Way back in 2014 Google made an announcement that HTTPs would be considered a small ranking signal. However, there hasn’t been a lot of talk about the update, so we thought it’s time to shed some light on the subject.
Since it’s considered a “light signal” it probably hasn’t garnered enough interest. But, when it comes to SEO even the slightest boost to your rankings can mean a large difference in your total traffic. So, it’s definitely worth exploring.
Below we dive into the link between HTTPS and SEO and take a look at how it can benefit your website, and if it’s a worthwhile avenue to explore.
What’s the Difference Between HTTP vs HTTPS?
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and is a structure for how information is transferred and received through the Internet. It’s most commonly used to exchange website information. HTTP is the standard protocol for the web.
While HTTPS is a Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and is commonly used to secure information traveling over the web. For instance, most transactions that involve the exchange of personal data like, credit card numbers, are done through a HTTPS connection. The additional layer of security is done through an SSL connection.
Essentially, HTTPS is a much more secure connection than HTTP.
Any site that involves the exchange of secure information will utilize a HTTPS connection. The most common sites that utilize HTTPS are sites that involve exchanging transaction data, like eCommerce stores and online banks.
However, as you’ll see below most websites can benefit from utilizing an HTTPS connection, even if you’re not enhancing personal financial information.
How HTTPS Can Benefit Your Rankings
If you’re trying to align your SEO strategy with Google’s best practices, then securing your site with a HTTPS connection will be beneficial. We highlight the biggest benefits you’ll receive for your site below:
- Improved rankings
If you align yourself with Google’s ranking factors, then your site will rank higher. It’s a pretty simple equation. Following Google’s ranking factors will never be a bad move for your website and long-term rankings.
- Increased security
A HTTPS connection will improve the security of your site and the privacy of your users. This type of connection will authenticate both the web server and website, and will encrypt any data that’s sent through the site. This can be a great peace of mind for your users.
- Improved analytics data
Having accurate analytics data will help you make better site and traffic decisions. Traffic that passes through a HTTPS connection will be preserved as a referral domain, instead of being listed as direct traffic.
But, before you switch your site over there are a few things you’ll want to know. If you don’t switch your site over in the proper fashion you run the risk of actually damaging your rankings.
Google has released a guide for those looking to switch over from HTTP to HTTPS, for those inclined to make the switch without damaging their rankings. You can check out the guide here.
For those concerned about making the switch to a secure connection, there’s really nothing to worry about. Just follow the recommendations from Google and you’ll be able to secure your site, and hopefully see a little boost to your rankings.