Security is a top priority for Google. If you want to increase your website’s search engine rankings, then security should be a top priority for your website as well.
Google is usually very secretive about its search engine algorithms. You never know what to expect in SEO until Google’s already implemented a change.
Not this time. Google admits that using HTTPS increases the SEO rankings of a website:
“We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
Why is HTTPS so important to Google’s search engine rankings?
1. Google Love Website Security
It’s no shock that Google hates spam and loves security. Using a SSL certification (HTTPS) encryption on your website makes it more secure.
Changing your website address from http:// to https:// makes it more difficult for hackers and technology thugs to steal information. It also gives website visitors a sense of security when they use your website to submit their credit card number or fill out forms online.
2. Google Prefers HTTPS Encryption for SEO Rankings
3. Users Loves Security and Users Could Impact Rankings
The more Google serves up secure websites, the more search engine users will be clicking those links. The increase in user activity to a link could increase search engine rankings for that link.
4. Make the Switch to HTTPS by Mid-2015
Google doesn’t give a deadline as to when HTTPS will trigger more then 1% of an increase in search engine rankings. However, they do say:
“We [want to] give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
Since the original HTTPS change was implemented in August 2014, a good guideline would be to make the change to your website before August 2015.
5. Keep Your URLs in Check
One does not simply add a “s” to their URL and expect to comply with Google’s algorithm change. You will definitely need the help of both a SEO strategist and website developer to ensure that your 301 redirects are implemented correctly. Also, the SEO consultant will need to verify that all search engines are aware of the URL changes for higher search engine indexing.
One More Thing…
If not done correctly, changing to HTTPS could have damaging effects and kill your search engine rankings. This is not a simple flip of a switch, but rather a strategic plan that must be created before attempting this major URL change.
Ultimately, Google considers website security and encryption to be important to deserve an algorithm search engine ranking change.
Now is the time to make the necessary security changes to increase the safety of your website visitors and increase those search engine rankings.