In a push to increase better-online security, Google is giving websites that have an SSL 2048-bit key certificate, more commonly known as a website with an HTTPS URL, better visibility in the search engine rankings.
Google wants to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web” and in doing so, secured websites will be given a small ranking benefit, but only classified as a “very lightweight signal” within the overall ranking algorithm.
Google states that this benefit carries “less weight than other signals such as high-quality content” and has an impact of “fewer than 1% of global queries”.
Should You Be Concerned With Jumping to HTTPS?
Because this has long been rumored, I wasn’t totally surprised when Google made their announcement a few days ago, but I do have a cause for concern from an optimization standpoint.
My concern on this matter is the speed of the web may be affected due to everyone’s push in getting every page secured to boost their rankings. The speed of a website is already something that Google categorizes in its algorithm standings.
There are steps you can take to ensure that your traffic won’t suffer when making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS, though. First, you will need to make a concerted connection with Google to let them know you have moved your website from an HTTP setting to a HTTPS.
Google has stated they will release more documentation and information on this matter later, but for now they are providing us with a few 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 their 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.
What Do You Think?
From an overall standpoint, this could be a very good thing because everyone’s web browsing will be more secured. On the other hand, we could potentially see a decline in web speed, due to everyone’s effort to secure their pages for better-online visibility.
From our standpoint, speed is a heavier factor for Google then a secured domain. However, this could potentially change based on reviews and feedback from this recent update! We will definitely be keeping an eye out for any more news from Google.
To Your Marketing Success!