HTTPS as ranking signal
Ever since Google announced that HTTPS would be used as a ranking signal, webmasters have been hurrying to make their sites secure. According to Google’s announcement, their goal is to “make the internet safer more broadly.” Based on Google’s recent estimations, they’re well on their way to achieving this goal. At a recent SMX Advanced search engine conference, Google’s Gary Illyes stated that “34% of Google search results are HTTPS.”
34% of Google search results are HTTPS.
It’s not enough, however, to simply purchase and install an encryption certificate. In order to capitalize on all the SEO goodness that HTTPS provides, there are a few additional steps you need to take. In fact, as I recently learned, not taking these steps can create additional problems.
HTTPS post migration checklist
We recently added a SSL certificate to the Blackbird Consulting website. I knew that I needed to make adjustments to my Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts but I wasn’t sure what else needed to be done. Fortunately, I came across an excellent post in Search Engine Land that provided a checklist of best practices for proper HTTPS post migration set up to ensure your site’s SEO is properly maintained:
- Ensure your HTTPS site version is added in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. In Google Search Console, add both the www and non-www versions.
- Set your preferred domain under the HTTPS versions.
- 301 redirect HTTP URL versions to their HTTPS versions site-wide.
- Ensure all internal links point to the HTTPS version URLs site-wide.
- Ensure canonical tags point to the HTTPS URL versions.
- Ensure your XML Sitemap includes the HTTPS URL versions.
- Ensure all external links to your site that are under your control, such as social profiles, point to the HTTPS URL versions.
A SSL certificate on your website can result in a significant boost in your SERP ranking. However, that’s only if it’s done right. Ensure that your site’s HTTPS post migration SEO doesn’t skip a beat by following the best practices listed above. The Search Engine Land post goes into greater depth as to why you should make these changes, so I would encourage you to give that post a read, too.
Is your HTTPS setup causing SEO issues? | Search Engine Land