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HTTP or HTTPS? The SEO Impact of Using SSL Certificates

http or https

Do you know that if your digital identity is stolen or if your bank account is hacked, there are no many security measures to get back what you have lost?

It is as good as gone. There is nothing much you can do about it. But, can you abstain from using the Internet altogether?

Sadly, no. We are so reliant on the Internet that there is no avoiding it. We continue using the online services with fear despite knowing the perils.

Tech giants have sensed this fear and have been in the works to make the web a safer place for all.

Google – the omnipresent Internet search giant took its first step towards web security by making HTTPS a minor ranking signal for search results.

At 2014 I/O Conference, Google called for HTTPS everywhere. The move was a signal that the future of web was going to be one that is large, if not entirely.

3 years later, we are convinced that secure websites are indeed ranking higher compared to the rest.

In fact, at least 30% of the top search results had become HTTPS in 2016. By now, the numbers should have increased substantially.

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Ever since the HTTPS frenzy kicked in, digital marketers and website owners went haywire. There were questions and answers floating around.

If you have also been caught in the spiral of confusion, be assured that HTTPS is the best thing that can happen to your website.

There are two benefits that you can score:

  1. Improved security for your website and customers
  2. Better search rankings

Now, should you need an SSL certificate or not?

Long answer, short – yes, you need one.

Let’s discuss in detail why your website needs to have an SSL certificate to reach the top of the search results.

Sooner Or Later, Encryption Is Inevitable

Whether you are running a personal blog or an online store that sells niche products, you will have to set up encryption to keep it safe from hackers.

HTTP is slowly getting phased out since it does have some loose ends that a smart hacker can leverage to make your website his own.

Once your website is gone out of your control, it could become a hotbed for ‘spamverts’ or even a goldmine from where all records like customer information can be stolen. So, you really need an SSL certificate configured on your website to make it: //HTTPS.

It Might Increase Traffic In The Long Run

One thing (fear, in fact) that everyone talks about related to HTTPS is the increase or decrease in traffic.

As you know, to upgrade your website to HTTPS, you need to redirect all links from your previous website to the new one. When the redirects are done, there is an uncertainty that the ‘link juice’ from the HTTP website may not be carried forward to the HTTPS website.

Well, this is not absolutely true. To make things straight-forward John Mueller from Google had posted via his Google+ profile that signals from both the links would be considered for ranking a website.

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But, there is one thing that you need to consider before buying an SSL certificate solely for SEO purposes.

If you do a cost-benefit analysis of buying and configuring an SSL certificate, the SEO benefits that you would derive would actually be on the downside compared to the cost and effort involved.

Although there are different types of SSL certificates available. You will have to buy paid SSL certificate due to advance level of validation method followed by trusted Certificate Authority (CA) such as verification of an identity of website ownership and full business verification. CA authorized Reseller offers cheap SSL certificates with 1-3 years validity for single domain, Multi-Domain or subdomain security.

So, if you are starting a new website and need it to be future-proof, then setting up HTTPS in your website is an ideal option. Else, take some time, weigh the pros and cons and then make a final decision.

If your business collects user information and required online transactions, then don’t think twice. You need it.

Fixing the SSL Dilemma

From what we discussed until now, you must know that SEO ranking is not completely HTTPS reliant. However, in the long-run, or perhaps even sooner it would become an important ranking factor.

As of 2017, Google Chrome (version 56) web browser began to show ‘Not Secure’  warning in the address bar to web pages served over HTTP. Recently, even Chrome version  Thus, unsecured site warning may become more prominent and it can be one of a reason for reducing web traffic. Chrome (version 62) will trigger a “Not Secure” login forms warning when a user enters data in forms on HTTP pages.

http to https

http search

Thus, Google encourages webmaster to use SSL certificate for allowing your site to be accessed over HTTPS protcol and you can fix “Not Secure” warning in Chrome.

There are some things you need to bear in mind, like:

  • The certificates must be of the X.509 PEM format
  • The public key and private key must match perfectly
  • The private key should not be encrypted or protected

There might be still other conditions too, which you might want to cross-check with your domain provider before buying an SSL certificate.

Determine which type of SSL certificate you would be requiring based on validation method such as: Extended Validation, Domain Validation, or Organization Validation SSL certificate.

Also, while configuring ensure that all the current website links are crawled and 301 redirects are set up to the new link to retain traffic. Update the HTTPS link everywhere including CDN, robots.txt, Google Analytics, Webmaster tools and so on.

Don’t forget to take a backup of your website data before making these changes. Also, run the changes on a test server before moving it to live server.

In the end, Migrate your website from HTTP to HTTPS by installing an SSL certificate on your web server, which is an investment for the future. It will at least help in improving customer trust who are worry of doing online transactions with the website.

Still got doubts on HTTPS? Buzz us and get it sorted out.

 

HTTP or HTTPS? The SEO Impact of Using SSL Certificates
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