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Does making your website HTTPS really improve rank?

     
6:34 am on May 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Does it make a huge difference or what anyone saw a difference in ranking?
11:54 am on May 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is looking at the question through the wrong end of the telescope.

Ask what will happen to your site's ranking in the longer term if you don't make it https.

Some effects that may harm your site's ranking are already happening: for example, Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo search results all show whether a site is https, so CTR is likely to be lower for sites that are not https.

Moving to https is what you need to do to stand still.
12:08 pm on May 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Agree with @Wilburforce,

Plus if you ever have seen the Google Adsense account, then let me tell you Google Adsense account gives you suggestion to upgrade your website and install SSL certificate and it also tells that it is beneficial for SEO.
12:15 pm on May 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is looking at the question through the wrong end

I would like to add , "does switching to TLS is better for my users", before thinking about improving your ranking...

By the way, something that TLS improves for sure is the speed of your site, if you are using http/2; which improves user experience, and both the speed increase and user experiences are factors in Google ranking
4:35 pm on May 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For my audience, rankings is way down my list on reasons I implemented HTTPS.
5:26 pm on May 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For my audience, rankings is way down my list on reasons I implemented HTTPS.

Same.

Now, something else which is true about TLS is that, "one day", web browser might start really blocking access to these sites, or at least prompting user if they want to access the site or not.
12:00 pm on May 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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if you switch to HTTPS, pay attention to the certificate some block older Android versions and lose + 5% of visitors.

In my case I did not notice any difference is a very low ranking factor and the top 10 results on google are all https.
4:29 pm on May 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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About the ranking factor of a switch to https , keep in mind that , switching is not improving your content, and content is (should) still the most important aspect of a ranking. You have be https, have the fastest site in the world, have the best user experience, if your content is not following, you'll still be outranked by sites with a better content in the same subject. https is one among hundreds of factors, so it can make a difference if two site have the same quality of content, and have a similar score across all the other factors.
7:41 pm on May 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For my audience, rankings is way down my list on reasons I implemented HTTPS.


I'm with you and Travis on that one, but the OP asked about ranking.

There are many good reasons to switch to https, and scarcely any to avoid doing so. Clearly, once everyone has switched there can be no ranking advantage.
6:18 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies guys.

I'm not a tech savvy person I just write a blog, im not an affiliate marketer, I dont push products just cover a niche and blog about it

I'm scared to transfer to a HTTPS because ill screw it up, I screwed up my wordpress when trying to implement some code into the source after reading a how to and it completely turned my website white.

I'm also broke, it cost money to buy a SSL, I'm trying to improve my website and get my traffic back that I had several years ago but so far its hopeless, I write up content only to be outranked by spammers

It is hard for me to learn, I wish I could just spend the majority of my time focusing on content.
6:23 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ask what will happen to your site's ranking in the longer term if you don't make it https.

What Will Happen if I Don't Switch to HTTPS? [webmasterworld.com]
6:36 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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well the harsh answer is learn or pay.

there are free certificates available from letsencrypt ... but you do have to learn to impliment them, it's not that difficult, there are loads of discussions about this on WebmasterWorld and if you take the plunge i'm sure members here may offer suggestions if you get stuck. you'll also have to set up redirects from http to https for your site, again there is lots of info about this already here at WebmasterWorld.

otherwise i imagine your host either has a control panel where you can set it up at a touch of a button, for a fee - or you can contact their support and they will do it for you, againfor a fee.

alternatively WebmasterWorld members who are willing to do work are listed here [webmasterworld.com...]
7:23 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Regarding topr8 comments, IF you can , learn to install a Let's encrypt certificate yourself, because, if you hire someone to do it, they may come back with recursing fees, since Let's encrypt certificates expire after 3 months, meaning that every 3 months (or earlier), you need to renew the certificate, (which is also free), there are plenty of ways to automate this. So I am just saying be careful, people might take the opportunity to charge you a fee every 3 months for something free, which is taking juts few minutes to set up (when you have the knowledge)
8:11 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Broaster, CloudFlare offers a "Flexible SSL" option that's free and requires no technical knowledge whatsoever. You can even have CloudFlare automatically redirect internal http: links (if you have any such absolute links) to https: when https: versions of your pages are available. The whole process is designed to make the choice between http: and https: a no-brainer for anyone.
8:15 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Broaster, CloudFlare offers a "Flexible SSL" option that's free and requires no technical knowledge whatsoever.

I know that he OP was only minding about ranking benefits, but isn't it against the state of mind/goal of TLS to have your front end in TLS, but your backend not? The connection between the client (visitor) and Cloud Flare is encrypted, yes, but between your server and Cloud Flare it's in plain text,...
8:28 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Shhh... Cloudfare doesn't want anyone to figure that out.

