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Google indexing HTTPS pages by default

Discussion in 'SEO & SEM Discussions' started by atom, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. atom

    atom Administrator

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    auDA Member:
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    I'd noticed there were many https results for a while now, but what I didn't realise was that it had become policy, and
    https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2015/12/indexing-https-pages-by-default.html

    In Augost 2014 they stated that it was "only a very lightweight signal", "But over time, we may decide to strengthen it...".

    Is anyone aware if https has become more significant and worthwhile in terms of ranking? Are you advising clients to use it?
     
  2. chris

    chris Administrator

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    Yes, advising clients for most new sites where user data is captured or may be captured in the future.

    There are a lot of potential issues switching well established non-SSL sites to SSL, so it's hard to tell the exact impact. There are a lot of stats out there that report on shifts, but a lot of that was skewed due to Wikipedia switching to SSL and them ranking number 1 for more terms than any other website.

    Google is promoting SSL in a major way, so I think it's safe to say that the benefits will only increase. A few of us were talking to one of the Google Engineering team that worked on the SSL algo change at SMX in Sydney and he made it clear this is the direction they're taking.

    Indexing HTTPS by default is perhaps yet another sign.
     
  3. Cooper Mills DomainLawyer

    Cooper Mills DomainLawyer Membership: VIP

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    Hey Chris, when you say "There are a lot of potential issues switching well established non-SSL sites to SSL" this gets me a little nervous as I was planning to launch our new website on https - what do you see as the biggest issues ?
     
  4. chris

    chris Administrator

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    For an established site, it's worth taking extra care.

    The biggest issues are redirects and canonicalisation, you just need to make sure you do thorough testing.

    Here's a great post, specifically the section on "SEO checklist to preserve your rankings":

    https://moz.com/blog/seo-tips-https-ssl

     
  5. Shane

    Shane Membership: VIP

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    I've switched three of my existing websites over to https during the last couple of years.

    The change doesn't appear to have had any impact on my rankings, but it's difficult to judge with everything else going on affecting rankings.

    I more or less followed the MOZ tips posted above and had no issues.
     
  6. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    I talked with Gary Illes from Google Search quality about a year ago at a conference and he advised me to move all sites onto https even if you run a memes website. The ranking boost will be small though its 1/200 singnals.
    We moved a few sites over need to do more, always ensure you use 301s on the move and not 302s.
     
  7. Cooper Mills DomainLawyer

    Cooper Mills DomainLawyer Membership: VIP

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    Thanks for the tips guys, I think I had better do some reading on this. I am keen to move to https because we have a contact form on our new website, so I would like to give visitors some assurance that their personal data is not viewable in plain text across the internet!
     
  8. atom

    atom Administrator

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    Yes, great info, thanks all. Certainly for new sites, it seems like the default should now be SSL.
     
  9. Shane

    Shane Membership: VIP

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    I would say so. If I was to launch a new site, and it was one that I expected to do well, I'd go SSL from the outset.