Does switching to https have an adverse effect on SEO ranking?


#1

I am considering switching to the https secure urls for my landing pages and I was wondering if that could/would have an adverse effect on my SEO rankings. We’ve been building our SEO rankings over a number of years and I don;t want to have this become an issue.

I intend to try a test campaign using a secure url just to see if we would get a lift in conversions. In the meantime I’d like to ensure that the switch won’t hurt our SEO rank.


#2

Hi Annette, actually the opposite. Google itself gives a small increase in ranking for pages served over a secure connection. For real seo you should be migrating every part of your online presence to https.

Cheers

Stuart.


#3

Wow! That was quick…

I thought as much, but since the question was posed I figured it would be best to get a direct confirmation. I very much appreciate your response.

Cheers,
Annette


#4

Always on point with your answers, Stuart!  

Any idea if this is something that could significantly move the needle for SEO?  

SEO is not my strong suit and it seems like their are so many “best practices” to implement, but hard to differentiate which will have the most tangible impact - in the shortest period of time.

Best,

Joe


#5

Hi Annette,

As Stuart mentioned, HTTPS can sometimes have a small positive impact on page rankings (it’s thought that it is likely used as a tie breaker when two pages rank very closely), however, I’d like to add that HTTPS should not be used as an SEO strategy in and of itself especially if you ever consider transitioning an entire website over to it. Transferring an entire website to HTTPS can cause more harm than good if it isn’t done extremely carefully.

It’s best to look at HTTPS as an improvement to user security.

Can HTTPS hurt your SEO?

In your case, HTTPS will not have any negative effect on your SEO. If you’re interested in understanding the concept a little deeper, here is how it can.

How HTTPS can harm your SEO:

If we have a page called “example.com” and some of the inbound links pointing to it are written as http://example.com and others are written as https://example.com, it’s likely that Google will end up indexing both the secure and insecure versions of the pages, creating duplicate content.

The main issue here is that when your inbound links are split between two identical pages, the Page Authority becomes diluted (say 40% of links point to HTTPs and 60% point to HTTP). Ideally, all inbound links should point to a single page that you are trying to rank, giving it the largest boost possible.

Hope that helps!

Cheers,
Cody


#6

Very insightful explanation, Cody!

Thank you for taking the time to enlighten us.

Cheers,

Joe


#7

Yup that’s a fair point, I agree with what Cody has touched on, you should definitely make sure it’s done right, the above example is the same issue as www versus non www and can easily be managed in multiple ways, not least with a simple 301 redirect or rewrite rule which will make sure that your site doesn’t lose performance in the short and long term and all indexed pages will eventually be forced to https, www or a mixture of the two depending on your settings.

As long as you plan the transition there is no reason to ignore https or stay away from it. The reality is nobody knows the full extent of the benefit and various case studies and tests have shown it can range from a little to a lot. I think Cody is right, don’t base your entire seo strategy on it, but I’d be a bit worried if you did, there’s just too many ranking signals to focus on one.

As for Unbounce, use the https, it just makes sense, especially if you add trust logos etc, it all helps conversions.

Awesome question, good to see this kind of discussion.

Cheers both


#8

Hey Cody,

I appreciate the further detail regarding SEO. We have a very robust SEM strategy and have done well to keep moving the needle in the right direction in regards to SEO and PPC.

We also like to err on the side of caution and cover all bases before making any changes to the current strategy. I opened the discussion among my team regarding taking advantage of Unbounce’s ability to easily serve our current pages as https pages. We are using Unbounce for all of our PPC landing pages/thank you pages and in just doing that have greatly increased our conversion rate!

As with anything else we plan to run a test campaign before making the switch for all pages. Unbounce has very good instruction on how to ensure that the page will work without breaking anything.

What an awesome community!

