Web Presence Management and Optimization for Local Companies

King Google Has Spoken: SSL Your Site and Boost Your Ranking (… But Just a Bit)

12 Aug
2014

google-doodleTake a deep breath…you’re going to need it. Ready?

As much as we’d like for things to stay the same always and forever, we have to deal with the fact that things change over time, and it’s good to know things are changing for good -at least regarding to security on the web-, as Google has just recently announced their latest change in security on the web.

 

Many things have been said about the pros and cons of using HTTPS on a website in regards to organic SEO, but despite of what has been said about how a site’s rank can be affected and the inability to track the results of organic search queries when an SSL certificate is applied, Google is putting even more emphasis on data security now, and to counteract the problems it might bring to organic search results, is now encouraging users to migrate all sites from HTTP to HTTPS with the promise of using HTTPS as a ranking signal.  

 

ecommerce-securityGoogle recently announced that every site who migrates to HTTPS adding a SSL2048- bit key certificate will be benefited with a small ranking boost, and when we say small we really mean super duper minor boost, so don’t get overly excited about this, as for now, the so called ranking impact does not compare to the impact that other signals -such as high-quality content- have on search engines, in fact, Google says it has an impact on “fewer than 1% of global queries” but they also said that they could strengthen the signal to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web”.

 

As this safety measure is still on diapers, website owners don’t need to rush to make the change right now, but knowing Google, this is likely to become a ground rule for websites in a not so distant future, and according to our crystal ball, we dare say that it’s the end of HTTP as we know it, but we’re not sure if we feel fine…

Google has long said that protecting user’s privacy has always been a top priority for the company, but their effort does not stop there and they are also working hard to “make the Internet safer more broadly” and that “a big part of that is making sure that websites people access from Google are secure”.

Although all users should be protected by default, it’s even more important that business owners make the switch to HTTPS as they are more likely to be affected for having an unsecured website. Getting an SSL certificate will protect your site and prevent intermediary malicious parties or attackers from accessing your information and compromising your or your visitors privacy.

Through HTTPS you will secure your website from passive and active attackers who want to listen in, tamper with the data or impersonate the destination, and your organic search results will not be affected by encryption (or so they say).

We know that information on this is still a bit hazy, but here is a video Google released on the subject where you can find some info that could clear things up a bit:

 

Now, ready or not, here are the steps you will sooner or later need to take to HTTPS your site:

 

How To Go HTTPS

1. Get a 2048-bit certificate

2. Configure TLS on your server (s)

3. Verify TLS server configuration

4. Monitor performance: resumption rates, etc.

5. Tune server configuration: cache sizes, etc

6. Investigate SPDY & HTTP 2.0

 

What Your Webmaster Needs To Do To Migrate Your Site

1. Configure HTTPS on your server

2. Update site content to request HTTPS resources

3. update international links to point HTTPS pages

4. Verify robots.txt, rel=canonical and other signals

5. Set up redirects correctly, add HSTS

6. Check webmaster tools reports

 

For us, the future of HTTP is clear, at the end, we are all subjects of Google. If Google says jump, we jump, if Google says stay, we stay, if Google says play dead, we play dead, and apparently it’s HTTP sites’ turn to play dead for good, but i regards to organic SEO… well… we’ll see…

Elizabeth Rosales
author

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