HTTPS (SSL) Sites get Google Rankings Boost

Who doesn’t want an SEO rankings boost? Better yet, how about a security boost for your site.

Go HTTPS with SSL on your whole site.

First, some definitions:

HTTPS: (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol Secure), or in other words https is a URL indicator used to indicate a secure connection.

SSL: (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

A Little HTTPS History

Historically, HTTPS connections were primarily used for online payment transactions, e-mail and for sensitive transactions in corporate information systems. In the 2000’s it has become much more common for sites of all kinds to install SSL certificates for added layers of security in a less and less secure world. It means that information exchanged between you and a web site is encrypted and cannot be hijacked.

Google has always been on the forefront of making a better search and web experience, and decided last August (2014) to give more SEO ranking points to sites that have made the leap to HTTPS. This move shows all of us that it is time to get with the program! Pro Tip: Secure not only your own site files, but also the visits of your readers and customers.

How to check to see if your site is already HTTPS:

Type https:// into the URL bar of your browser, then your domain name. Like: https://www.2cdevgroup.com.

If you get a security error like this, then your site is not secure.

https-ranking-boost

NOTE: For eCommerce site owners, be sure to check your home page URL for this, not a checkout page, which is already HTTPS.

In your case, you will not need to purchase an SSL certificate. Your domain already is using one for the checkout process.

What does this mean to you?

  • Show your site visitors you care about their security.
  • Show Google your site cares about security.

Steps to Take:

  • Create a list of all the internal links on your site. Use a free tool like Zenu for this.
  • If you didn’t use relative links on all of those, fix that first. A relative link is not like this: http://www.2cdevgroup.com/page.html. It IS like this: /page.html
  • Buy a 2048-bit key SSL certificate from your host.
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible.
  • Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.
  • IMPORTANT: Update your sitemaps (XML, HTML) and then submit them to Google to let them know about the change.

Need help with your HTTPS migration? Talk to an expert.

Holly Nelson

Holly Nelson, CEO of 2C Development Group brings more than 20 years of success in internet marketing to every project. Her ability to identify production, communication, customer service and logistical pain points and to solve them through increased efficiencies in website design/development, online catalog management sales solutions, online content development and marketing brings consistent, clearly demonstrable ROI to clients. Follow on Twitter and Google+