Thanks and Cheers!
Annette


#9

Hi Joe,

It’s something that definitely has made an impact but i wouldn’t say it’s significantly moved the needle so to speak. It’s not a new ranking signal it’s been in play for a while (over a year) but at this stage nobody really knows how much importance it will have or has at this current time (in it’s initial release it was less than 1% of an impact, but it was made very clear this could and most likely would be increased as more people adopt https, this answers a few questions, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBhZ6S0PFCY&utm_source=wmx_blog&utm_medium=referral&utm_…).

In my experience (gained from migrating a few clients from http to https) it has enough of an impact to be worth doing. We saw an improvement in both the sites rankings and also a small improvement in quality score from the PPC angle. 

I whole heartedly believe that as developers, marketers, content writers and anyone else helping to shape our corner of the internet should be jumping on board with the move to “HTTPS Everywhere”.  

It’s a topic that I’m pretty enthusiastic about, but there are differing views ofc! 

I’ll cut myself short or you’ll end up with the really long version lol!

Cheers

Stuart.


#10

Couldn’t agree more! As stated in my reply to Cody we are definitely testing before fully implementing.

One would think the addition of a secure page for a form with the trust logos would help bump conversions so it felt like a no-brainer to take advantage of that!

Of course there is no guarantee that it will, and it could possibly have a deleterious effect. We shall see…

I’ll be happy to post the test results to the community once they are in.

Thanks and Cheers to all!


#11

Hi Joe,

It’s something that definitely has made an impact but i wouldn’t say it’s significantly moved the needle so to speak. It’s not a new ranking signal it’s been in play for a while (over a year) but at this stage nobody really knows how much importance it will have or has at this current time (in it’s initial release it was less than 1% of an impact, but it was made very clear this could and most likely would be increased as more people adopt https, this answers a few questions, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBhZ6S0PFCY&utm_source=wmx_blog&utm_medium=referral&utm_…).

In my experience (gained from migrating a few clients from http to https) it has enough of an impact to be worth doing. We saw an improvement in both the sites rankings and also a small improvement in quality score from the PPC angle. 

I whole heartedly believe that as developers, marketers, content writers and anyone else helping to shape our corner of the internet should be jumping on board with the move to “HTTPS Everywhere”.  

It’s a topic that I’m pretty enthusiastic about, but there are differing views ofc! 

I’ll cut myself short or you’ll end up with the really long version lol!

Cheers

Stuart. 


#12

Hi Joe,

It’s something that definitely has made an impact but i wouldn’t say it’s significantly moved the needle so to speak. It’s not a new ranking signal it’s been in play for a while (over a year) but at this stage nobody really knows how much importance it will have or has at this current time (in it’s initial release it was less than 1% of an impact, but it was made very clear this could and most likely would be increased as more people adopt https, this answers a few questions, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBhZ6S0PFCY&utm_source=wmx_blog&utm_medium=referral&utm_…).

In my experience (gained from migrating a few clients from http to https) it has enough of an impact to be worth doing. We saw an improvement in both the sites rankings and also a small improvement in quality score from the PPC angle. 

I whole heartedly believe that as developers, marketers, content writers and anyone else helping to shape our corner of the internet should be jumping on board with the move to “HTTPS Everywhere”.  

It’s a topic that I’m pretty enthusiastic about, but there are differing views ofc! 

I’ll cut myself short or you’ll end up with the really long version lol!

Cheers

Stuart. 


#13

Thank you, Stuart!  Everything you said makes sense and sounds logical.

While I am not an SEO expert, it does seem to beneficial for all of us if HTTPS becomes the status quo and that in the future Google may see reason to add more weight to this.

Solid insights as always.

Thanks,

Joe


#14

Sounds like you’re on the right track, Annette! Always good to hear those conversion rates are on their way up. I’m glad I could help and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of your test with https and the trust logos.


#15

Yes, https domain is a great way to positive SEO effect on ranking. Recently, I redirected my website from http to https and its ranking improved. This is a best way proven by Google.


#16

I am also little bit confuse with HTTP and https with my link building. I have more than 5000 links on my website dexusmedia.com with HTTP and now I have migrated with https.
can someone suggest will it not create duplicacy on domain…if happen than how to get over this situation.