Obviously MITM eavesdropping and plain text hijacking can & does occur when the security is not actually on your server.
11:21 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This will be "fun", the day Clouflare will be hacked ...
11:35 am on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The whole process is designed to make the choice between http: and https: a no-brainer for anyone.

Or rather to make your choice for Cloudflare a no-brainer ;-)

Except, of course, it's not the best way to go HTTPS unless you already (want to) use Cloudflare for its other features.
8:06 pm on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Broaster, CloudFlare offers a "Flexible SSL" option that's free and requires no technical knowledge whatsoever.
If they are still offering SSL then it is *they* that have "no technical knowledge whatsoever."

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is now deprecated by the Internet Engineering Task Force
source: [en.wikipedia.org...]

Transport Layer Security (TLS) replaced SSL in 2015: [tools.ietf.org...]
9:05 pm on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Except, of course, it's not the best way to go HTTPS unless you already (want to) use Cloudflare for its other features.

Maybe, but there are plenty of other features to make signing up worthwhile. My point, in any case, is that CloudFlare makes switching to HTTPS so brain-dead simple (and free of complications) that there's no excuse to hold back, even if your eyes glaze over when people start talking about protocols, certificates, etc.
9:08 pm on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There's a consensus and trend that everyone is moving to HTTPS. It's super simple to setup and can't think of any reasons why you'd still be on HTTP only.
9:30 pm on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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https is a major PITA for me, but I know I have to swallow that bullet in the next few months. GDPR is another reason as well as all the browsers giving me grief.

I have a 6000-page website built, clinkerbuilt fashion, over 17 years so I know things will fall through the cracks and I'll suffer something (missed search-and-replaces, ranking, etc) but now is the time.

That's the way the wind is blowing and you need to suck it up. I went responsive in 2014 and should have just done it then - "regrets, I've had a few", and that's one of them.
11:01 pm on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ChanandlerBong el al

- Generic Steps to Switch from HTTP to HTTPS -

Read all info at your host concerning certificates & switching to HTTPS and when applicable, follow those instructions.

Install security certificate.

Have your host enable HTTPS (if needed.) This will enable access from both HTTP & HTTPS allowing normal access while you test.

Go through site, page by page & make sure all file paths are relative (no protocol.) Test by accessing site using HTTPS and look for any browser alerts.

Install 301 code in .htaccess file
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
Note: your server may require different code

Go through site again, page by page, and test. Any remote absolute links will need to be HTTPS including those found in scripts & pluggins. If you publish Adsence or other advertising, links in these scripts need to be HTTPS also (or just remove the protocol altogether.)

Update sitemap.xml (if applicable) and submit to appropriate agencies (Google, Bing, Yandex, etc)

In Google Search Council create a new site (property) using HTTPS (do not use the Change of Address form.) It will take a few days to start populating information. This is normal & traffic to old site (HTTP) will drop off accordingly. Leave the old property (HTTP) but from now on you'll only use the HTTPS property.

Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex & others should update automatically once they crawl your new pages. Updating/re-submitting sitemap.xml should speed up this process.

- - -
2:45 am on May 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It improves rank by .0005% (made up number, but likely isn't far off).
1:26 am on May 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My rankings actually dropped after moving to HTTPS, but likely due to content factors more than the protocol.
10:40 pm on June 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A short term drop after changing to https can happen, seen this with several customers and the reason is rather simple: For Google, a change from http to https is like a domain change from example.com to newexample.com or a change from www. to non-www. Sounds crazy, but technically it's a whole new URL for each and every subpage. So, although proper 301s transfers all signals, this change can cause a re-evaluation, a few weeks up and down till the dust settles and the site ranks pretty much like before. Doesn't always happen, but does happen.

Rankings advantage? Didn't recognize any so far...but idependant from any technical aspects: The green lock looks nice, may make visitors trust a site a little more and with more and more sites switching to https, the ones not using it stick out of the crowd and not in a positive way.
11:48 am on June 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Changing World Wide Web to SSL certificate increases users trust not ranking ,https is HYPER TEXT TRANSFER PROTOCOL so it used to secure information between user and server ,it doesn't effect ranking .so based on your question all https websites rank first than www websites. it is just to secure information and may be it is trusted for users and may boost ranking up to 30 %
11:54 am on June 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Changing World Wide Web to SSL certificate increases users trust

Not even. SSL is forbidden since 2015.
7:13 am on June 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@pavanear John Mueller / Google has confirmed that SSL is a ranking factor, but only a very, very minor, almost insignificant, one.

E.g. if two web pages happen to have EXACTLY the same score, then SSL might make a difference.
7:33 am on June 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I predict non-secure pages will be purged from the index in the not-so-far-away future. Google will not want to send users to unsafe destinations.
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