Google has announced that websites moving from HTTP to HTTPS will be given a search engine rank boost. This incentive was given because Google wants all of the websites it lists to be safe and by adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on a website it ensures that the website is safe for users. Although Google has said that the search ranking boost is very small and is “less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” Meaning that this algorithm update does add incentive but not to the point where if you do not have an HTTPS website it will severely damage your page rank. Google Webmasters Tools has also been updated so that it handles reporting HTTPS websites better. Google has said that if you are going to make the switch from HTTP to HTTPS you should make sure you are taking the proper steps so that your search traffic is not suffering.
- Pick the correct certificate for you: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate.
- Make sure you use 2048-bit key certificates Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
- Allow indexing of your pages by search engines for every possible page.
- Avoid the no-index robots meta-tag so that all pages are indexed.
- Update Google Analytics and Google Webmasters Tools to track the correct URL for the new HTTPS website.
Google will be releasing more in depth directions on the correct way to move to an HTTPS website in the future.