Google and https what have we learned so far?

You will have probably have heard by now that Google is now throwing some weight on websites having https as a ranking factor. How much of a ranking factor we do not know but it is rumoured to be very low maybe in the 0.5 % region.

What is interesting though is the fact that Google have come out and openly said that this is the case something they do not normally do. They normally spend time changing their algorithms and keeping everyone second guessing about how much effect a change will have.

So what is https?

“Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secure version of the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (http). HTTPS allows secure ecommerce transactions, such as online banking.”

These websites when you view them in your browser show a padlock near to the address bar at the top so you know it is secure. When a user connects to the website the website encrypts the connection with a digital certificate. It’s all really about keeping you secure so nobody can intercept and decrypt any information you are sending back and forth to the website like credit card numbers for example.

What do I need to do?

At the moment having https is only a very small ranking factor but it is still worth building it in now to any website or any future websites. It may be a small ranking factor now but they may increase it in the future.

If I change my website links won’t it damage my website ranking?

When changing over to https it is important to keep the following in mind. Some website hosts do not allow you to add SSL to a shared hosting environment so you would need to move your website either to another host that does or to a virtual or dedicated server.

Make sure to 301 redirect all your old links. You website company can do this for you making sure any link to your site starting with http get automatically forwarded to https via a 301 link.

Change your address in Google webmaster tools this allows Google to know the site has moved and pass any rank your pages have onto the new secure pages.

If you need help with any of the above then feel free to contact me for a chat.