HTTPS Is GREAT for SEO!
When you search around websites, you’ve probably noticed both HTTP and HTTPS sites. You may be wondering; What is the difference between the HTTP & HTTPS? You should also be wondering, what is the SEO benefit of HTTPS vs HTTP.
These are good questions to ask, as website security is proven to be prioritized when google algorithms determine website rankings.
What Is HTTPS?
HTTPS (Hypertext Transport Protocol Security) websites include the SSL 2048-bit key and can protect a site connection through authentication and encryption. When installed on a web server, an SSL certificate activates the security padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a users web server to their browser they are surfing the internet on.
Secure websites can protect a user’s connection by securing information in three layers:
Secure Encryption ensures that a user’s activity cannot be tracked or their information stolen online.
HTTPS & Data integrity
Data Integrity prevents files from being corrupted as they’re communicated and transferred
And authentication protects against DDOS attacks and builds user trust
Security is great and Users appreciate secure websites; but you may be asking, how does this affect SEO?
How does HTTPS Impact SEO?
Here’s an infographic for a few quick facts about HTTPS secure sites and how it benefits SEO.
More than just onsite content can have a positive impact on your rankings, traffic, and, potentially, conversions. One of these factors is website security.
In 2014, Google updated algorithms in favor of HTTPS websites. At the time, they stated that Secure Sites was a minor component within their overall ranking algorithm and HTTPS properties experienced only minute ranking increases compared to HTTP. It was noted; however, that Google indicated that they may strengthen preference over time..
In 2015, Google HTTPS memos stated their HTTPS ranking boost may serve as a tie breaker if two equally ranked sites needed a final say on determining SEO factors. Therefore; if your website is equal to your competitor’s website in terms of speed, title tags, citations, etc. but your your website is HTTPS and your competitors isn’t, Google will most likely rank you ahead of theirs.
What does HTTPS requirements in SEO look like in 2019? Although, at the time of writing this, less than 1% of all websites are HTTPS secure! Google has encouraged webmasters to make secure sites for years and has been giving an increasing amount of weight in ranking to Secure websites that are HTTPS. Keep in mind, Google ranks pages that are likely following many other best practices in order to obtain and retain their top page rankings.
Some have mentioned only a moderate correlation between HTTPS and higher search rankings; while, Google had already confirmed it does act as an agent in their SEO algorithms to rank websites accordingly to user trust and relevance flow.
As Neil Patel noted, Moz also found a slight correlation between HTTPS and higher search rankings and combined with other SEO etiquette, HTTPS pages will be prioritized over HTTP non secure pages.
Having a Secure Website can mean better performance by having better rankings that leads to more traffic. When users are looking at the search results, they may see a secure site as a signal of trust and authority over your competition who has a non-secure site. This improves your click thru rate, and that attribute can help Google confirm that your website should be ranked over competitors.
CONVERSIONS From SEO
Users trust secure websites — so it’s a fact that Click thru Rates are proven to increase by having an HTTPS secure site. A large majority of users are concerned about their data being intercepted or in some way, stolen online. Even if you don’t sell anything, or collect or receive any user data; it is proven that having a Secure website will in the same way create more trust with your audience. Make your customers and prospects feel safe and not worry whether their data, information, or even communication is intercepted by the lack of security. These are the reasons why more users convert on sites that are Secure and HTTPS.
Browsers Label Sites as Secure or Not Secure
Chrome, Firefox, IE, and other browsers label sites in the web address bar as Secure or Not Secure.
Right now, the URL bars of a non-secure HTTP site will look like this:
Not so bad, right?
However; Chrome will Warn users of HTTP pages that are non-secure, and will change the HTTP security warning label to the red triangle used for broken HTTPS sites. The new warning is part of a very long term strategy to label all websites served over HTTP as “non secure.” It ain’t going to be subtle:
You can be sure that more users will be scared off and bouncing from websites that are not secure when this warning is more common in browsers where users are browsing non-secure websites.
Get Your Website Secured & Increase SEO
The current SSL SEO impact isn’t completely negative and it’s not an end all solution or a deal breaker to having a SEO friendly website; however, it seem that browsers and google alike are trying to move in that direction (Making Websites go HTTPS Secure SSL). As said by Google Webmasters Blog; “As migrating to HTTPS becomes even easier, we’ll continue working towards a web that’s secure by default.”
Be proactive about your website security rather than trying to figure out why your competition is ranking better than you. Having a secure website will make you one step more SEO friendly and following SEO protocols that Google wants webmasters to follow.
How to be as Secure as Possible and remain SEO friendly:
Obtain a FREE SSL certificate yearly subscription
Follow basic Security measures and keep your website optimized for SEO and user security
Perform a daily full site backups (for last 30 days)
Keep a staging server with one click “push-to-live”, so that you can revert back to previous staged versions incase their is an issue with your live website.
Secure FTP protocol (SFTP) with server-side firewalls included to make sure your SSL Website is as secure as possible on the backend.
Extra Speed via a CDN
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to enhanced site load times by storing files at multiple locations across a server so that the user receives the files from the nearest source and reduces payloads each time a web page and rich media is loaded.
Make sure you have proper server storage space so that all of your files can be held and encrypted to stay secure.