Will Switching to HTTPS: Really Make a Difference to Your SEO?

Everyone wants to be a Google online leader, so it’s only natural that when the search giant themselves announced that HTTPS is now a ranking signal everyone was ready to get on board! However, after the initial scramble marketers began to stop and ask themselves, does that extra little ‘s’ really matter and is it worth the effort? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of HTTPS and whether or not it is an important stepping stone on the way to becoming a Google online leader!

What Exactly is HTTPS?

First and foremost, if you are going to be a Google online leader, then you need to know what you are talking about. So, what is HTTPS? The acronym stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and it is designed to protect data passed between internet users and the websites they access. It consists of three different layers of security protection:

  • Encryption
  • Data Integrity
  • Authentication

In the simplest of terms, HTTPS is an essential part of creating a safe, secure user experience. However, it is not impenetrable – the unfortunate reality of the digital age is that even the most secure website can come under attack. HTTPS can go some way to reducing the risks.

The Advantages of Switching to HTTPS

As internet marketers strive to be a Google online leader, they must always have SEO at the forefront of their marketing strategies. As soon as Google made site security a ranking signal, albeit a lightweight one, HTTPS was suddenly on everybody’s radar. At the moment HTTPS is only having a minimal impact on search queries, but we can expect this to evolve until it becomes a more or less essential feature of any website. In this respect, it may be wise to adopt it now rather than wait until it becomes a larger priority.

At present, the biggest advantage of switching to HTTPS is that Google will reward those sites seen to be actively securing their websites with a boost to their search rankings. Every little helps in the quest to becoming a Google online leader. There are other advantages such as instilling a greater sense of trust in website users who see you are mindful of their privacy and security. Site owners also get the additional peace of mind that comes with knowing they have an extra layer of security.

Concerns Regarding Migration to HTTPS

As with any new technology or feature, there is always the downside to consider, and HTTPS is no different. When migrating to HTTPS, there are enough things that can go wrong to put many people off adopting it immediately. There are a number of concerns to think about. Are your web applications compatible? Are you confident you won’t mess up your redirects and canonical tags? Is HTTPS going to affect the speed of your site? These are all legitimate worries that any would be Google online leader might have. However, none of them should be a deal breaker. Make sure your team knows exactly the steps they need to take and they follow the migration plan closely to avoid any potential problems.

Here is a brief migration checklist to help get you started:

  1. Obtain a Security Certificate
  2. Set Up Redirects
  3. Update All Internal Links
  4. Update Other Resources
  5. Avoid Blocking HTTPS Sites From Crawling
  6. Reindex Your Site by Submitting a New Sitemap
  7. Test Everything!

To Your Best Online!

Ingrid Griffin, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®
[email protected]

Leave a comment