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Does the https protocol affect positioning?

Only a few years ago, few website owners decided to implement the https protocol, but now it is becoming not only more and more popular, but even indispensable. If you still use the http protocol, check out our guide in which you will find out what the http and https protocols are, how they differ and whether the SSL certificate will affect the positioning of your company’s website.

What are the http and https protocols?

What is the http protocol and what is the https protocol? These are connection protocols used to transfer data between web servers and browsers. The https protocol is a more advanced and secure version of the http protocol, supplemented by an ssl certificate. It must be used on websites and in stores to encrypt the data of paying users, as it provides two-way security for sensitive data (e.g. passwords). When we enter a website with the https protocol, the security protocol confirms the identity of the website to the browser.

Http and https protocol – differences

What is the difference between the http and https protocols? The key difference is the level of guaranteed security. The http protocol has no data encryption mechanism, while the https protocol has an SSL certificate securing communication between the server and client. What else is the difference between the https and http protocols?

– http transmits data in plain text, while HTTPS transmits data in encrypted form,
– the http protocol can run faster than https because the SSL certificate uses processing power to encrypt the data.

What are the advantages of the https protocol and why should you implement it on your website?
– SSL certificate inspires greater trust among users,
– an SSL certificate allows you to make secure transactions in e-commerce through online banking, which is why it is necessary,
– if you think about running and positioning an online store,
– each SSL certificate with the https protocol contains unique, authenticated information about the owner of the certificate, which is verified by an independent authority,
– after implementing the https protocol, you can introduce automatic redirection – even if the user enters the address from http, he will be redirected to a website with an SSL certificate.

Is it worth switching to the https protocol and why?

Are you wondering whether it is worth implementing an SSL security certificate and do you need it on your website? The Firefox and Chrome browsers inform the user that the website is not secured, therefore the https protocol becomes a standard. You can skip the use of an SSL certificate for simple blogs, but if you want to sell online, you need an SSL certificate to encrypt your data when paying users. Find out why it is worth implementing an SSL certificate and the benefits associated with it.

– Google admitted that it prefers websites that use the https protocol,
– the search engine will inform the user that he is visiting a secured page (message, no padlock next to the URL address),
– Thanks to the https protocol, you protect your clients’ data,
– The https protocol page contains a secure lock icon in the address window,
– Thanks to the encrypted https website, you can implement AMP, i.e. accelerated mobile pages (it is impossible without an SSL certificate),
– The implementation of the https protocol can improve the number of conversions in Google Ads,
– ssl-certified pages confirm to the user that he is communicating with the correct website

SSL certificate and positioning – does the https protocol affect positions in search results?

Google has been encouraging website owners to install an SSL certificate since 2010, and announced in 2018 that the lack of the https protocol may result in a loss of search engine traffic.

Do the SSL security certificate and the https protocol affect the SEO results? Brian Dean from Backlinko, along with Ahrefs, SimilarWeb and Market Muse, looked into this issue. They analyzed over a million websites. On this basis, it was concluded that the presence of the security certificate and the https protocol has a moderate impact on the higher positions in the top10 in the search results.

The study confirmed the official position of Google – in 2014 developers found that the https protocol is a ranking factor. In practice, the presence of an SSL certificate can be decisive in positioning when the pages are comparable in other respects (e.g. content, link profile, technical aspects of website construction in terms of SEO). As Google developers themselves emphasized, in the future, the presence of an SSL certificate may have a greater impact on the effects of positioning.

SSL certificate in positioning – why is it worth implementing?

It is unlikely that the mere implementation of the SSL certificate and https protocol will lead your website to the top 10 search results. Positioning the website includes a complex of many different activities (creating content, building a link profile, technical optimization of the website). Nevertheless, the SSL security certificate brings benefits for SEO. Implementation of the https protocol:

– provides a better user experience when browsing the website (UX – User Experience in positioning),
– it can extend the time spent on the website – the lack of the https protocol makes the user immediately return to the search results – this informs Google that the time spent on the website is short and may have a negative impact on the positions in the search engine,
– may be necessary to introduce technologies that will speed up the website.

Is it worth implementing an SSL certificate to improve SEO results?

While an SSL certificate may have an impact on SEO effects, in some situations you don’t need to implement it. What strategy should you follow on your site regarding https?

– If you are just building a new website, make sure to implement the SSL certificate and https protocol. Implementing an SSL certificate just to improve SEO results is not a good solution because the process is resource-intensive and time-consuming.
– If you are a blogger and the only user data you collect is an email address, you don’t need to install an SSL certificate.
– You can only implement an SSL certificate on certain pages where you ask customers for confidential data and on payment pages.

How to implement an SSL certificate without losing positioning effects?

The installation of the SSL security certificate can positively affect the SEO effects, but when implementing the https protocol, be careful not to lose the SEO effects you have previously worked out. Changing the http protocol to https will make the website available both at http and https. What to do to maintain website traffic and organic search rankings after implementing the SSL certificate?

The implementation of the SSL certificate should be carried out in the following steps:

Step 1: Prepare to deploy the https protocol
Do you want to ensure the security of your website and implement an SSL security certificate? Consider the following:
– the size and complexity of the website,
– the CMS you are using,
– the hosting you use,
– Your programming skills.

If you don’t have IT knowledge, ask an IT specialist, SEO specialist or hosting company for help.

Step 2: Selecting the SSL certificate
You can choose a free SSL certificate. The most popular providers are Let’s Encrypt and Cloudflare. However, remember that you will have to renew it every few months.

Step 3: SSL certificate installation
After purchasing the certificate, you need to install it on your website. To do this, use a plugin available on CMS WordPress (Really Simple SSL), which will automatically detect your SSL certificate. You can ask your hosting provider, IT specialist or SEO specialist to install and activate the certificate.

Step 4: Setting the site with https as default
After implementing the SSL certificate, you need to add a new address to Google Search Console. Click on your website address in the lower upper corner and go to “Add a service”. In response, you will receive the following view in which you should add new addresses from https – with www and without www.

Step 5: Set the http to https redirect
After successfully installing and activating the SSL certificate, you need to implement a permanent redirect to bring users to your site with the https protocol. This way you will avoid duplication of the page content. How to do it? Set up a 301 redirect from an address containing http to an address containing https.

Step 6: Backlink audit after https protocol installation
Installing https affects the website address but does not affect backlinks. This means that previously obtained links can redirect the user to the old site, without an SSL certificate. To fix this error, use the link audit you can run in Ahrefs, Screaming Frog or Netpeak. Check that the links contain a 301 redirect to the URL from https. If not, use the Redirection plugin for WordPress, thanks to which you will implement redirects.

Step 7: Verification of indexation in Google Search Console
After Google has crawled your site after deploying your SSL certificate, go to the Status report in Google Search Console and check the site for internal link errors. If so, take care of implementing a redirect to the url from https.

Https protocol and SSL certificate in your SEO strategy

The presence of the https protocol and a security certificate on your website can have a positive impact on the SEO results. If you want to develop your business, sell on the Internet, and ensure user safety, plan the implementation of the https protocol as part of your company’s online marketing strategy. Thanks to our tips, you will plan the migration process to https step by step, avoid mistakes and you will not lose the effects of your SEO campaign.

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