What impact does HTTPS and SSL have on SEO?
The purpose of this article is to look into the effect of https on Search Engine Optimisation. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secure platform that is used for online e-commerce payment transactions. This could include any online shopping website and even online banking.
In order to show that a website is secured by HTTPS, web browsers such as Google Chrome display a locked padlock, as well as showing https:// in the website address.
Once you connect to a website using HTTPS, something called a Digital Certificate is used to encrypt that particular session. If you see the padlock in the top left just before the domain, then it means that you are connected to a secure website.
If implemented correctly, having a https website will have no negative effect on your SEO rankings. For na good reference on this subject, we point you to a response written on the subject by John Mueller, from Google Switzerland who wrote “HTTPS-only sites are fine, there’s absolutely no need to shy away from that if you implement it properly. There’s certainly no penalty involved with running your site on HTTPS-only when done right.”
Mueller elaborated on this by mentioning that we should look into HSTS and making sure the infrastructure can handle the higher load (such as SSL, caching etc.).
To avoid any impact of negative SEO from HTTPS, there are a couple of things that you should bear in mind.
Website loading speed
The server that is hosting your website is very important, as it needs to be able to cope with the extra demand of HTTPS. Google has a strong preference for faster loading websites and indeed it’s one of their ranking factors. If your website is SSL secure, then it will be using a lot more resources than normal because a lot more connections have to be encrypted.
Unique content to a website is very valuable. Therefore, make sure that any previous pages have a 301 redirect, something that is simple enough to do for an experienced web developer. If you fail to add the 301 direct then you run the risk of Google imposing a penalty on you. This is because Google will see the two websites as using the same content rather than two separate websites.
To sum up, using an SSL certificate will have no bearing on your SEO but only if you implement it in the right way. Just make sure you follow the 2 tips mentioned in this article.