites to see if there is much of an impact at all. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the latest news regarding the almighty Google.