You can look at this update and say that Google is penalising sites that only have HTTP and to a certain degree this is true.
However that being said, what Google is actually doing is rewarding sites that have HTTPS and therefore better website security with higher rankings.
In other words, having HTTPS has now become a ranking signal.
Google Ranking Factors
WHEN TO MAKE THE SWITCH:
STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE:
When it comes to HTTPS and your website’s Google rankings there will be steps you have to take however to ensure that switching to HTTPS doesn’t cause a drop in traffic.
When you are switching to HTTPS from HTTP you are effectively changing your URL, which means the backlinks you previously created to your HTTP URL will not be attributed to your HTTPS URL.
So you will want to make sure you have the relevant canonical tags. Most CMS systems will do this automatically when you switch, but double-check, because that’s not always the case.
If you use the HTTP part when you are putting your website on graphics and social media posts make sure you update and switch to include the new version.
Update your sitemap when you have made the switch to make sure it’s using the latest version with HTTPS.
Crawl your website to search for any broken tags or links that could affect your website traffic or rankings.
Then you will want to update your robots.txt file to include your new sitemap.
Make sure all your internal links have been updated to include the most recent version of your URL
Enure all your webmaster tools have the HTTPS version of your website as the most recent version.
Update all your social media links to ensure they are all up to date with the latest version.
Once you have taken all these steps then you will have instantly improved your website ranking potential in the eyes of Google!
Now we have looked at HTTPS and your website’s Google rankings and everything it involves I’m sure there are some of you who are thinking this is way too much hassle?
A word of warning your rankings position isn’t likely to drop just one or two places it’s likely to plummet and until you switch to HTTPS it’s unlikely to climb the rankings very quickly.
So make the switch now, your rankings and website traffic will be better for it!
If you haven’t read our previous blogs in this series you can get them using the links below: