There is a lot of buzz on the internet today about switching your site to HTTPS. If you are a new website owner or thinking of building one, you must be wondering what the buzz is all about. You may find much content about SSL, HTTPS and their correlation with SEO, but in this article, we have tried to understand it.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS a part of URL in which an extra will assure website holders and visitors that their online transactions to be done on such secured website will remain safe. Mostly, SSL certificate now available with 2048-bit CSR encryption and 256-bit SHA-2 encryption that makes it hard for cyber intruders to break into the ongoing information.
What SSL offers?
The answer is authenticity, data integrity and secure encryption. Encryption refers to untraceable data, while data integrity means the data remains intact in transit from the server to the browser. The authentication relates to an in-depth check of business existence and domain ownership.
Many website holders hesitate in applying SSL certificate on their website. One of the reasons is website speed. However, many people doubt that SSL does slow down website speed which is purely a myth. With HTTP/2 arrival, it boosts the speed of a website which can be seen quite fast compare to standard HTTP website. Even Google has started to give importance to the SSL certificate to make a secure search engine.
Google is decidedly concerned about security online, and it has been encouraging web owners to migrate to a secure site for a while now, meaning from HTTP to HTTPS.
In 2014, Google even announced that switching to HTTPS will boost your website’s Google rankings.
Browsers like Chrome now treat HTTP sites poorly and mark them as unsecured sites.
But the question that many web owners are asking is, does moving from HTTP to HTTPS really helps with SEO optimization? Let’s discover in this article.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is like HTTP in many ways as both HTTP, and HTTPS follow the same protocols.
However, the difference lies in the fact that HTTPS provides enhanced protection by making use of SSL. An SSL Certificate encrypts the data at both the client and server sides.
Furthermore, it protects against forging of information, eavesdropping, and data tampering.
Now, return to the main topics.
Does HTTPS Help with SEO?
Google’s algorithm for ranking websites keeps updating. After the announcement done in 2015 related to HTTPS migration, they again announced that there would be a tie if two different search results’ quality will be the same.
To break it down, if your website is equal to your competitor’s site in terms of speed, content freshness, title tags, and so on but you’re your website is HTTPS while your competitors aren’t, Google will most likely rank your site ahead of theirs.
Do you think there are much information about How SSL affects your search engine rankings?
The answer would be an obvious “No.”
There are several case studies to prove that HTTPS migration helps boost sites in the search engine rankings.
In another study made by Brian Dean from Backlink about the possible impact of HTTPS on a site’s rankings in the SERPs, it was found that HTTPS is moderately correlated with higher search engine rankings on Google’s first page.
Also, the website owner of SEO Hacker found that after just a little over two weeks since the site was migrated to HTTPS, the spread of keyword rankings increased by as much as 26%, approximately 480% more than their closest competitor.
Just like other ranking signals, it is not easy to isolate HTTPS on its own, but it is something to remember. On an optimistic note, the value of migrating to HTTPS may increase in the future.
Besides a direct ranking signal, you will have other advantages from an HTTPS site. For instance, a secure website is likely to have a low bounce rate. After all, if the visitors think that a website is safe, they will be more inclined to stay on your site. When users see Not Secure besides your domain name, they will start to ignore your website immediately. As a result, it will increase the website’s bounce rate, and your website ranking will also be affected.
E-commerce sites which do sell of online products are most unsecured due to lacking an SSL certificate. Customers should not require sharing sensitive data, such as credit card information on such sites.
Customers will ignore such an insecure website if it has no SSL certificate and would-be drop-in sales and traffic in the near future.
Few Optimizations that Require SSL
Besides ranking boost, SSL certificate also helps in optimization of search ranking possibility in other ways as Google overlooks pages filled with stuffed keywords and surplus backlinks as these factors are no more useful for SEO.
In Its Place, Google always gives weightage a page that brings relevant result as per user’s search queries, especially on Smartphone.
This is where Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) comes in. You won’t be able to make pages AMP-ready if they are not encrypted. Thus, an SSL certificate is mandatory if you want to leverage AMP.
The rule applies the same for HTTP/2, where it surpasses HTTP performance and helps the website to load more quickly with improved performance.
Any SEO Fears in Transferring to HTTPS?
You will face no problem concerning SEO while switching from HTTP to HTTPS. Google won’t ask you to migrate if there are any concerns. However, you do need to follow the tips for best practices provided by Google:
Indeed, only the SSL certificate is not enough for your website security. You need to think about other search engine ranking factors seriously. Then, it will give you a superior ranking compare to your rivals. The bottom line is HTTPS or having a secured site matter for SEO.
There is always a correlation between SEO and HTTPS and if you are planning to develop a new website, then implement reasonable security practices along with HTTPS as a beginning.