SSL Influence on SEO Visibility: Study on 10.000 sites
SSL Influence on SEO Visibility. On August 6, 2014, Google officially announced that SSL is a ranking factor in the search engine algorithm.
The positive correlation between this element and a good positioning in Google was also confirmed by the Search metrics survey of 2015, dedicated to the most important ranking techniques.
For more information on this, visit the article dedicated to this study, in the Promo SEO blog.
Ahrefs has published an analysis of 10,000 domains, the goal of which was to identify how SSL influences the SEO visibility of these sites.
The main observations of the study are as follows:
1. Only 10% of the analyzed sites have https implemented 100% correctly;
2. Approximately 60% of the 10,000 domains analyzed did not have https implemented;
3. Almost 25% of sites did not define the canonical tag to https;
4. A quarter of the https domains use 302 type redirects instead of 301.
What is https and what benefits does it offer?
Simply put, https is the secure version of the classic HTTP, the protocol used on the Internet every time a website is accessed.
By using the secured version, the information transmitted between the visitor and the server on which the site is hosted is encrypted so that it is not accessible to any interruptions.
In the case of very popular sites, HTTPS implementation can lead to significant server resource consumption, but it is insignificant in many cases.
Installing an SSL certificate is critical to an online store from a data protection point of view, especially in areas where buyer requests payment or billing details.
In addition, it is also a trusted element that can help improve conversion rates on the site.
Essentially, the most common SSL certificates are of two types:
- Domain Validation (DV)
- Extended Validation (EV)
The first type offers as a visual element just the addition of an “s” (secure) to the way the web protocol is displayed in the URL of the site (HTTPS: // instead of HTTP: //).
The average price for such a certificate varies between 10 to 50euro, depending on the vendor.
It is usually allocated in 24 hours and does not require any special documentation.
The Extended Validation (EV) SSL also displays the company name in the address base on a green hue.
The mode of representation differs depending on the browser.
The price of an EV certificate starts at $ 80 and can reach up to several thousand dollars, depending on various options that can be chosen from the vendor.
Correct implementation https – attention to the following:
- Choose a 2018-bit certificate (DV or EV, depending on your budget),
- In Google Search Console, the site’s secure version must be confirmed,
- The canonical meta tags in the site must refer to the https versions of the pages,
- From URLs with HTTP there are 301 redirects to their HTTPS,
- Check robots.txt to avoid accidentally blocking https indexing.
HTTPS is not yet widely used, especially in Ireland. From this point of view, the correct implementation of this element can bring a small SEO advantage to sites that do so.
How to prevent your site from generating “Not Secure” in Chrome
There has been much information about the impact of SSL in SEO, even before Google officially announces it is a ranking factor.
According to another Google official announcement on September 8, 2016, the company’s browser (Google Chrome) will start displaying warning messages to users when they come to a page where there is an authentication form, but that page is not on SSL.
At that time, Google announced that the warnings will begin to display to Chrome users in January 2017 to allow site owners enough time to take the necessary action.
The warning may have a negative impact on the conversion rate in an online store or on any other website, especially as Google announces that it intends to gradually increase the visibility of this notice.
Google’s solution to avoid this misery implies that any element of the type or the form in which the data of a credit card is collected is located on an SSL page.
However, for the future, Google recommends full migration of the site to SSL (last paragraph of the article).
Finally, we present an example of a notification that Google sends to owners of sites that are affected by this novelty through Google Search Console.
Warning: You may not receive this message even if your site is affected by the update: