Soon, all websites that aren’t secure will trigger browser warnings to alert the users of search engines that they are about to land on a potentially dangerous website. Under these circumstances, there’s no wonder that everybody and their dog want to switch to the HTTPs version of their website. Whether this impacts SEO or not, we are going to see in a moment.
How HTTPS Affects SEO?
The first thing to keep in mind is that Google, and all other search engines for that matter, will consider the secure versions of your pages as different than the current ones. This means you won’t benefit from your past inbound links, so you’ll lose your positions in the SERPs.
In order to avoid this from happening, you should ensure you do the switch the proper way. Use your .htaccess file to redirect your non-secure website to its secure version. Like this, all link juice will still flow towards your new pages, enabling you to preserve your rankings. A small drop in search traffic is possible, but it should be only temporary.
Most web hosting companies offer free Let’s Encrypt certificates to their clients. While this can save you a few dollars, you may get in trouble if you don’t implement these certificates correctly. Browsers will alert users that your website isn’t fully secure. Guess how many of them are going to click the back butting of their browser or close the tab immediately.
The same applies in case some of the elements of your web pages are still non-secure. For instance, forgetting to switch the link to your business logo to its secure version will cause the page to be displayed as not being secure. You won’t even understand why, but search engine users may notice the padlock warning in their browser, so they may decide to avoid your website altogether.
All these considerations lead to the point that a sloppy and incorrect transition to HTTPs will have a negative impact on your SEO performance. On the contrary, if you implement this change the right way, you may notice an improvement of your SEO results. Since Google considers secure websites as being better than non-secure ones, they are going to give HTTPs sites a tiny boost in search.
In conclusion, the switch to HTTPs is a must. Whether you do it now, or you postpone it until it’s going to become mandatory, this is a decision you must take. If you don’t do it, you may lose your best rankings, as Google will demote non-secure websites. If you do it, but you fail to implement all steps properly, your rankings may also be affected in a negative way. Your only chance to benefit from this move is to do it correctly right off the bat. This means you should probably invest in a secure certificate issued by a reputable provider. Moreover, you should hire an IT specialist to help you with the implementation. Before starting to look for specialists, see if your web hosting provider offers this service. If they do, make use of it. Find more information at https://scottkeeverseo.com