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More About Google and SSL/HTTPS

Getting a Boost in Rankings?

The big news in the SEO world recently was that Google posted information stating that having your website set up with secure URLs ("https" not "http" website addresses in the browser address bar), that you'd get a boost in rankings. We reported on that here:

Simple Way to Rank Higher and Above Your Competition (webstix.com)

Well, the dust has settled a little bit and the results are in! Or are they?

Google Says HTTPS Is A Ranking Signal, But It’s Not Really (searchengineland.com)

What should you do about switching to HTTPS? When in doubt, do what’s best for users.

If you run a site in the e-commerce, financial, search, social networking or related fields, you should already be running HTTPS on it. In fact, if your site utilizes a member login or any type of shopping cart, you should really switch to HTTPS.

On the other hand, if you’re running a blog, brochure site, news site, or any sort of information site where users don’t provide you with any personal information, I would recommend not using HTTPS. It costs money; it takes resources to implement; it slows down your site; it’s not needed; and it won’t hurt your rankings.

Long story short: if you make the switch, do it for the users and not because Google said it’s a ranking signal, because it really isn’t.

That's right on.

It does take server resources to encrypt everything. Since another "indicator" is site speed, you might be sacrificing load speed if you go with encryption. You could have both if your host is fast enough but a website that's not encrypted will load more quickly. So, either way you go (encrypted or not), you'll either get the indicator for encryption or you'll get the indicator for site speed. If your host is fast, you might get both with encryption. It's going to depend on your competition... it's all relative.

We went with SSL on our website and I haven't seen a significant jump in traffic or rankings. Again, it's just one part of the SEO and high rankings equation and it's relative... it'll help some websites more than others.

You can never fail if you think about your users. The mantra in the SEO world used to be "content is king" but that has changed to "the user is king." Always think about your website visitor and their experience. Do that and you'll have a successful website. Always.

-Tony


[UPDATE 09-02-2014]

And this is apparently making no difference (yet):

Report: HTTPS URLs Have No Discernible Ranking Benefit In Google Currently (searchengineland.com)

The good news is that migrating from HTTP to HTTPS should not harm your site’s ranking in Google, if done right. But you won’t see a significant or any ranking benefit in the short term, at least now, when doing so. That may change as Google tweaks the factor over time.

Yes... just make sure you do this right. It's easy to mess up.

-Tony

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