Did you know that Google recently announced that it would be giving sites a small boost in their SEO for SSL-enabled pages?
Their goal is to create a more secure environment on the Internet, so they’ve decided to incentivize websites for proactively taking this step. Over at Search Engine Land, Barry Schwartz offers some guidelines on sites that want to make the change, and advice for site owners who aren’t sure if it’s right for them. For many e-commerce sites, this is a no-brainer. Your site should already have an SSL certificate used to protect, at a minimum, your checkout processes, when customer enter secure information such as their credit card details. And many shopping cart platforms make this process simple, because the URLs often built dynamically.
For example, with Miva Merchant, unless you’ve hardcoded links to begin with “http://”, then you just have to change a setting in the Site Configuration screen, and the dynamically built urls will automatically be converted to “https://”-based URLs. Then one change to cookies, and maybe a few tweaks for redirects and external links, and all is well. (See this post for complete details about converting a Miva site to SSL.)
What can be tricky is if your site is integrated with third-party providers who may not support SSL. For example, one of our clients was considering this move, but their third-party product reviews provider can’t currently operate over SSL, so it’s not an option for them.
Should you convert your site just for SEO purposes?
At this time, maybe not; it’s a very small signal compared to others. However, Google says this:
“But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
Which means that, eventually, this may prove to be a bigger deal. We’re now offering SSL site conversion as part of our SEO services, so if you’re interested in learning more, just ask.