Connect Securely

A little boost in search rankings

Google announced recently that they have started to use HTTPS/SSL as a “lightweight” ranking signal within their Google search algorithm.

What is HTTPS?

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (https://) is a secure version of the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (http://). HTTPS is usually used on websites to secure e-commerce transactions, such as online banking sites, email applications and online shopping cart checkout areas.

Should I be using HTTPS?

Making the transition to running your website via HTTPS is not going to propel you to the top of Google search results for your target keywords. As Google says it only has an impact on “fewer than 1% of global queries”.

In all honesty, there are many other things you can do to your website that will have an even bigger impact on your keyword rankings. An example of this would be a website containing high-quality content or website speed.

Google “would like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

However, the need to switch to HTTPS may well become more urgent over time. As Google have said, based on their tests for the past few months, the HTTPS signal showed “positive results” in terms of relevancy and ranking in Google’s search results. Therefore, it is definitely something you want to be aware of. In my opinion, I would make the switch now.

How to secure your website

You will need to apply for and install an SSL certificate onto your web server. This will initiate a secure connection between your visitor's web browser and your website. Once installed, web browsers will display a padlock icon to indicate this and also display https:// in the address bar.

There is a variance in annual cost associated with each SSL certificate. Also, you will need to go through differing levels of vetting, depending on the type of SSL certificate you apply for.

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