Monday, May 1, 2017

Effects Of HTTPS On SEO and Why You Should Need It

As per the study of Moz on findings on HTTPS: 30% of page-1 Google results that they studied were secure in that they were using HTTPS. He went on to reveal that recently this week, that number has peaked to 50%.

Based on  Dr. Pete wrote, it can be concluded that the steady increase without any sudden spikes are a result of people slowly accepting and converting to HTTPS and not because of Google’s constant algorithm changes.

Dr. Pete and Moz justified their findings by collaborating with Rank Ranger who operate on a separate data set; which more or less generated and proved their findings. What this means is that if two tracking tools were able to come to more or less the same answer, then the both of them are more or less correct if not on to something interesting.
Dr. Pete thinks that by the end of 2017, HTTPS websites will cover at least 65% of Google’s front page SERP. Google confirmed, however, that even if most of the  people are converting their websites to HTTPS, they have no plan (yet) to boost more ranking signals for HTTPS websites.

While Dr. Pete and Gary Illyes of Google’s exchange resulted in a polarizing statement whose validity cannot be ascertained and it would definitely be debated by people; Dr. Pete shared in his blog post that he believed in Gary and that Google is currently “…happy with the current adoption rate and wary of the collateral damage that an aggressive HTTPS ranking boost (or penalty) could cause.” I would agree with Dr. Pete because it makes more sense for Google to take its time with these changes.
HTTPS websites are more secure according to Google and they are starting to occupy the first page of Google’s SERP. This is all well and good but the problem is that not all the bigger websites have embraced HTTPS yet. MozCast released their data set and out of the 20 subdomains that are listed there, these are examples of websites that have not yet converted their websites to HTTPS:

This might be surprising for lot of you who might be wanting to switch over to HTTPS because knowing that 20 ‘big’ websites are yet to make the switch, is it really worth it to go for the change?
Lets discover associated aspects with HTTPS, webmasters have to remember that there’s more than the ranking aspect to consider when it comes to HTTPS. There are many factors that must be considered, for example, Google will be starting marking non-HTTPS websites as ‘non-secure’ when they start asking for sensitive information such as passwords and the like.
Dr. Pete believes that HTTPS is going to start ‘forcing’ people to convert their website to  HTTPS. Dr. Pete believes that most of people who are yet to take make the change will start to feel pressure especially because there are some ‘risks’ involved.
Dr. Pete recommends that new websites should convert to HTTPS especially because security certificates are  affordable and newer sites face ‘fewer risks’ when it comes to changing from HTTP to HTTPS. Dr. Pete recommends that people should  start securing  pages that ask for sensitive information.
Lets understand the procedure to change to HTTPS.
1.      We used the SSL Insecure Content Fixer plugin to make sure that all of our pages reflect their HTTPS status properly.

2.      We changed our MaxCDN pullzone settings from HTTP to HTTPS.
3.      We purged ALL of our caches which includes CDN’s cache so that we could pull all of the static files from HTTPS rather than HTTP.
4.      We fixed seo-hackercom’s internal caching system to work with HTTPS. To that end, we used the W3 Total Cache plugin.

5.      Back then, I reviewed Cyrus Shepard’s post entitled: “The Big List of SEO Tips and Tricks for Using HTTPS on Your Website” just to make sure that we did everything right. It doesn’t hurt to make sure that everything that you’re doing is correct as it was very risky to change your website from HTTP to HTTPS – and it still is risky, like what Dr. Pete pointed out in his blog post.
6.      We deactivated our manually coded social sharing buttons and then we switched over to Ultimate Social Deux because it works well HTTPS.
7.      We made sure to renew our SSL certificate annually – and we still do. It’s an expense but it’s an expense I consider an investment and it’s worked out well for us so far.
8.      We started using MaxCDN’s SPDY technology which basically increased our site load speed tremendously. You can use something similar but this is what we used back then.

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