Does Using HTTPS Affect SEO

Basic Guide, about 5 min of reading

In mid-2014, Google announced the emergence of a new factor affecting the positioning of websites in search results - the usage of the HTTPS protocol.

 

 

It was stated that if you use the HTTPS protocol, significant ranking bonuses will be available for the website in the form of an advantage over those who do not use it. At the same time, the official announcement emphasized Google’s concern for the safety of users while visiting the Internet.
Several years have passed and many are still wondering if using HTTPS for SEO is really an important factor or is this all just fake news?
In this article, we will try to figure out whether the type of data transfer protocol (HTTP or HTTPS) is important for websites’ SEO promotion.
Benefits to use HTTPS for SEO
Google encourages for constant usage of the HTTPS protocol for websites that are being created, as well as the transfer of old websites into it.
It is also reported that after the website is transferred to HTTPS, its position may temporarily fall, because search engine bots will have to re-index it.
After the completion of this stage, there will be a slight improvement in positions relative to indicators that were previously on HTTP. However, in the future, the value of this factor will continue to grow, and therefore, the impact of HTTPS on website promotion should be quite significant.
Actually, these are only promises that have very little impact with the current state of affairs.
Consider the data on the change in the visibility of some websites using the HTTPS protocol, six months after the introduction of the new Google algorithm:
As you can see, the position growth is indeed observed, but it is so insignificant (5% maximum) that these position improvements can be attributed both to the influence of HTTPS on website promotion and also to natural results (after all this time, the promotion work most likely did not stop)
It turns out which protocol the site uses (HTTP or HTTPS) for SEO promotion is not particularly important. Although there can be no definite conclusions on this subject. These are only judgments that are based on our own experience and examples of random websites.
Confirmed facts for why to use HTTPS protocol for SEO 
1. Increased visitor confidence. Using the HTTPS protocol for a website can still slightly improve its position in search results by influencing behavioral factors. After all, the difference between HTTPS and HTTP is primarily expressed by a high level of trust in websites using the more secure of these two protocols.
 
As a result, if you use the HTTPS protocol for a website, you can significantly reduce the number of failures and thereby indirectly affect its promotion. It will also help increase conversion rate.

 

2. Trust from search engines. In any case, HTTPS is one of the ranking factors according to official data. Therefore, its significance will grow with time. You need to decide when to make that transition, but it will need to be done sooner or later.

 

Negative aspects of using the HTTPS protocol
In the case of new websites that are immediately made with support for HTTPS, there will be no problems for SEO. For the old websites, the following points may be very important:
 
1. Considering that in all web page addresses HTTP will be replaced with HTTPS, for SEO this will turn into a real disaster for a while. Firstly, the search engines will perceive the changed web resource as a completely new resource with all the consequences that will follow.
 
2. After the introduction of a new data transfer protocol, the speed of the website will decrease. Not too much, actually, maybe about 10 "extra" KB for each session will be added. This is only 2% of the delay.
 
3. The cost of paying for SSL certificates can range from $ 13 to $ 1,000, which for some is a fairly significant additional expense. 
So what to choose: HTTPS or HTTP?
Considering that the impact of HTTPS on website promotion is still not fully defined, you may not run to transfer existing websites to the new protocol after reading the article. Actually, we did it already :)
And at the same time, if the choice is made at the stage of website development, it would be more logical to focus on a safe and modern data transfer protocol.

 

Do not forget to express your opinion on the topic of the article below in the comments!

Glossary:

(click on the links to learn more)

 

HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).  It is used for secure communication over a  computer network, and is widely used on the internet. In HTTPS, the communication protocol is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS) or, formerly, its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). The protocol is therefore also often referred to as HTTP over TLS, or HTTP over SSL.

 

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, where hypertext documents include hyperlinks to other resources that the user can easily access, for example by a mouse click or by tapping the screen in a web browser. 
 
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