Google has stated that they are currently using SSL/HTTPS as a ranking signal in their Google search algorithm. In case you have added SSL 2048-bit key certificate, your site may very well get a small ranking boost. This is one of the several initiatives by Google to better user experience.
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. When a web user connects to a site via HTTPS, the website encrypts the session with a digital Secure Sockets Layer Certificate, commonly known as SSL. Though this new parameter offers website with only a minor ranking benefit, as it calculates a “very lightweight signal” within entire Google search algorithm, it should definitely be part of your overall process. In case you haven’t upgraded to HTTPS, you shouldn’t be worried in the immediate future as Google itself stated that the secure site brings “very less weight than any other indicators such as rich-quality content”. In simple terms the web page rankings are still impacted by correct, concrete, unique and precise content.
Based on the tests conducted by Google, it added that the effect of safe sites is less than 1 percent of the queries generated worldwide. However, it is determined to reinforce the signals because it wishes to inspire all website proprietors to change from HTTP to HTTPS in order to keep everybody safe on the web. This is definitely a step in the right direction by Google and it needs to be complemented for this great initiative! Google added that the analysis for the past few months shows that the HTTPS signal has demonstrated “positive results” in terms of accuracy and positioning in Google search results.
According to Google, SEO will not be much impacted after this declaration. Website proprietors or their SEO service providers must consider specific measures as declared by Google:
- Select the type of certificate the owners need: single, multi-domain or wildcard certificate
- Use 2048-bit key certificates
- Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
- Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
- Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
- Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
- Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the no-index robots Meta tag
Google has also upgraded its Webmaster Tools to track proper HTTPS websites and analytics reports on them. This not only proves its commitment towards its stake holders globally but also emphasizes on the fact that it values the security of its users.
It is also the responsibility of all website and business owners to ensure that their sites migrate to HTTPS for secure, sound and safe browsing. This has several benefits such as –
- Safe e-commerce transactions
- Secured online banking
- Blanket protection to email applications
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