Now you are worried when switching from your HTTP to HTTPS site for search engine friendly purposes? Not so much. Google has been telling webmasters it is safe to do so for years. But you need to take the proper phases to ensure your traffic doesn’t suffer. This means make sure to link to Google that you moved your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Google promises to release more documentation in the future, but for now has provided the following tips:
• Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
• Use 2048-bit key certificates
• Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
• 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
• Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
• Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.
Advantages of switching to HTTPS:
- More referrer data: Whenever traffic passes from a secure HTTPS site to a non-secure HTTP site, the referral data gets stripped away. This traffic shows up in your analytics report as ‘Direct.’ This is a problem because you don’t know where the traffic actually comes from. If you use HTTP, traffic from sites like Hacker News shows up as ‘direct’, because Hacker News uses HTTPS. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: when traffic passes to an HTTPS site, the secure referral information is preserved. This holds true whether the original site uses HTTP or HTTPS. As more and more sites make the switch, this becomes increasingly important.
- HTTPS as a rankings boost On one hand, Google has confirmed the ranking boost of HTTPS. On the other hand, with over 200 ranking, it’s likely you’ll find the effect of any ranking influence to remain quiet small In fact, a recent study by Search Metrics showed no detectable advantage to sites using HTTPS. Like most ranking signals, it is very hard to isolate on its own.
- Security and privacy: Many people argue that HTTPS only provides an advantage if your site uses sensitive passwords. That’s not exactly true. Even regular boring content websites can benefit from HTTPS / SSL encryption. HTTPS adds security in several ways: HTTPS verifies that the website is the one the server it is supposed to be talking to, Because HTTPS prevents tampering by 3rd parties, it stops Man-in-the-middle attacks, making your site more secure for visitors. HTTPS encrypts all communication, including URLs, which protects things like browsing history and credit card numbers. My advice is this: Make the switch to HTTPS if doing so is reasonable for your business. Security and trust add to the small ranking gains, making it worth the effort if you can.