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Migrating your website to HTTPS

Ashley Bryan |

Comments Off on Migrating your website to HTTPS |

December 5th 2018


Google now recommends that all websites should exist entirely under the security of an SSL certificate which will give the URLs the “https” prefix.

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6073543?hl=en

Sometimes our website can exist under both http and https versions, for instance if your website hosting provider supplies a free SSL by default with your hosting plan. It is desirable that your website exists only under the https version – having both raises a duplicate content issue with Google: your page and website authority is potentially spread over 2 versions of the website. So, we need to instruct Google to only value and show the “https” version.

We also want our website’s SSL certificate to be high quality. You can check the quality of your SSL certificate here: https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/index.html

If we assume Google can see everything, then this it is undesirable to have less than an A-rating, as your competitors will probably have “A” ratings:

You should instruct your hosting provider or web developer to:

  1. 1. Ensure proper set up of a quality SSL certificate if it isn’t already.
  2. 301 redirect each http URL to its corresponding https version. This will transfer human visitors from the old URL to the new and will also instruct Google to pass any page authority from the old URL to the new, thus retaining our rankings.

Rationale for this recommendation:

    • Google gives a small ranking boost to https websites
  • Competitors above and around us in the SERPs are operating under a quality SSL certificate
  • The reduced duplicate content is an SEO benefit
  • Having the website display in the search results with the https will improve visitor trust
  • Google will remove the “Not secure” label from the front of your URL in Chrome:

 

 

Let us know if you need more advice.


Ashley Bryan is a Website Optimisation Consultant located on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Follow Ashley: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube

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