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HTTPS for SEO

In this post we’ll help you understand what https is all about, does it impact your seo rankings and why you need to move over to https as soon as possible. There is a daily debate on whether you should go with http vs https but Google’s most recent announcement indicates it would be a very smart move to stop putting off this migration.

Although it can seem like a daunting task, there are some major benefits to doing so which will increase your conversion rates, increase CTR in search etc

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WHAT IS HTTPS?

The majority of web pages across the web start with the prefix “http: //” while others address “https: //”. The main difference between the two is that if we navigate through the HTTP protocol, it will be easier for hackers to obtain our personal information, such as which pages we have visited, the length of time on each one of them, the email that we use to subscribe, data that we send in various online forms and even the bank information that we use to make a particular purchase. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) system provides greater security and privacy through three key layers of protection:

  • Encryption – Encrypts the data exchanged to keep it safe from intruders. This means that as long as the user browses a website, no one can follow their activities or steal their information.
  • Data Integrity – Data can not be modified or corrupted during the transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
  • Authentication – Demonstrates that your users communicate with the desired website.

WHY IS HTTPS IMPORTANT FOR SEO AND FOR GOOGLE?

As we know the goal of Google is to offer the best search results and among the features they must have security, since no user wants to put their personal information at risk, hence the use of HTPPS has become a factor of ranking on the web .

It is not one of the most essential, in fact, its influence is low in the ranking, but everything adds up and above all opting for this kind of protocol will ultimately mean you are providing a better experience to the user. Since Google are predominately user focus, this can only have a positive impact in the medium to long term.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT HTTPS WITHOUT AFFECTING SEO?

Despite the many benefits of migrating to HTTPS, many SEO and website owners have not yet done so because they have doubts about whether this change could affect the positioning of their website. In some cases there have been site owners reporting ranking decreases, however this should only be temporary. The majority of cases see no change but there are many site owners reporting sudden rank increases.

It’s important to understand web pages that start with “https: //” are considered completely different to “http: //”, so a migration to HTTPS could cause decreases similar to those of  a domain change or a 301 redirect . In addition, incoming links would continue to point to URLs with http: //, which could lead to a decrease in the number of visits and a decrease in short-term web positioning. All future incoming links should contain the https version of the url to make the most of your protocol change.

However, Google wants all pages to be migrated to this protocol and as such has outlined a list of recommendations for a smooth transition:

  1. Buy an SSL certificate from a reputable and 100% reliable provider such as Dinahosting.com, CDmon.com, Arsys.es, etc.
  2. Select the highest level of security using the 2048-bit encryption key .
  3. Use relative URLs in source code to ensure that all of your internal links work properly with HTTPS.
  4. Verify that the server supports HTTP Strict Transport Security and that it is enabled, getting browsers to connect to the HTTPS web automatically even though users attempt to access addresses with http: //.
  5. 301 redirect all HTTP pages to their HTTPS versions.
  6. Notify Google about switching from HTTP to HTTPS. (You can do this in Google Search  Console)
  7. Create separate robots.txt files for HTTP and HTTPS.

Following these tips from Google, we will be able to benefit from the high security of the HTTPS protocol, without having to risk harming our search engine rankings, on the contrary, surely we will get a better position in the ranking by having this SEO factor and providing a greater security and privacy to our users, something that will be greatly valued.

Remember, keep the users’ interest in mind and Google will reward you. Don’t delay implementing a https migration today. You can also outsource your migration to our dedicated team by contacting us here.

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